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Local efforts aim to promote tourism and small businesses


MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Local agancies make an effort to promote tourism and small businesses as California gets closer to its reopening day.

The Salinas Business Economic and Recovery Task Force is working on a Shop Local campaign that is expected to last throughout the year.

David Alessandro, the owner of Kai Fit said, "the gym had to close its doors, reopen and make adjustments to meet the state and county's safety guidelines. He's hoping it will bring a fresh start.

"I'm hoping that it helps people ease their fears in coming back to the gym and getting back into the gym, you know that we still have safe practices," said Alessandro.

The Salinas Business Economics and Recovery Task Force are working on four initiatives to help small local businesses bounce back from their pandemic losses. The first initiative, a "hashtag campaign," is expected to start early next week. But the hashtag is still yet to be determined.

"This initiative is really focused toward making sure that our dollars stay local and that our small local businesses come out of this strong healthy and thriving and are able to come back," said Lindsey Knight.

According to Alessandro, the hashtag initiative is a great idea that will help promote not only his businesses but many others that perhaps people may not be fully aware of.

"Anything that brings attention to small businesses, people realize how hard everyone's been working to keep open and stay open, not all businesses made it," said Alessandro. "So I think it would be a great idea to bring attention to the smaller businesses that are in people's community."

Kai Fit will be open 24/7 and like other businesses, Kai Fit is also making its own effort to get residents to join their local gym.

"We're having a relieving 2020 and 2020 sale, which is $20 enrollment and $20 for the rest of June," said Vanessa Soto, Kai Fit employee, and Salinas resident. "I think that people are going to once the mask thing is lifted, they're going to see, well, there goes my last excuse."

The other three initiatives include a passport bingo card where residents can get stamps for shopping at local businesses. Also, art displays near businesses where people can take pictures for social media. This will eventually turn into a scavenger hunt. However, these last three initiatives are still yet to be finalized.

“Something that we learned throughout the pandemic is how much of a tool social media can be for businesses," said Soto. "When that starts, it'll be a great way for businesses to connect.”

California News / Central Coast / Local News / Monterey / Monterey County / Top Stories / Video
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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. In other words, when we virtually daily read of over the top gang violence in Salinas, we do not want to set foot inside of anyplace in the city. No one wants to drive around and catch a stray bullet, or have a fender-bender with a gangster. It is like the frog in the hot water…I think that many of the people in Salinas, especially those who run the town and the County are so accustomed to it, that it has become their normal. They think ‘oh, this section is safe’….or ‘that hasn’t happened yet’.
    People I know from all walks of life and all social/economic status won’t set foot inside Salinas.
    And I remember not too many years ago, everyone enjoyed shopping in Salinas, going to a movie, going to one of the churches, getting good restaurant food.

    1. @Jalbert
      Monterey I understand because it is a tourist town, but other than shopping, what does Salinas even have that would be of interest to tourist? Even if they improved the safety factor, what do they have…an air show a rodeo?

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