Richard Earnest | Kalamath Drive
The Del Mar Village Association through its Business Assistance committee does everything possible to support and sustain Del Mar’s businesses. With all of the new retail centers popping up around us, it’s an increasing challenge for our local shops to thrive.
Last year we implemented a number of activities including a block captain program to get a better understanding of what additional help our business owners need - a restructuring/market analysis, retail & restaurant surveys, a holiday decorating contest and community activities, to name a few. We are currently working on an available real estate tracking program, and recruitment manual. We also offer help to our businesses who are not currently focused on electronic retail marketing.
One of our biggest challenges is simply communication. Regardless of how many times and different ways we try to get information to or from the establishments, there is still a disconnect with some of our proprietors and landlords. We recognize there has been a large number of vacancies in the downtown area, and we have done as much as we can to help facilitate the recruitment of new businesses. Unfortunately, there are limitations in our community that don’t encourage the types of shops and stores that residents want to see.
We also realize we have very little control over what owners do with their property, and there are very few resources available to offer incentives enjoyed by other cities in the area.
The good news is we have a strong working relationship with the Mayor, the City Council members and City staff and we are united in our efforts to improve the economic conditions in Del Mar. To that end, we are happy to report the opening of seven new businesses in the current year and we are only half way through! We have a good relationship with the new managers of the Plaza, and they are open to ideas as to how to enhance the experience and fill the vacancies there as well. There is still much to be done and the challenges are complex and not easily overcome but, with many new, enthusiastic volunteers with different skill sets, and many good ideas, we are looking forward to continued success in 2014 and beyond.