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Escondido business at a glance

* Population: 128,000

* Size: 36.38 square miles

* Sphere of influence: 68.9 square miles

* Escondido's strategic location at the crossroads of Highway 78 and Interstate 15 makes it attractive to businesses of all types.

* Escondido's significant market share is reflected in the city's sales tax revenue, which equates to more than $2.5 billion in taxable sales -- second highest in the county. (The city of San Diego is No. 1.)

* There are 7,316 businesses that comprise Escondido's strong and diverse business base.

* 2,041 (28%) of the 7,316 are home-occupation permits -- people working out of their homes.

* The city routinely draws shoppers regionally from the south and the west with its wide range of auto dealerships, regional shopping center -- Westfield Shoppingtown North County and several strong business areas including Downtown, West Valley Parkway, East Valley Parkway, South Escondido Boulevard and the emerging El Mercado area.

* Escondido has the largest grossing Home Depot store in San Diego County and opened a second store in January 2002.

* The Oceanside to Escondido light rail is scheduled to be completed in 2005.

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