LOCAL: A survey of shoppers conducted by the Buy Local Campaign steering committee showed that the majority of residents believe it is important to shop locally but Santa Monica needs more stores like Target or K-Mart. Pictured: Shoppers make their way down the Third Street Promenade. (File photo)

LOCAL: A survey of shoppers conducted by the Buy Local Campaign steering committee showed that the majority of residents believe it is important to shop locally but Santa Monica needs more stores like Target or K-Mart. Pictured: Shoppers make their way down the Third Street Promenade. (File photo)

PROMENADE —  Shop local. Eat local. Play local. Live local.

This Saturday, Santa Monica business owners will get a platform to promote those themes at the third annual Buy Local Expo.

The event, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. on the Third Street Promenade, will feature musical performances, culinary events and promotional booths from local businesses.

“It’s great for exposure, to let people be more aware about the types of businesses, products and services we have in Santa Monica,” said Jennifer Taylor, chair of the Buy Local Santa Monica Committee.

Sixty-five local restaurants, spas, hotels and nonprofit organizations have registered tables for the event, said Gigi de Pourtales, director of events and marketing at the Chamber of Commerce.

The businesses reflect the diversity of options local consumers have, representing Downtown, Main Street, Pico Boulevard and Montana Avenue, among other districts.

“It’s a feel-good event to understand what the chamber does,” said Pourtales. “We bring people together, communities together and neighborhoods together.”

The expo will feature two entertainment stages, one on each end of the promenade.

Santa Monica High School’s chamber orchestra will perform at the “Play Local” stage, followed by a display from the New Roads School’s robotics team.

Throughout the day, seminars on healthy eating and sustainable food will take place on the “Eat Local” stage, where chefs will collaborate with the Farmers’ Market to give cooking demonstrations.

A joint venture between Downtown Santa Monica Inc., the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, the Buy Local Santa Monica Committee and the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, the expo highlights the community’s commitment to keep locally earned dollars circulating in Santa Monica.

Local sales tax brought in $14 million for Santa Monica schools and city services in 2012, Taylor said. By spending their paychecks at local businesses, consumers are directly investing in the growth and sustainability of the community.

“A major factor in the health or lack of health of the local economy is the activity of its small businesses,” said Gary Gordon, executive director of the Main Street Business Improvement Association.

“Those dollars that are spent there stay in the community, they support the community — the people that own those businesses respond to the community, they care about the community.”

Peter Path, a fourth-generation Santa Monican, is one of those business owners.

His company, Acapillow Home Furnishing, has manufactured 90 percent of its products in Santa Monica over the past 15 years.

Recently, the struggle to stay afloat has forced him to downsize from three locations to one.

“We need more Buy Local campaigns out there and other means of keeping the people that do live here aware of who and what is local, and truly local,” he said. “This is very important this day and age with the way that the world, (North American Free Trade Agreement) and China are putting our local businesses out of order.”

Like many Santa Monica business owners, Path will participate in Buy Local Week, seven days of local promotions that kick off with Saturday’s expo.

Temporary use permits have been approved for some city districts, allowing sidewalk sales through Sept. 28.

Various restaurants and retailers will also offer discounts and deals, which are viewable on the Buy Local Committee’s website at buylocalsantamonica.com.

 

editor@smdp.com