SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four members of the City Council Monday unveiled a package of proposals to boost the 90,000 small businesses that operate in San Diego.
Council President Tony Young said the proposals are the result of several months of meeting with owners of small firms and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, along with Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.
"These small businesses are the powerful engines that drive our economy," Young said.
The proposals are designed to make dealing with City Hall easier, and city staff more cooperative, he said.
The ideas include:
-- offering businesses an amnesty period to fix building code violations, which Zapf said often prevent a firm from undertaking another more productive project;
-- reinstating the position of small business liaison, eliminated after the previous job-holder retired;
-- holding special City Council meetings to specifically address business enhancement and regulatory relief;
-- making Business Improvement Districts better and help them foster innovation; and
-- creating a council policy that all new legislation that affects businesses will expire in three years unless reauthorized by a vote.
"Hopefully, this will make life easier for the `small businesses that could,' if we just removed the barriers and let them do what they do best," Zapf said.
Councilman David Alvarez said he has heard from small shop owners that the city has too much bureaucracy and creates too many hurdles.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer also attended the announcement.
Ruben Barrales, the chamber president, said 90 percent of the companies in San Diego are classified as small businesses, and 64 percent of the workforce is employed in such firms.
Most of the package is scheduled to be introduced to the full City Council this summer, according to Young's office. The exception is the small business liaison position, which the council members hope to add to the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
A five-county funeral procession will be held Sunday for a San Diego firefighter who died battling the Thomas Fire.
Gun owners were given the chance to trade in their unwanted firearms for cash or a skateboard at a gun buyback event hosted by local police and faith leaders on Saturday.
After 10 days of destruction, the Lilac Fire was 100 percent contained Saturday, fire officials announced.
A 32-year-old Cal Fire engineer from northern San Diego County was killed Thursday while fighting the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County.
San Diego County's inland valleys and mountains remain under a red flag warning Friday morning due to high temperatures, dry air and gusty Santa Ana winds creating dangerous fire conditions.
A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening in El Cajon to remember the Granite Hills High School senior killed in a car crash on Monday.
Dozens of low income seniors in Rancho Penasquitos are now searching for a new to live after a controversial plan to raze their apartment complex moved forward on Friday.
Animal-welfare officials reached out to the public Friday for help identifying and locating whoever allowed a large friendly dog to starve nearly to death before being found wandering weakly through Logan Heights.