Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Practicing What We Preach

The Blues at the Beach Music Festival showed that we at Totally Local VC practice what we preach. We applied the Local First formula and created an economically positive local event that was fun for all. Here’s how we did it.

Elvin Bishop plays at The Blues at the Beach Music Festival

Elvin Bishop plays at The Blues at the Beach Music Festival on Nov 2, 2013

The Blues at the Beach

The Blues at the Beach Music Festival held on November 2nd at San Buenaventura State Beach was truly a local affair – old and new friends coming together to create one of the top music events of the year.

Keeping it local first – the formula

Sugar Ray

As you know, promoting Local First is a priority for Totally Local VC in each and every thing that we do. When asking our community to support local, we suggest the following strategy when making a shift to local spending:

  1. Local first (businesses located 50 to 100 miles from where you live),
  2. Regional second,
  3. Then State
  4. And finally national.

By doing this, we keep dollars circulating in our community. We help to build a strong local economy, stronger cities, and ultimately, strengthen our states and country as well.

How we did it

Totally Local VC's Kat Merrick with Guy Martin

Totally Local VC’s Kat Merrick with Guy Martin

You might be wondering how a major music event can follow that plan. Well here is how we were able to do it:

  • The first three acts Guy Martin, Shawn Jones and the R&B Bombers are all local boys
  • The Mannish Boys and James Harman are from the LA area and Elvin Bishop lives in the Bay Area
  • The vendors, including the food trucks at Saturday’s event, were all local
  • Our charity for the day, Friends of the Channel Coast, helps to support our local state parks from McGrath up to Carpentaria

In supporting local, we were able to not only showcase our amazing weather, beach, city and bounty of local musical talent but also give back to our local charities while supporting our local music and community. The pre- and after-parties not only packed Yolie’s and Bombay Bar and Grill but also helped to highlight the downtown area of Ventura.

blues-hornAll in all, it was a fun-filled day of music and camaraderie at San Buenaventura State Beach. Totally Local VC is honored to have worked with Players Casino, Roadshow Revival and Friends of the Channel Coast on this wonderful project which helped give so much back to our community.

Thinking and acting local just takes a little bit of thought and the positive impact is huge!

Images credits: Bob Muschitz and Pete Cosenza

Did You Know… that for every $100 you spend at a local  business, $73 will stay in our local economy? Or that for every $100 you spend at a non‐locally-owned  business, only $43 will stay in our local economy.
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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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