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“I Love Local Business” Initiative Aims to Revitalize Business Communities Impacted by Thomas Fire

Last winter’s Thomas Fire and the subsequent debris flows in Montecito left a heavy impact on residents and businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. But, since day one, communities in the area have rallied around those affected and worked tirelessly to make sure the counties’ economies bounce back. One of these efforts is the recently launched I Love Local Business initiative supported by dozens of local community organizations in the 805 and facilitated by Women’s Economic Ventures

Part of the project includes a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging locals to shop at and support local businesses. They enlisted Santa Barbara-based marketing firm, Idea Engineering to produce a music video to the tune of Katy Perry’s “California Girls” with custom lyrics written by Emmy-nominated songwriter Molly-Ann Leikin. The video features dozens of businesses and business owners from Santa Maria to Conejo Valley, as well as special appearances from Montecito firefighters and a plucky black cat who survived the fires. 

“We’re not asking people to stop shopping online, but we are asking if some purchases can be made locally in support of our community. The answer for everyone is almost certainly yes,” said Regina Ruiz of WEV. Melinda Hambrick, owner of Kay’s Coffee Shop in Ventura added, “Shopping at small, local businesses does much more than support your friend’s or neighbor’s business; it strengthens the entire community.”