About Buy Local
Buy Local Santa Monica is a campaign that was created by representatives of the Santa Monica business community and the City of Santa Monica to support our local businesses and encourage local buying that strengthens our thriving community by raising awareness about the economic, environmental and community benefits of thinking local first.
Get involved — businesses
All Santa Monica businesses are eligible to participate but priority will be given to locally owned, independent businesses. Fill out the Buy Local Santa Monica Business Sign Up form to join the campaign. Eligible businesses will receive a Buy Local Santa Monica window decal, marketing and promotional assistance, members-only discounted advertising rates, event discounts and exhibitor opportunities, listing in our Buy Local Santa Monica business directory, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to actively participate in this exciting campaign. It’s FREE to join!
Get involved — residents + community
Think local first. Give your support to Santa Monica businesses. Shop with a reusable bag. Walk, bike, take the bus or carpool to your neighborhood shops and Santa Monica destinations. Read and submit reviews on your favorite local businesses on our Buy Local Challenge blog.
If you can’t find a particular product/goods or service here in Santa Monica, let our local businesses know what you need or tell us. Buy Local Santa Monica Customer Feedback Survey—10 quick questions to help our local businesses + us keep on track. Thanks! Click here to take survey
Buy Local Santa Monica Campaign Accomplishments: Fiscal Year 2014-15 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015)
We had another great year!
New Businesses: Last year, 135 businesses joined Buy Local, including Silicon Beach tech businesses, cultural non-profit businesses + SM Farmers Market vendors, helping to demonstrate the diversity of our local businesses. At the beginning of the year, we had a total of 800 businesses actively participating in the campaign, with 50% owned by Santa Monica residents. Collectively these businesses employ nearly 4k of our residents.
Funding for our Schools: Purchases made at Santa Monica businesses last year raised over $7.5 million for the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, helping to fund teachers, the SAMOHI college counselor, textbooks and summer school.
Community Partnerships: Our Buy Local for our Schools partnership has grown by leaps & bounds, with over 150 SamoHI students this past year contributing to the Buy Local Challenge Blog & spreading awareness of the BLSM campaign + its importance to our schools + comunity. Last year, launched the Bike Local, Buy Local partnership with SM SPOKE, the SM Bike Center, local bike shops + the City of SM. Check out the re-usable, reflective "Bike Local, Buy Local SM" bike bags made by Green Vets LA + bike stickers. Handle Bar Happy Hour events have been fun events to bring together the local bike community (avid Buy Local consumers!) with BLSM businesses as hosts. The annual Bike Month in May has also grown with MetroLA helping to promote our Bike Local SM specials. We're also doing Bike Local, Eat Local lunch rides to encourage local employees to bike. In 2014, we also launched "Buy Local, Give Local" campaign to recognize and celebrate the businesses who actively give back by supporting Santa Monica charities, non-profits and our schools.
Community Events: This year, Buy Local SM Committee participated in the following community festival + events: Main St Summer SOULstice, 4th July Parade, SM Festival, SM Wellbeing Festival + Buy Local Marketplace, Montana Ave Halloween Hop, Small Business Saturday, Main/Pico/MT/DTSM holiday events, SM Extra Bedroom Program, State of the City, Sustainable Quality Awards, Earth Day, Bike Local Week/Bike Month, Pico Stronger Together Mixers and SM Chamber Mixers. Our flagship events are: Most Loved Santa Monica Contest, a true partnership between the four BIDs, SM Pier, SM Daily Press, SM Chamber, SM Travel + Tourism + the City. The Most Loved SM 2015 winning businesses were formally recognized by the Santa Monica City Council and Mayor (look for Most Loved SM window decals + plaques throughout town!); Buy Local for the Holidays and the new Buy Local, Give Local SM Week to spotlight the great partnerships between our local business community and SM charities. Each event has focused on promoting Santa Monica businesses + raising awareness of the benefits of buying local in our community.
Local Partnership Marketing: Last year's marketing efforts included daily/weekly ads in the SM Daily Press; Eat/Shop/Pamper Local Banners on MT Ave, over-the-street banners on Main St throughout the year; Buy Local Participating Business shop window decals; Bike Local/ Buy Local bags + stickers, Buy Local SM t-shirts + our very popular "Buy Local...I Do!" buttons. Our BLSM partners have been instrumental in helping distribute buttons, flyers + marketing materials throughout the year @ the SM Farmers Markets, SM SPOKE bike events + BID community festivals, and raising awareness via social media.
Regional Attention: We continued to raise our campaign profile in the region, country + internationally this year thanks to participation in Silicon Beach Fest, Digital Media Week, Tech Week LA and via partner events (State of the City 2015, Downtown SM Inc Annual Meeting; SM Tourism Summit; the Sustainable Quality Awards; SM Chamber Monthly Mixers) + local press. And in process, we helped provide guidance to other communities in LA County about establishing Buy Local campaigns to promote greater awareness in the region about the importance of supporting local businesses in our community.
Funding: And, last but not least, we also managed to leverage our budget of $20k to attract over $257K in match funding, proving that you can do mighty things with a shoestring budget. Our funding helped to support local partner community events, streetscape beautification efforts (e.g. MT Avenue Banner, Pico Blvd Sustainable Medians, DTSM Art Pop-Up Shop) through competitive grants to our BLSM partners + commitment from our BLSM partners, not to mention all the in-kind support we receive throughout the year from dedicated volunteers + press partners. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS A GREAT YEAR FOR BUY LOCAL!
Buy Local Santa Monica Committee — The people behind the campaign!
Buy Local Santa Monica is overseen by the Buy Local Santa Monica Executive Committee: Kim Sidoriak (SM Travel + Tourism), Mackenzie Carter (DTSM), Albin Gielicz (SM Resident/NOMA/MAMA), Josephine Miller (City of SM OSE; Buy Local Partnership Committee Chair), Shannon Parry (City of SM OSE), Laurel Rosen (SM Chamber), Anthony Schmitt (MSBIA), Rob Schwenker (SMDP/SM Jaycees, Buy Local Marketing Committee Chair), and Jennifer Taylor (City of SM EDD, Buy Local Chair)
The campaign's growth and sustained success is due to the active involvement and great ideas of of the Buy Local Santa Monica Steering Group, whose members include: Laura Avery, SM Farmers Markets (SMFM); Hannah Avol, SM Travel + Tourism (SMTT); Abbey Beale, SM Bike Center; Amy Bishop Dunbar, PIO; Susy Borlido, Sustainable Works; Patti Braun + Lori Brown, Santa Monica Malibu PTA; Erika Cavicante, City of SM Economic Dev't (EDD); Donna Gentry, Gentry Events/PIO; Gary Gordon, Main St Business Improvement Assoc (MSBIA).; Linda Greenberg Gross, SM-Malibu Education Fdn; Matthew Hall, SM Daily Press; Jason Harris, EDD; Jim Harris, SM Pier Corp; Kevin Herrera, Downtown SM Inc (DTSM); Robert Kronovet, Pico Improvement Organization (PIO); Debbie Lee, City of SM; Jodi Low, SMFM; Jerold Mitchell, SM Resident/BikeLocally.com; Max Montemer, SM Mirror; Gigi de Pourtales, SM Chamber; Shoshana Puccia, SM Place; Cynthia Rose, SM SPOKE; Rebecca Schuetz, SMTT and Jane Walker, Montana Ave Merchants Assoc. And a BIG THANK YOU to Felix Landavere, City of Santa Monica Economic Development Staff Assistant who provides support to the Buy Local Chair in signing up new businesses, sending out welcome packs + keeping the website up to date!