Merchants group gets creative with new revenue-generating strategic plan
by DAVE SCHWAB
Feb 24, 2014 | 2966 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The new revenue-generating strategic plan of La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) offers some progressive ideas like selling La Jolla-opoly board spaces and hosting a golf tournament, as well as calling for the collection of outstanding business license fees.

All businesses within LJVMA’s 30-block area are assessed annual city fees of $45 to $350. Those fees go into a fund used by LJVMA to beautify, market and promote La Jolla’s business community.

LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune said there’s a great deal of money out there tied up in uncollected license fees that could be used instead to benefit merchants.

“We have approximately 1,260 businesses in the BID [business improvement district], and we guestimate that approximately 500 of those businesses are not paying there business license fees,” Fortune said adding “that’s huge.”

Fortune said the city of San Diego does not have a mechanism in place at present to monitor and collect delinquent license fees, so it’s therefore up to LJVMA to take the initiative to rectifying that.

“We’re working with the city in trying to create better oversight and education,” Fortune said adding business owners will be engaged moving forward in doing public outreach.

“We need to make sure people know that if they’re running a retail facility or if they’re an independent contractor renting space, like a hair salon, a nail technician or a real-estate person, that they should have a city of San Diego business tax certificate,” she said.

Those business tax certificates can be applied for and obtained online, Fortune added.

The 3-year-old LJVMA is at a crossroads as it strives to develop best practices for promoting businesses in its 30-block area which includes Prospect Street, Coast Boulevard, Herschel and Girard avenues, Pearl Street, Fay and Ivanhoe avenues, Wall Street, Bishops Lane, Cave and Silverado streets, Kline Avenue and Roslyn and Drury lanes, as well as portions of La Jolla Boulevard and Torrey Pines Road.

Other ideas that have emerged from the group’s strategic deliberations the past couple months to raise revenues include:

• hosting an LJVMA Golf Tournament May 16 at Torrey Pines  Golf Course;

• keeping Summer Haute La Jolla Music and Scavenger hunt fundraiser but changing it to quarterly rather than monthly status;

• increasing viewers and clicks on LJVMA’s website at www.LaJolla-bytheSea.com;

• designing, producing and selling the LJVMA’s own game version of Monopoly.

• searching for “anchors” to bring the Village together in a more balanced shopping experience to tie in all corners of LJ BID;

• educating Village real-estate owners and businesses that it is their responsibility to keep their sidewalks clean, maintained and safe for pedestrians, as well as provide contacts for sidewalk pressure washing companies;

• educating all business owners where the LJV Information Center is located and the opportunities there for advertising exposure;

• assigning all LJVMA board directors a block in the LJBID to canvas;

 • researching and creating new ways to raise money for LJVMA through public-private partnerships;

• requesting the city remove all old, poorly kept, empty and no longer in use newspaper and magazine boxes and validate with a sticker of inspection those boxes that are legal and have paid their permit fees; and

• coordinating hanging of the “Seasons Greetings” sign at the bridge on Torrey Pines during the holidays and accept donations or sponsors for this expense.
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