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Community News: Southwest

CRENSHAW : Chamber Zeros In on Local Shoppers

June 06, 1993|ERIN J. AUBRY

The Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce on Saturday kicked off "Buy Crenshaw" month, a campaign aimed at encouraging area residents to patronize businesses in the Crenshaw district.

The campaign, aimed particularly at shoppers who frequent the Fox Hills Mall in nearby Culver City, will use posters, banners, flyers and balloons to heighten awareness of goods and services available in the area.

"We have a lot of buying power in Crenshaw," chamber President Ted Fortier said. "We can't afford not to use that anymore."

Campaign coordinator Nuria Jenkins said banners will be placed at major intersections along Crenshaw Boulevard, and merchants will display balloons that read "Buy Crenshaw" outside their businesses. Flyers listing 100 Crenshaw-area businesses will also be distributed in the community throughout the month.

"The idea is to create visibility and build awareness of the idea of shopping at home," said Jenkins, a vice president at Founders National Bank. "If people really take a moment to look, they'll see that there are a lot of neat shops right here."

See's Candies, the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance and The Boys Markets each contributed $1,000 to the campaign to cover printing costs, and many businesses donated amounts averaging $50.

Though the Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea in March, Jenkins said, it targeted June for the campaign because it is a prime month for buying gifts for weddings, Father's Day and graduations.

Kamauu Da'aood, owner of Final Vinyl, a Leimert Park record store that specializes in rare and collectible jazz recordings, said the monthlong effort is overdue. "People need to be more conscious of where they live, and the possibilities that exist in their own back yard. Something like this can only do good."

Dan Mariscal, owner of a plumbing supply store in Jefferson Park since 1965, said the campaign is an important step toward revitalizing the once-thriving Crenshaw business district.

"When I first came here, Crenshaw was the major car center in the city, but now the dealerships are practically all gone," Mariscal said. "We as businessmen have to stick together on projects like this one if we want to grow. If we act together to draw more people into the community, we'll not only get things accomplished, we'll prosper in the long run."

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