SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Last minute shopping during the pandemic holiday season could be one of the bright spots as we close the chapter on 2020 and head into 2021.
Many local businesses have inventories stocked with unique and creative gifts you can’t find anywhere else. Those in a pandemic funk might get a second-wind (or first) to celebrate those they’ve missed for an excruciating 9-months.
And, online shopping makes gift-giving more convenient well after the traditional celebrations are marked off the calendar.
NewsChannel 3 talked to a handful of local business owners about the importance of “buying local” and pushing that message well into the New Year.
“Thanks to our Lovebird community who really stepped up and supported us and other small businesses in the downtown area during this challenging time,” said Peter Gaum, owner of Lovebird in Downtown Santa Barbara.
Gaum and his team were busy with last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. They planned to close the East De La Guerra St. boutique by 3:00 Thursday afternoon. However, their website allows shoppers to continue purchasing Lovebird’s unique clothing and jewelry items long after closing.
The owners of Skin Deep on upper State St. also planned to close up shop by 3:00 p.m. Thursday. The website touts a 15% discount on online orders.
Skin Deep co-owner Nina Meyer said she was thrilled that so many people have been supporting local businesses during the COVID pandemic.
"We are so appreciative of the 40 years of loyalty that our customers have shown us. It's really an honor."
Chaucer’s Bookstore in Loretto Plaza planned to close its doors at 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.
“It’s been busy. It exceeded my expectations during the pandemic,” said Greg Feitt, Chaucers’s General Manager “It certainly isn’t the kind of business we’d do during the normal year but we’re really appreciative of the support the community has given us.”
Last-minute shoppers Thursday missed the deadline to ship out for Christmas but Feitt said online orders are on-going.
“Certainly a viable way to shop local and keep money local,” said Feitt.
Longtime resident and non-profit guru, Drew Wakefield, made it his personal challenge earlier this month to push the ‘Drew Wakefield Support Local Business Gift Card Challenge.’
“Local businesses are both the Lifeblood & Backbone of our Economy and Communities everywhere,” said Wakefield in an email to NewsChannel 3.
“If everyone who can, will go to their favorite local business and make a short video purchasing Gift Cards and then Challenge their friends to Accept the Challenge and do the same, this could spread to every city, state, country, and continent."
Click here for more information about Wakefield's Gift Card Challenge.
NewsChannel also has the ongoing 805 Local Links to help businesses in our community.