Mayor’s Message: Help Our Local Community Locally

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Mayor Will O’Neill

By Will O’Neill, Newport Beach Mayor

Shop local, support local, stay local.

These aren’t just slogans, they are community. They are a way for us to avoid the economic collapse other areas of our state are seeing.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, for example, just surveyed its storefronts.  Out of 2,500 stores surveyed, 1,300 are closed. That’s 54 percent! Fitness studios, shut. Restaurants, gone. Small business owners who put their lives into small retail, out.

Anyone noticing all the cheap surf boards at Blackies? Stop it. Buy from TK at the Frog House or Peter Belden at The Board Shop or JP at Russell Surfboards. Remember when we could buy a shirt from Costco but in our small shops? Well, now you can buy from Jack’s or 15th St.

Are you even considering going outside NB for dining? Why? We have 400+ restaurants in town. Over 100 are participating in Restaurant Month this September. Dozens of styles, all great. Pirozzi, Helmsman, Avila’s, A Restaurant, Gracias Madre, Farmhouse, and on and on and on.

If there is a restaurant you love and want to see thrive a year away, then go now.

I want our businesses to thrive. I want to save our salons because they are certified in sanitizing and stocked up on PPE. I want our fitness centers reopened because they make our community healthier (physically and mentally), which reduces comorbidities.  Done safely, these small businesses make our community better.

Shopping local also keeps our community safer. When you shop where you live, the sales tax stays here. Which then gets spent on police, fire, roads, and core infrastructure. Which enhances property values, which increases property tax revenues, which gets spent on police, fire, roads, and core infrastructure. Which attracts restaurant and retail patrons, which increases sales tax …. (I’m about to launch into “When You Give A Mouse A Cookie” soon.)

So the question is simple. Do we want to end up like SF with over 50 percent of storefronts closed, or do we want to approach our situation intelligently and safely and bridge our community forward?

The answer depends on your avoiding the online option and instead engaging locally.  #NewportStrong

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