Shop Small Saturday on November 28 and Support DTLB Businesses

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) is always looking for new ways to encourage people to support Downtown businesses. With the seasons changing and Shop Small Saturday coming up, DLBA is honing its marketing efforts around holiday shopping and dining. For those unfamiliar, Shop Small Saturday is an American Express campaign that turns Black Friday on its head by promoting mom-and-pop shops, rather than big name retailers, the following day.

DLBA is encourage shopping local on Shop Small Saturday with the following initiatives and promotions:

Organically promoting businesses through Shop DTLB and Dine Out DTLB

Shop DTLB is a digital directory of DTLB retailers. Dine Out DTLB is an interactive map of Downtown restaurants open for takeout, delivery, or dine-in service. It is 100% free for Downtown businesses to be featured on Shop DTLB and Dine Out DTLB, which are regularly shared via DLBA’s social media channels.

Advertising Campaign with Los Angeles Magazine

Starting November 12, DLBA is advertising its Shop DTLB and Dine Out DTLB campaigns with Los Angeles Magazine to increase the visibility of Downtown shops and restaurants in the Los Angeles County area. These advertisements will consist of digital ads on, dedicated social media posts, email blast spotlights, and a print advertisement in the December issue of the magazine. The goal of this comprehensive campaign is to drive new business to Downtown shops and restaurants and increase their visibility in the region.

New Downtown Scene Giveaway

Beginning November 6, DLBA is running a new gift card giveaway through our monthly Downtown Scene newsletter. For a chance to win a $200 gift card to a Downtown Long Beach establishment of your choice, simply make sure you’re signed up to receive our Downtown Scene monthly newsletter, and submit a November receipt from a DTLB business to our contest page. This competition will benefit one DTLB businesses with a direct $200 gift card purchase from DLBA, and it will also encourage spending at all Downtown businesses and restaurants as part of a requirement to win.

Promotional Video: Support DTLB

Also in November, we will be filming and releasing a video promoting Downtown Long Beach and urging viewers to support local businesses. Once released, this video will be shared and boosted on DLBA’s social media accounts.

Sharing Shop Small content

Finally, DLBA will be promoting businesses participating in Shop Small Saturday by resharing individual businesses’ specials. Businesses should tag DLBA on social media or send  promotional content to Social Media and Digital Marketing Coordinator Lauren Mayne at

Increasing the visibility of Downtown Long Beach businesses is one of DLBA’s top priorities. We believe that the more we promote, the more sales our local businesses will see. Why is this important? For every $100 spent at a small business, $68 remains in the community. When you Shop DTLB, you Support DTLB. Help us support Downtown Long Beach and its businesses by shopping small this holiday season. For information on which stores are open and services available, visit To see which Downtown restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery, visit

Downtown Scene Giveaway

To help everyone get in the holiday shopping spirit, we are launching a new giveaway competition to encourage shopping and dining in DTLB! One lucky winner will receive a $200 gift card to a DTLB establishment of their choice! To enter, simply:

The winner will be randomly chosen and announced in the December edition of our Downtown Scene Newsletter. You can enter as many times as you’d like; each receipt counts as an additional entry! If you’re already signed up for our Downtown Scene Newsletter, you’re already halfway there.

Los Angeles Magazine Campaign to Promote Downtown Long Beach

As the holidays approach, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) is pleased to announce an advertising partnership with the go-to publication for dining and day trip recommendations in Los Angeles County: Los Angeles Magazine. Through online advertising, social media posts, eblasts, and a print advertisement in the December edition of the magazine, this campaign will market DLBA’s Dine Out DTLB and Shop DTLB marketing campaigns, which are designed to boost visibility of Downtown restaurants and retailers and generate business in person and online. The campaign begins November 12 and runs through year-end.

Los Angeles Magazine has a large following in the region – 1.4 million monthly online viewers and an estimated print readership of 740,000 per month,” said DLBA Communications Manager Samantha Mehlinger. “The magazine is a trusted and popular resource for dining recommendations and weekend activities will ensure Downtown restaurants and shops reach new potential customers during a key time of year.”

In addition to a print advertisement in the December edition of the magazine (print date: November 26), the campaign focuses heavily on digital promotions and advertising, including the following:

  • 200,000 impressions on the homepage for Dine Out DTLB
  • 200,000 impressions on the homepage for Shop DTLB
  • A one-week Dine Out DTLB advertising takeover for’s Food page.
  • A one-week Shop DTLB advertising takeover’s Culture page.
  • Sponsored social media posts:
  • 1 dedicated Instagram post for Shop DTLB and 1 for Dine Out DTLB on @lamag (188,000 followers)
  • 1 dedicated Instagram post for Dine Out DTLB on @lamagfood (106,000 followers)
  • 1 sponsored Los Angeles Magazine Facebook post for Shop DTLB (105,000) followers
  • Sponsored email advertisements and campaigns:
    • One dedicated e-blast covering both Dine Out DTLB and Shop DTLB on November 25 in advance of Shop Small Saturday
    • A Dine Out DTLB spot in the Food News newsletter
    • A Shop DTLB spot in the Weekend Guide e-newsletter

This campaign will be supported by DLBAs own reach on its social media platform consisting of:

  • Twitter: 16,900 followers
  • Instagram: 32,400 followers
  • Facebook: 53,370 followers

Online advertisements and social media promotions will link directly to the Dine Out DTLB interactive map of Downtown restaurants and the Shop DTLB directory of Downtown retailers. To ensure as many Downtown shops and restaurants as possible benefit from this advertising campaign, DLBA is encouraging those who have not yet done so to sign up for the free dining map or shopping directory by clicking on the links below and uploading information about their business.

Be sure to visit from mid-November through year-end, pick up the December edition of the magazine, and follow DLBA and Los Angeles Magazine social media accounts to follow the progression of this key marketing effort.

Downtown Fitness Loop Is Up and Running Once Again

After a six-month closure due to COVID-19 concerns, the Downtown Fitness Loop has re-opened, enabling exercise enthusiasts to partake of its varied scenery and opportunities to work out for free on a variety of sturdy, high-quality fitness equipment.

The Loop, which opened in July of 2016, was the brainchild of then-Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal. “The original vision for the Downtown Fitness Loop was to provide a scenic exercise track for residents, visitors, and tourists connecting varied landscapes and landmarks in Downtown Long Beach,” said Broc Coward, DLBA’s Chief Operating Officer, who was Lowenthal’s Chief of Staff from 2006 through 2016. “The Loop enables people to take advantage of Downtown topography and the built environment, and to work out on passive and active exercise stations along the way.”

The 4.8 mile Loop links open spaces such as Victory and Santa Cruz Parks, Rainbow Lagoon, the Waterfront Esplanade, Pine Avenue Pier, Aquarium of the Pacific, and Shoreline Aquatic Park.

Traversing Alamitos Avenue, East Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Road, West Shoreline Drive, and Ocean Boulevard, the Downtown Fitness Loop is “one of the high-use elements in our city. It’s a valuable resource for our community” said Todd Leland, Supervisor of Operations for the Long Beach Marine Bureau. The bureau, a division of the Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department, oversees operational control and maintenance of the Fitness Loop and its exercise equipment, which was purchased by the City from the Anaheim-based company Greenfield Fitness.

The Fitness Loop was shut down in March on State orders that all public playgrounds and fitness equipment must close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the closure, the Marine Bureau continued to maintain the 11 exercise stations while standing by for the re-open order. The Marine Bureau re-opened the Fitness Loop on October 5, and updated the exercise stations with signage on each apparatus imploring fitness enthusiasts to follow basic COVID-19 safety protocols: wash hands, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing. “We’re betting on people to do the right thing,” said Leland.

As athletes return to the Fitness Loop, the Marine Bureau will continue its daily monitoring of the fitness stations, and will maintain the function and cleanliness of the equipment on a regular basis. Future closures depend on two key indicators: COVID-19 positivity rates, and COVID cases per 100,000 people. “As long as we maintain certain numbers based on the California color code tier system, we don’t foresee closures, but this is a global pandemic and the health of the community is the number one priority. Based on numbers, it’s a day to day, week to week, month to month decision,” said Leland.

Meanwhile, local and visiting fitness buffs will be seen once again on the Fitness Loop every day from dawn ’til dusk, keeping themselves ready for all challenges that lie ahead, and being in top shape for the time when a greater sense of normalcy returns to Downtown Long Beach.

DLBA Extends Free Small Business Consulting Program

Starting and maintaining a small business is a huge challenge. To do so in the midst of a global pandemic is that much tougher. Help for Downtown small businesses is available right now; P.A.C.E., a coaching program created in 2019 by Downtown’s Fuller Management Corporation (FMC) in partnership with the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA), will continue to offer free, multi-dimensional assistance to Downtown small business owners through September, 2021.

Kena Fuller

Kena Fuller, CEO of small business consultancy FMC and creator of P.A.C.E. (Planning, Action, Coaching, Entrepreneurship), has guided over 70 small businesses through the P.A.C.E. program. Any owner who pays the annual assessment fee in Downtown’s Business Improvement District and has an up-to-date business license can get help too, by signing up for one-on-one, virtual P.A.C.E. sessions on DLBA’s website.

“I initially signed up for the P.A.C.E. program earlier this year after business shutdowns began due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Maggie Stoll, who owns and operates the clothing boutique Burke Mercantile in Downtown’s East Village. “As I was finding myself having to continually pivot my business through the crisis, I got overwhelmed. I was looking for someone who could help me get focused, organized, and strategic to handle the many challenges that were being thrown my way. Kena has been beneficial to me in a way no one has before.”

Fuller brings a passion for small business coaching and over 20 years of business development, sales, marketing, and management experience to the table. “I consider myself a heart-centered entrepreneur,” she said. “I really love what I do.

“If I’m meeting with a business owner or someone who wants to start a business,” Fuller continued, “I have a series of questions: What does the playing field of their industry look like? How is their business entity defined — are they a sole proprietor or limited liability corporation? How is their business structured?” she explained. “I need to fully understand the present state of their business and what its objectives are. I help the owners formulate a strategic plan. Once we’ve established their goals, we reverse-engineer those goals to ensure that the business is on track. We examine which of their offerings are most fruitful, what their marketing strategy is, really helping them see the big picture.”

Kenny Allen is founder and CEO of Downtown’s Springwave Studios, which provides branding, graphic design, and web design services. He has worked with business coaches for many years, and was delighted to discover Fuller’s free services. “Kena quickly helped me identify the truly important goals for our business, and taught me to zoom out and plan much further ahead for the company,” Allen said. “I worked with her for a few sessions at the beginning of the year, and despite this being an unbelievably challenging year for small businesses everywhere, our company actually managed to exceed our goals for the year. We are booked up for the rest of the year already, which is due in large part to the strategic planning Kena taught me to do.”

Whether a Downtown small business is starting out or starting again, P.A.C.E. can assist through every stage of entrepreneurship. “If someone is looking for support during this stage and always, you have a business coach who is here to support you in any way that is needed,” said Fuller.

DLBA Staff Profile: Research & Public Policy Analyst Morris Mills

Morris Mills, affectionately known as Mo by his friends and colleagues, is the Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s (DLBA) Research and Public Policy Analyst. His job is to conduct research and provide analysis on the Downtown Long Beach economy, including real estate sectors, events, and other key topics. Mills also monitors local legislation and conducts policy analysis when appropriate.

Mills, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College, has an inquisitive nature that manifested itself early in life. “I like learning about things and explaining them to other people,” said Mills, who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. “I was always big on reading Wikipedia articles, soaking up random information. In high school, I got into speech and debate, building model rockets, and collecting model cars. I was definitely a ‘nerd’ in that respect.”

After graduating from Occidental in 2018, Mills returned to St. Louis, working retail gigs while job searching. “I was trying to find a job that was closely aligned with my major,” he said. “I happened upon a DLBA job posting, and I thought the subject matter was meaningful in terms of research related to public policy—things that have tangible effects on peoples’ lives.”

In September of 2018, Mills was interviewed over the phone by Austin Metoyer, DLBA’s Economic Development and Policy Manager. After a series of phone chats, Mills drove to Long Beach on Halloween for a final, in-person interview. He began working for DLBA in December of that year.

Mills’ mild-mannered appearance belies a scrappiness obtained through years of water polo and competitive cycling; he played on Occidental’s water polo team, and raced with an amateur cycling team. He continues to put in 100 to 200 cycling miles a week, including a daily ride to work on one of his five bikes. “Once I secured the position, I set up a 10-mile radius around DLBA when looking for my new home so I could commute on my bike,” Mills said. “The Long Beach bike community helped me establish new friendships during my first foray into independent adulthood.”

Mills gets professional satisfaction from helping keep Downtown stakeholders informed with economic profiles and quarterly reports, and he benefits personally from being part of the DLBA team. “Everyone here has provided mentoring, both professionally and in life,” he said. I try to never take my time at DLBA for granted. I am grateful to work alongside a small, dedicated staff in an inclusive work environment that encourages me to think critically and ask plenty of questions. It is a blessing to be able to work and live in such a connected community like Long Beach, and I’m looking forward to any future opportunities as a result of my time at DLBA.”

Mills sees the adaptations by Downtown businesses due to the COVID-19 crisis as part of the transformational nature of Long Beach. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in Downtown right now,” he said, “but through programs like the City’s Open Streets Initiative and small business loans from the City, we see a strong will to get back to where we were. I’m seeing a very resilient Downtown.”