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Celebrate local businesses on EncinitUS Day, April 2

The staff at Hanson Surfboards in their EncinitUs shirts.
(Courtesy)

Encinitas 101 MainStreet is presenting EncinitUS Day on Friday, April 2, a day dedicated to supporting local and small businesses. Participating merchants will be offering specials and 101 MainStreet will be selling its “Together EncinitUS” t-shirt s as well as other city pride attire.

Typically MainStreet hosts its Spring Street Fair in April but due the pandemic, the event has been canceled for the second straight year.

“We are 99% funded by events and with our events completely shut down, during COVID we completely tanked,” said Irene Pyun, executive director.

Kim Locker, owner of Lobster West in downtown Encinitas.
Kim Locker, owner of Lobster West in downtown Encinitas.

(Courtesy)

This isn’t to say that they haven’t been busy. Over the last year, they created a fundraiser called the Encinitas Support Fund that with the help of the Harbaugh Foundation raised over $110,000 and distributed checks to 66 businesses in Encinitas.

The non-profit also advocated for an emergency moratorium on commercial evictions and worked with city staff on the Shared Streets Pilot Program to utilize county grant money to create outdoor dining solutions for downtown restaurants. On their social media pages, they helped spread the word about local businesses, highlighting the people who put their hearts and souls into what they do.

Without events to help raise funds to support their mission of historic preservation and renewal of downtown Encinitas, they created the fundraising Together EncinitUS t-shirts and sold them to their member businesses as well as online and at their office on Highway 101.

“We haven’t been able to keep them in stock,” Pyun said.

The idea of EncinitUS is to gather support for the community and create a sense of solidarity: “We are in this together”. Pyun said EncinitUS Day evolved out of that concept, a chance for Encinitas residents to show local shops and eateries that they care and want them to stay—as well as celebrate the community’s strength coming through this challenging time.

“We thought it is very impactful to support each other during this time, to show that shopping small is important and shopping local is important,” Pyun said.

During the pandemic, Encinitas businesses have suffered but Pyun is proud that locals have rallied by ordering take-out or delivery, shopping online and dining out in parking lots and street sides. Pyun said many businesses will need time to recoup their losses from this challenging year but they are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with expanded reopening opportunities now that the county has moved into the red tier.

Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar owner Johanna Wright.

Pyun said they don’t anticipate holding full-scale 101 MainStreet events until the fall, hopefully in time for the November street fair. They are also planning to modify their Taste of Encinitas event as they did last year—rather than visiting multiple restaurants, participants reserve a time at one featured restaurant with a special fixed menu.

In another exciting development for 2021, MainStreet is also gearing up to re-launch the Encinitas Farmers Market in the spring. The plan is for the weekly market to return in a new location in Cottonwood Creek Park.

To purchase a Together EncinitUS shirt, visit shopencinitas101.com. Keep up with the latest on their Facebook @Encinitas101 and Instagram at @encinitas101mainstreet


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