Buy local to save our businesses

Tess Booth, Reporter

The holiday season is a special time of year when we become our best and happiest selves. The fire is warm, the stockings are filled to the brim, and this feeling of excitement and anticipation stains our forever young and childish faces. As much as we fight that urge to rip open each present, one after the other, we can never win against the swelling and gorging sea of wonder, curiosity, and magic that the holiday season brings. But, this year is different. Many people’s holiday season will be tarnished with blue. They may not feel the warmth of the fireplace, or have the luxury of overflowing stockings, or feel that magic of Christmas they felt the year before. 

As more and more of our beloved local businesses close their doors in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, many people are losing their jobs. Family-owned shops that make up the unique Laguna character are hanging on by a thread. Now, more than ever, is a holiday season to join hands and give back to those who need it most. Supporting local businesses and charities is a great way to not only help our town get into the holiday spirit, but to keep the place we call home alive and well. 

Shop Local:

Buy your holiday gifts in town and take advantage of the unique stores lining Coast Highway. Every purchase from a large corporation only widens the gap between our unique establishments and already well-off chains, continually placing local businesses in precarious situations. Sure, prices may be more expensive, but that money you spend supports a family trying to get through the pandemic and stay safe during these uncertain times. An extra ten will help our town get back on its feet. 

Eat Local:

Restaurants are experiencing a heavy burden from the new state regulations. They adapted with the times, accommodated their customers with outdoor seating, and worked tirelessly to maintain a safe eating environment for everyone. After everything they have worked through, restaurants are now forced to shut down and rely only on takeout purchases. Even buying a meal from a different restaurant once a week can make a difference. Anything counts. Many restaurants are offering great family deals too!

Support brands that give back:

Here are businesses that make a living by giving back to charities:

Locals for Laguna Beach support small businesses in our town. They sell t-shirts that come with a Locals for Laguna card, a complimentary bonus that encourages people to shop at local shops by providing discounts from certain stores around town. 

4SOCEITEE: This small business sells t-shirts that donate to a variety of causes including the Downtown Women’s Center, First Responders Relief Fund, and the Newport/Mesa Adult Literacy. Choose your charity and pick out a fashionable t-shirt for a gift or a personal treasure. 


Don’t forget about charities: Laguna Beach has many charities that go hand in hand with COVID-relief. Homelessness and general economic instability are on the rise, especially as California undergoes strict regulations to combat the virus. 

Laguna Beach Food Pantry: No one should go hungry over the holidays. Run by generous volunteers, the Laguna Beach Food Pantry provides free groceries to families and individuals in need. They are still open during the pandemic and continue to collect and distribute food to over 500 families a week in South Orange County. 

Laguna Beach Friendship Shelter: Since 1988, this non-profit organization has helped over 10,000 people end their homelessness and is proud to announce that each night more than 160 formerly homeless people sleep safely after going through one of its programs. The Laguna Beach Friendship Shelter doesn’t just provide shelter to the homeless, they also help to rehabilitate them and search for new homes.