The future of revenue for Coronado, specifically monies derived from sales tax and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), will undoubtedly be at an unprecedented low this year, and even before the COVID-19 crisis the city was feeling the downturn. This came in large part from the major construction at The Del for their master plan with sales tax down $312,000 and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) down $834,000 for a combined total loss of $1.1 million. Now the city is regrouping and adapting to the rapidly changing environment looking at decreasing revenues as businesses, restaurants and hotels are closed or operating on a diminished scale. The Chamber of Commerce, Coronado MainStreet and Discover Coronado are all working to help local businesses during this difficult time.
City Manager Blair King provided the following estimates on the impacts to major city revenues:
- TOT – Revised FY 19-20 Budget ($15,900,760) – Projected estimated actual FY 19-20 ($10,000,000), a loss of $6 million – initial FY budget $6,360,300 (a decline of approximately $9.5 million from budgeted FY 19-20)
- Sales Tax – Revised FY 19-20 Budget ($3,223,350) – Projected estimated actual FY 19-20 ($2,491,200), a loss of $730,000 – initial FY budget $1,289,340 (a decline of approximately $2 million from budgeted FY 19-20)
- Interest earnings – Revised FY 19-20 Budget GF ($1,724,800) – Projected estimated actual FY 19-20 ($1,400,000), a loss of $325,800 – initial FY budget $900,000 (a decline of approximately $825,000 from budgeted FY 19-20)
King also cited: Total loss revenue in FY 19-20 from these three sources = $7,055,800, total estimated loss budgeted FY 19-20 to budgeted FY 20-21 = $12,325,000. The percentage decline in revenues in FY 19-20 is approximately 11.5% and the year to year loss of FY 20-21 to 19-20 is approximately 20.2%.
King noted that “City policy allows committed reserves to be used if General Fund revenues fall below estimates by eight percent or greater. It is anticipated that the city will look to balance the fiscal year 20-21 General Fund budget with a draw from reserves.” He also points out that it is early at this juncture to know if any position or projects will have to be cut.
- Our first priority has been sharing information about the restaurants as they were the first businesses to be shut down. We continue to track who is open for pickup and/or delivery, plus whether they sell gift cards. In general, businesses’ evening orders are going as well as can be expected.
- We designed a fun Bingo type game to encourage folks to order out at a variety of restaurants over a 10-day time period. We have lots of prizes including gift cards and Chamber related items such as our cheerful Orange Ave beach towels and the Coronado-opoly board game.
- We have added other types of critical businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, hardware stores, hotels, to our website.
- Finally, we have been listing retail businesses that make it easy to order online with either pick up at the store or home delivery.
For more details, check out the Chamber website at https://www.coronadochamber.com/ There is also a list of resources such as the city’s daily updates, where to file for unemployment and how to use sick leave during this time.
Gillingham comments that “We have begun focusing on financial assistance. The South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) is providing interest free $5,000 loans to 50 restaurants in South County. I have been encouraging all Coronado restaurants to apply and know that at least one restaurant has received their loan.”
The Chamber has also created a video covering two loans that are being offered by the Federal Government which will be shown on Channel 19 and is available on the Chamber website. The first one is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). It is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Businesses may apply for up to $2 million of operating capital to cover payroll, mortgage/lease, accounts payable, and extraordinary costs as a result of the pandemic. Up to $10,000 of the loan can be a grant, and no repayment to the government will be required.
The second loan program is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which is directly aimed at covering the cost to keep employees on payroll. Up to eight weeks of payroll will be forgiven by the Federal Government – certainly a strong incentive to apply. The application should be available shortly and you apply through your local bank, not the SBA.
Coronado MainStreet Executive Director Rita Sarich is also dedicated to helping local businesses thrive and has been inundated with information from their national office and she is sharing everything with the city as they help the local business district. “We are pushing out pertinent information to every business at least every day. I’m sending a request to property owners to consider rent relief for their tenants. I’m attending webinars on what other cities are doing and getting some great ideas to pass on,” comments Sarich. Check out the national website at https://www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/resourcecenter/covid19resources and our local office at https://www.coronadomainstreet.com/
Local puzzles to keep you occupied are also available through MainStreet by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can select from two styles: the 300-piece iconic Hotel del Coronado photo puzzle by Evgeny Yorobe or the 300-piece Whimsical Village Collage by Jody Esquer. Puzzles are $25.99 and can be paid for with credit card and then delivered to your home. Get yours today and have a competition with friends and neighbors as to who can complete it the fastest.
Discover Coronado Executive Director Todd Little confirmed that Discover Coronado is working closely with leaders at the Hotel del Coronado, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado Island Marriott Resort and the Glorietta Bay Inn to reschedule events and guests that have been postponed. Several resorts have closed temporarily, but leadership teams continue to work on recovery plans. A recent survey from Northstar Meetings Group suggests that most meeting planners hope to reschedule their event between September and December 2020. Others will delay their event until 2021, or later. As of deadline, Coronado Island Marriott Resort and the Glorietta Bay Inn are still open, and both the Hotel del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort are closed until further notice.
Little said, “When it is appropriate to do so, Discover Coronado will use industry marketing that targets meeting planners and they are in regular communication with the City of Coronado, briefing one another on changes as they occur.” He highlighted that a redesigned website was launched in January DiscoverCoronado.com along with new campaign (“Un-Land Yourself“) that distinguishes Coronado from land-locked meeting destinations.
One of the additional steps that the city has taken to ensure the health and safety of residents, as well as provide information and a sense of connection during this coronavirus pandemic, was setting up a call center. Senior Management Analyst Janine Zúñiga reports that the Call Center has been answering an average of two to four questions a day but sometimes up to eight calls. “In the past week, staff answered questions from callers wanting to know if parks, Dog Beach, the Bayshore Bikeway, and boat launch ramp were open. All are open; however, visitors must adhere to the social distancing protocol.” She also reported that there have been calls for people wanting to volunteer and some needing assistance. The call center number is (619) 522-6380 and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.