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Now as always, support La Jolla merchants

Seems like an old song, but it’s an important one again this holiday season: Support our local merchants, not just now but throughout the year. It’s just that this shopping season is more critical for them since for many it’s traditionally been their biggest time of year.

These are the folks that help hold the fabric of our community together. They make La Jolla the special place that it is — not just another shopping mall where you’ll cross paths with a nameless clerk, but a place that they remember your name and give you that personal touch.

They, like many La Jolla residents, contribute to special events like the Town Council’s Christmas parade and the recent successful effort to raise $6,400 to keep the holiday lights on. And they do it even though many of their businesses are hurting because they care and hope that even a little bit will go a long way toward encouraging locals — as well as others in the county— to pay them a visit.

They’re the people who serve on the La Jolla Shores Merchants Association, the Village Streetscape Committee, or take it upon themselves to show spirit for events like the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk as Nicole Gerle at G Whiz in Bird Rock did.

We appreciate their presence but just saying so doesn’t cut it. We have to “show them some love” by buying gifts for others — or ourselves — from them, by eating at their restaurants or having our family members stay at their inns when the house gets overloaded with visitors. Invite a friend down for the Sunday brunch. Take the family to the Christmas Parade on Dec. 6 but stop and buy some cookies or a sweat shirt along the way.

While the sales tax you pay goes to the city’s general fund, eventually some of those dollars circle back to La Jolla for services and parks and road repairs. That gives us another reason to spend our money in La Jolla. (Maybe someday there will even be a way for our dollars to stay in La Jolla.)

We’ve all seen the empty storefronts and closures at places like Jack’s La Jolla. They’re not pretty places. And while our community has seen signs of life with the opening of new shops and restaurants, the fear that others may close is real.

It’s up to all of us to think about what community means. It’s more than where we live; it’s where we shop and play, and for many, where we work. So let’s keep our neighbors and friends working by supporting their businesses as we move into this joyful holiday season.

We hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving — and will fill La Jolla’s streets with our own version of a “Black Friday” crowd today.