By Justin Savino-Sullins
At the San Clemente Downtown Business Association, it has been our mission for more than 27 years to enhance, promote, and bring energy downtown.
We believe that downtown is the heart of our community, and we work together with our partners at the City of San Clemente, the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, and other local organizations to help create an environment rich in culture, commerce, and community.
We are an organization of people dedicated to improving downtown, and we are always looking for new members, partners, allies, and volunteers.
I was first introduced to the SCDBA during the COVID-19 pandemic, as our organization joined other entrepreneurs and local leaders to help share information, solve problems and challenges, and work together to keep doors open and people outside.
We recognized the role of downtown businesses in keeping the city alive, and we are very thankful that the city was able to come together to support our members. We are always striving to bring people together to help advocate for downtown.
Recently, community leaders and entrepreneurs have been meeting at Artifex Brewery on Avenida Del Mar to create respectful, open, and diverse conversations around locally relevant topics.
Founded with support from First Amendment Voice, i5 Freedom Network, San Clemente Rotary Club, and other local organizations, we meet once a month to discuss sometimes-controversial ideas about which we may disagree, in the hopes that we can begin to find a better way to communicate and collaborate more effectively together, and maybe find some solutions along the way.
It is an opportunity to connect, share ideas, and learn from one another.
At last month’s meeting, we discussed a “vision for downtown,” an idea our SCDBA Board has been developing recently as we refocus our mission and determine how to best serve our members. What might our vision for downtown look like, and how might we all view it differently?
We also discussed our role as the “heart of the city,” which is a concept that resonates with me personally. As an executive coach, I value the role the heart plays in driving our daily actions and decisions. Problem-solving gets things done, but emotions bring us to action, and downtown is where I personally feel the most alive, creative, connected, and engaged.
Downtown gives the city life, drawing people and energy to a familiar location to work, shop, eat, and play. It gives the city strength, economically, but also as a source of shared identity—our Spanish Village by the Sea.
We go downtown to eat good food, share conversations with our friends and family, experience music and the arts, buy gifts for people we love, and solve problems together as a community. This is the role of a heart, and I believe that downtown serves that role well.
Our next event will be the 27th annual San Clemente Car Show on June 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will host more than 250 amazing classic cars, along with food, games, music, and plenty of shopping. Please find more information and consider becoming a sponsor at sccarshow.com.
If you would like to share your own vision for downtown (and we would love to hear it), please send your ideas to email@example.com. If you would like to join us as a member, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you downtown!
Justin Savino-Sullins is the current chair of the SCDBA, is a local entrepreneur who helps leaders make better decisions, and is the founder of Warriors Within, a nonprofit organization that coaches veterans to lead healthier lives.