Column: My holiday shopping challenge: do it all in Seal Beach and start on Main Street

File photo of Seal Beach Main Street

I’m challenging myself to do all of my holiday gift shopping in Seal Beach and I’m starting on Main Street. It’s Thanksgiving and like many of you, I’m thinking about all of the things I am thankful for. I’m grateful for my family, friends, good health, good fortune, and the wonderful community I get to live in. Living in Old Town, I am extremely grateful for the unique businesses on Main Street that make Seal Beach the charming city we all love.

Our Main Street has one-of-a-kind independent businesses with owners who care about the community and support our local schools, youth sports teams, and community events. According to a 2018 study from American Express, on average, 67 cents of every dollar spent at local small businesses goes into the local community. Not only does the money support the business owner and employees, but sales tax revenue pays for our police officers, firefighters and lifeguards.

“Every time you spend money you support the kind of world you want to live in,” one Main Street shop owner recently told me and it’s a comment that has stuck with me. I’ve lived here since 2011 and there have been a few businesses that I loved that are no longer here. After they closed I wondered, “Could I have done more?”

The value of shopping on our eclectic Main Street goes beyond whatever delightful, useful or beautiful items I take home in a shopping bag. I feel a connection to the businesses and the people who work there. Many local business owners and employees live and work in Seal Beach and raise families here. We are all a part of this community. No business has offered me any discount, payment or incentive to take on this shopping challenge or write this column. I was inspired to do this because I’ve had so many wonderful experiences at our local shops and restaurants.

This season, I encourage you to start your holiday shopping with a visit to the Main Street area and to do at least some of your shopping at local businesses. This weekend during Small Business Saturday could be a perfect opportunity to start. You never know what you might find, you never know who you might meet and you never know who you might help.

Jeannette Andruss is a Sun contributor and an Old Town resident.