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'Oceanside Strong' campaign supports local businesses hit by the pandemic

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 20:11:00-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — The Oceanside Main Street program launched a campaign to support local businesses in May and now that restrictions have been extended, so has the fundraiser.

Manager Gumaro Escarcega said the goal is for the community to help the community, so they partnered with Whitlock Ink to create t-shirts and masks to sell that say “Oceanside Strong.”

Initially, $11,000 was raised and a majority of that was distributed to 13 Oceanside small businesses. Escarcega said with restrictions continuing, they made the decision to keep fundraising, so the products are still available.

“As the pandemic continues to impact our communities, we felt that we need to send positive messages out there,” said Escarcega.

Stacey Holmes owns Otterlei Coastal and said she’s felt the hit of the pandemic, so she was relieved to receive the help from the campaign.

“We were able to use the grant for a little buffer, not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring,” she said.

She also said that not only is the money-making a difference, but the community is coming together like never before to help each other. She said store owners are encouraging customers to stop by each other’s shops and restaurants, which has also helped.

“I’m trying to pay it back forward to, make sure you go visit such and such store, go visit this restaurant or what have you, so even as a business we’re all supporting each other as well,” she said.

Escarcega said right now, Main Street is working on another grant program that should be launched in August. He said the goal is to create a shop local campaign.

“Just keep moving forward and keep thinking positive and we’ll all get through this,” said Escarcega.