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Reviving Seal Beach business on the sidewalk By Dennis Kaiser | Thu, Oct 27 2011 12:01 PM

Nick Patruzo has a dream of taking the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Sidewalk Sale to a new level.

Patruzo has a heart-felt affinity for marketplace such as Seal Beach’s Main Street and what they can offer visitors to the town in the way of making their shopping experience as fun as a festival.

Growing up on the New Jersey Shore, Patruzo grew up amid the sights, sounds, and aromas of fine Italian food wafted in the air. People crowded the streets, which became a cultural exchange of products. There was good cheer and a way to stay in touch and spend quality time in your neighborhood with neighbors and friends.

Patruzo said he’d like to see something similar happen with the Seal Beach Sidewalk Sale scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30 along the seaside city’s Main Street.

For 38 years, Patruzo has co-owned Endless Summer clothing store on Main Street and he’s seen good times and hard times. These are hard times and Patruzo said he thinks a sidewalk sale could only help the business climate improve in the city’s Old Town.

“There is no question that a sidewalk sale generates business,” he said. “The worst you can do is a little more and in this economy a little more is good.  We may be Mayberry by the Sea and we area wonderful close-knit community, but we need to do business. “It’s not that sidewalk sales are a total elixir, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Patruzo said sidewalk sales were more common in the 1970s, but they stopped in the 1980s.

“I think the restrictions became overwhelming,” he said.

The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce held a sidewalk sale in April the last two years during the Seal Beach Run.

“They were our first crack at it in a long time,” said Patruzo. He added that the Chamber has helped make the sidewalk sales possible by blanketing the participating merchants with it insurance to help defray the event’s expenses. He the merchants previously needed to have their own insurance for the event.

“That took a lot of the weight off,” he said. “Meanwhile, a lot of the business owners were kind enough to make a contribution to help defray the expenses.”

To help make the upcoming sidewalk sale more festive this sidewalk sale will have a Halloween theme.

“There will be candy and we hope kids in costumes,” Patruzo said.

More frequent sidewalk sales are a part of Patruzo’s goal.

“We would like to parlay this sidewalk sale into the next one,” he said. “So far we’d like to do another one during the end of January and beginning of February, around Groundhog Day. The reason we picked that time is we have our Christmas sales, which spill into January. It’s a good time for merchants to get rid of the fall stuff for clothing before setting up for spring and summer.”

Endless Summer has been in the middle of other community efforts.

The store has been a collection site for recyclable cans and bottles to raise money for Matt and Elissa Horan. The longtime Rossmoor family has been struggling financially after Matt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Elissa was laid off and then diagnosed with breast cancer.

“That’s done by my partner Fred Dellisanti and our wonderful manager Lin Bennett,” Patruzo said. “It’s still going on.”

Patruzo said he hopes the Halloween Sidewalk Sale does some more good for the community.

“It’s something that could be good for everyone,” Patruzo said. “At the very least we hope people will enjoy themselves on Main Street.

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