Business Briefs
Apr 12, 2013 | 1491 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Survey shows small businesses optimistic

A survey released by Union Bank detailing the 2013 outlook of small-business owners found that while most plan to play it safe in the coming year, they are also slightly optimistic.

Union Bank’s National Small Business Economic Survey, released in February, included 200 participants statewide and 500 outside of California. The majority of those surveyed (84 percent) maintain confidence in the direction of their own companies.

Owners of one local business surveyed, the La Jolla Playhouse, showed cautious optimism for 2013.

“La Jolla Playhouse is approaching 2013 with financial caution but we are more optimistic about the economy overall,” said Playhouse managing director Michael S. Rosenberg. “In terms of shows, we expect our strongest year ever with exciting projects from artistic director Christopher Ashley and director emeritus Des McAnuff, plus the addition of the WOW Festival — four incredible days of outdoor performance from around the world.”

Regional vice president of Union Bank’s Business Banking Group Kelly Kline said the survey showed La Jolla businesses, as well as those around the state, are showing upward hiring trends.

“California businesses, including those in La Jolla from what we’ve seen, are more optimistic about hiring than those outside the state,” said Kline. “Sixteen percent of California respondents, more than double compared to last year (7 percent), plan to add staff in 2013.”

Medical marijuana in Bird Rock?

Not under our watch, said La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) trustees at their April 4 meeting.

With the passage of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, in 1996, voters approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Despite the approval, the proposition is at odds with federal law.

Mayor Bob Filner proposed to the City Council an ordinance that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in commercial and industrial areas so long as the collectives comply with certain restrictions, including requirements that dispensaries be at least 600 feet from K-12 schools, public parks, childcare facilities, playgrounds and other medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance would also place a $5,000 annual permit fee and a 2 percent city sales tax on owners.

Those restrictions, however, do not go far enough, said LJCPA trustees. In an effort to control where local dispensaries would be allowed, trustees agreed to a motion suggesting amendments to the mayor’s proposal, including the addition of a 600-foot separation between dispensaries and churches, libraries and youth-oriented facilities and a request to increase in the minimum distance between dispensaries from 600 to 1,320 feet. Trustees also requested the mayor strike the proposed addition of Bird Rock for allowed use.

Bird Rock Community Council president Jacqueline Bell said the BRCC also opposes the permitting of dispensaries in Bird Rock.

“We are a family-oriented neighborhood that is home to a public elementary school, as well as many child-focused businesses, so we do not believe they would be an appropriate addition,” she said. “Moreover, our business district falls into a mixed-use area that contains a combination of commercial and residential uses. Many families with children live in residences located on La Jolla Boulevard, which are directly adjacent to commercial space.”

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner urges any La Jollan with an opinion on the issue to contact her office. City Council will review the mayor’s proposal on April 22 at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 202 C St.
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