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The CAMSA Quarterly
Special 2020 Holiday Edition

Dear California Main Street Alliance
A Letter to the Network
I don’t think any of us could have predicted that 2020 would bring such unprecedented changes and challenges. Although our communities have experienced significant hardships due to the pandemic, our California Main Street programs have met the moment and risen to the occasion to provide much needed support to their businesses and communities. I continue to be impressed by the innovation and creative solutions CAMSA has employed to help our organizations and businesses tackle uncertainty and constant shifts necessary to operate in the wake of Covid-19. Sadly, while we have seen some business closures, we are encouraged by the number of new businesses that have opened over the past nine months. Entrepreneurship is on the rise as people seek new ways to earn income and try out new ideas to address the unique challenges in our commercial districts.

The California Main Street Alliance is proud of the work we’ve done throughout the year: reconstituting our board of directors, engaging with our members, and providing training and resources. Our first ever virtual conference was a resounding success. As 2020 comes to a close, we look forward to continuing to build and strengthen our network to meet the challenges ahead.


Amanda Elliott
Director of the California Main Street Alliance
View the Letter
Pictured above: Mailbox for letters to Santa set up in Downtown SLO. Photo Credit: Heraldo Creative Studio
The Downtown Martinez Gift Box
Main Street Martinez

Launched for the first time this holiday season, the Downtown Martinez Gift Box initiative provided a way for Main Street Martinez to promote their small businesses while also giving the community an active opportunity to support both small businesses and the Main Street program. To the customer, these gift boxes were a holiday treat full of unique items from local businesses. These gift boxes were certainly a way to safely support small businesses, but this program also raised funds for the Main Street organization.

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this program and providing resources on how you can replicate this holiday promotion and fundraiser in your own district.

Read More
Pictured above: The items included in the Downtown Martinez Gift Boxes. Photo Credit: Main Street Martinez
Main Street Hanford created a great video to highlight local business owners in the commercial district and the lengths they are going to keep their businesses open and safe during new regional mandates. A great way to keep the spirit of Small Business Saturday alive throughout the holiday season and beyond!
Lights on Celebration
Hollister Downtown Association

This year, the Hollister Downtown Association hosted a Reverse Parade for their traditional Lights on Celebration event. Due to pandemic-related safety constraints, the Main Street program placed 33 parade entries—floats, vehicles, dancers, and decorations—along a looping road around outside the Hollister Municipal Airport. Attendees were able to drive along this loop to view the parade, themed “Inside Santa’s Workshop,” out their car windows. The route was so popular, cars waited in line for over an hour on the highway just to view the celebration! Swag bags, candy, and a waving Santa were available to attendees throughout the parade.
Read More
Pictured above: Images of stops along the reverse parade route. Photo Credit: Corey Shaffer
Around the Network

•   The Black Cultural Zone's weekly Akoma Market served as the venue for the Third Annual Black Sunday Holiday Expo, hosted by the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. This holiday-themed outdoor market showcased wares from Black and Brown farmers, food vendors, and more. Learn more.

•   A new partnership between Downtown SLO and their local children’s museum is providing socially distanced fun all season long. Their recently published holiday activity book includes an engaging scavenger hunt called "The Search for Santa’s Mouse," which encourages families to stroll through the commercial district following clues to decode where Santa's Mouse is hiding. Learn more.

•   The Richmond Main Street Initiative kept things merry and bright by hosting Santa Claus is Coming to Rich City: an evening event where 22 volunteers made 140 stops to deliver goodie bags to 300 young people in Richmond. In addition to small toys, new books, and fresh fruit, these bags also contained a special invitation to the Main Street's virtual Downtown Holiday Festival. Presented in partnership with East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, this virtual experience provided an evening of yuletide cheer with Storytime with Santa and a performance of A Richmond Nutcracker. Learn more.
•   This year, the OB Gift Guide from the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association is available as a printed document and as an online resource, with items linked to small businesses for easy access. In addition to creating the guide, the Main Street program provided a festive virtual tour on Facebook Live of the featured businesses. Each video highlights the holiday giveaways and discounts the small business featured in the guide is providing. View their video.

•   This holiday season, MainStreet Oceanside hosted a new shopping program called Shop Local Oceanside. This shopping program calls on the community to enhance their engagement with the commercial district by using special coupon books, entering social media contests, and attending special events hosted all holiday-season long. Learn more.

•   Livermore Downtown has gone virtual with its Virtual Holiday Village! Announcing its soft launch at the end of November, this Virtual Village allows shoppers to explore the downtown business locations, view unique and carefully curated items, and choose how they wish to make their purchases. Learn more.
Do you have events, partnerships, or updates you would like to share with the network? 
Member Information
  • Our Communities | Check out the new Our Communities page on our website for information on all of the California Main Street programs in the Network.
  • “Like us” on Facebook | Please tag @CAMAINSTREET so we can promote your Main Street program.
CAMSA Programs

Bellflower | Benicia
 | Brentwood | Cardiff-by-the-Sea | Carlsbad
Chico | Coachella | Coronado | Del Mar | Encinitas | Eureka | Fremont
Grass Valley | Gilroy
| Hanford | Hollister | Leucadia | Livermore
Mariposa | 
Martinez | Oakland | Ocean Beach | Oceanside
Paso Robles | Pleasanton | Redding | Richmond | San Luis Obispo
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Our mailing address is:
National Main Street Center
53. W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604

P: 312.610.5613 F: 202.588.6050

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