Small business owner. Photo courtesy Small Business Administration

By Assemblymember Marie Waldron

Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday — a day to patronize local small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Without them, our state and national economies will never recover.

My husband and I have owned our own small business for over 25 years, so I know how hard it is to keep a business going in California. Costly, overbearing regulations, high taxes and fees, high rents, and big energy bills all make doing business in this state a challenge.

Now the pandemic has struck, with a disproportionate impact on small businesses throughout the state. Many have been forced to close or significantly curtail operations while their larger competitors often remain open.

Many small businesses are just one more shutdown away from closing their doors permanently. We, their customers, should do all we can to make sure they remain open, for their sake and ours.

Our local small businesses make up 95% of the businesses in the San Diego region. They employ our family, friends and neighbors.

Unfortunately, the continuously changing orders to open, close, partially open and close again are wreaking havoc. Many of our favorite restaurants, shops, stores and other businesses will never open their doors again.

Small Business Saturday is an important reminder that small businesses are part of the very fabric of this region. They employ thousands, and give back so much to our communities.

So on Small Business Saturday, make a purchase from a local vendor, and continue to support them over the holidays and throughout the year. Without them, the current pandemic-induced recession may become permanent and develop into a depression — that must not happen!

The Legislature goes back into session in January. I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure that California’s small businesses are allowed to operate safely and profitably — just like their larger competitors.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron represents the 75th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.