By Jim Wynne & Arrow Santos
The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce would like to officially wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for another great year of living in paradise all together.
As you finish your holiday shopping (or are just starting), the Chamber asks you to consider spending at local retailers when possible.
The businesses in San Clemente are almost exclusively owned and run by “real people” who are your neighbors: the person in line behind you at the grocery store, the mom cheering beside you at the Saturday morning soccer game, the family sitting next to you in church, or the friendly face serving up your favorite lunch.
By shopping locally instead of out-of-town or online, you support our vibrant beach town economy in a meaningful way.
The Chamber is so grateful to have such an abundance of small businesses within our town. Over the years, we have seen many mom-and-pop companies displaced by faceless corporations that can outcompete the little guys by focusing only on profits instead of people.
Investing your dollars back into our town ensures that the community values we treasure most will continue for future generations. These same businesses that line Avenida Del Mar and abound back in the business parks also account for most of the employment in San Clemente. By supporting these businesses, you are ensuring thousands of residents can remain employed and provide for their families in this community.
Additionally, we have fantastic local options to choose from, featuring a variety of awesome gifts. The Chamber enjoys seeing the many creative, practical, and cutting-edge new products that our San Clemente businesses bring forth.
From the largest surfboard manufacturer in the world to multiple e-bike companies, fashionista locations to authentic dining options, and from fur-family accessories to art and music lessons, there is something local for everyone on your gift list.
Because of our beautiful coastal location, many of our businesses earn a large chunk of their annual earnings during the warmer summer months. By our community intentionally shopping local during the end of the year, you give a wintertime boost to our beloved entrepreneurs who must provide for their families all year long—not just during the busy tourist season.
With great privilege comes great appreciation. We have the wild, unfathomable, mathematically improbable fortune of being in the fraction of a fraction of the humans on the globe who get to reside in the 19.5 square miles that we know as San Clemente.
For every family of four living here, there are approximately 500,000 people who live somewhere else. You, as an individual, are around eight times more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime than to currently reside in San Clemente, compared to those who don’t live here right now.
If you found out you only had a 1 in 123,000 chance of living to see tomorrow, I would hope you would wake up with great enthusiasm upon discovering you were still alive. Yet, those are the odds of you waking up here in our Spanish Village by the Sea every day.
Do you fully appreciate that this Christmas season? As the voice for the Chamber of Commerce, we say go forth and spend locally and generously, stimulate the economy, and happily acquire and gift much more “stuff.”
As your fellow unlikely neighbor, I say there’s no more excellent gift available in this town than already being in this town when needing to look for a gift.
Watch for lightning, reach out to someone you know who is alone this holiday season, and, sincerely, Merry Christmas. Until next year, Chamber of Commerce out.
Jim Wynne, president of WynneCRE, is a San Clemente local, San Onofre Surfing Club president, and father of five, who serves as the immediate past chairman for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. Arrow Santos is a San Clemente native, professional writer/photographer and marketing director of WynneCRE.