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Wow. It’s great to see all of your responses. No decision this big should be made without healthy debate. In some way, you all answered my question of what price you would put on San Diego’s future; for some of you, the price of derailing San Diego’s economic future is worth it if it means you get to buy a bag of cheap groceries. Others are forward-thinking enough to see beyond today’s sale on a loaf of bread to the local negative impact that has been repeated time and time again throughout the nation.   

I just want to reiterate that this issue is not about unions. It’s about small businesses. And small businesses are not unionized. Opponents want you to believe that it’s about the unions because it’s so much easier for you to dismiss this issue if you think it’s about unions. They’re trying to squash our fight on behalf of small business because, well, it just doesn’t feel right to board up mom-and-pop stores and ruin your own neighborhoods, does it? 

Here’s the truth. A dollar spent at a small business stays here locally, helping fuel the economy. A dollar spent at a chain like a supercenter goes global. How does that help you? How does that help San Diego’s future? Economic research shows that in Chicago, every $100 spent at a local retailer generates $68 in local goods, services and other economic activity, while the same $100 spent at a chain store generates only $43 in local economic impact. Studies in Austin and San Francisco confirm that small, independent businesses contribute more to the local economy than their larger competitors.     

One of San Diego’s own small business owners knows this all too well.

— DIANA SPYRIDONIDIS

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