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It caught me by surprise a couple of weeks ago when I was walking down Pine Avenue – there were wreaths adorning all the lampposts — could it really be the holiday season already? Well, it’s here, and from what I saw and by the stories I’ve been hearing from local business owners, the community showed up in full force on Small Business Saturday. Congratulations to those that supported the Shop Local campaign and I encourage you to continue shopping in neighborhood shops throughout the holiday season and into the New Year.

The DLBA is committed to executing and promoting programs that help small businesses like our Entrepreneur Series and our Small Business Seminars. We strongly believe that investing in local business is good for Long Beach — and the numbers suggest a high return on that investment.

According to the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, it’s estimated that, nationwide, local business generates 70 percent more economic activity per square foot than big box retail. It’s also projected that, if every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 per month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, more than $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our local economies.

Those are persuasive numbers, but local businesses also provide our Downtown with qualitative value, as they help define the character of our communities and drive DTLB’s individuality that is recognized throughout the Southland. Shopping for gifts, hosting holiday parties, even heading to the gym — the more the community invests locally – the more the community benefits.

This holiday season, remember to shop locally — we’ve made it easy for you with our Holiday Gift Guide. From specialty chocolates to hoodies to show DTLB pride, you can find it all either online or in printed gift guides throughout Downtown. Even as the holiday season comes to a close and 2017 draws near, remember also that ’tis always the season to shop local.

On behalf of the DLBA Board of Directors, its staff and from the over 4,000 Downtown stakeholders, I would like to wish you, your families and colleagues a happy and healthy holiday season and thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our Downtown.

-Toliver Morris, Chair of the DLBA Board