By Mike Nichols
Mayor, Solana Beach
What's on your holiday gift-giving list? Clothing? Toys? Books? You can find them all, and more, right here in Solana Beach! By shopping locally, you are saving time, saving gas and supporting our community in many ways.
Local businesses contribute greatly to our sense of community, and by shopping locally, you will get to know your community better. Many of our local businesses provide one-of-a-kind and personalized shopping experiences, which can't be found in large-scale national retail chains.
I have found it very common to visit a local business and have the owner or salesperson know you by first name, be familiar with particular items or products that might appeal to you, or be a friend or neighbor. These relationships simply don't exist in many larger communities. By shopping locally, you are helping to build and maintain these relationships, which in turn help to strengthen our community.
We are extremely fortunate to have such a large percentage of small, unique and diverse businesses in our community. All of these businesses play an important role in defining our community character and contribute greatly to our quality of life. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to remember how important these businesses are to us, and to support them by shopping locally this holiday season.
When you make the decision to shop locally, you also help to create jobs and fund more city services through sales tax. We also know that dollars spent locally tend to stay local through reinvestment and charitable giving. Many of our local businesses have been very supportive of our community by donating to local charities, sponsoring local special events and contributing to local fundraising efforts. Without their assistance, many of the programs and services we enjoy would not exist. Each time you choose to spend your dollars in Solana Beach, you are making a choice to support the character, strength and vitality of our community, and you make it possible for local businesses to give back to our community.
With the upcoming holidays, I would like to encourage everyone to please consider all the wonderful opportunities and benefits of shopping locally. Think about the important role that local businesses serve our community before you travel outside the area or get on the Internet to shop.
Let's make an effort to support these businesses and reinvest in the community; it is good for all of us.