Downtown Chula Vista. Photo by Chris Stone

Small businesses are at the heart of thriving communities. Yet the pandemic has hit these cherished local gems particularly hard this year.

In response to this difficult time, the city of Chula Vista is encouraging residents to “think small as they shop, dine, stay and play in their community by frequenting their local businesses. The “We built THIS” initiative was created to shine a light on unique Chula Vista makers, restaurants, hotels and shops across the city, and educate the community about the businesses that bring Chula Vista to life.

“We’ve witnessed the passion and creativity of our local businesses as they’ve had to quickly adapt during the challenges of this pandemic,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “It’s crucial for our  community to embrace and support our local businesses now, more than ever before, by shopping local  throughout the holiday season and beyond.”

This proactive economic development initiative is a follow-up to the city’s popular advertising campaign, “THIS is Chula,” launched in 2018. In today’s very different landscape, the city found the highest priority was to reignite community pride and ownership.

Partnering with JPW Communications and local  businesses from around Chula Vista, the city developed a set of videos and messages around the  theme,

“We built THIS. Business by business. Family by family. Neighborhood by neighborhood. By  frequenting our local businesses, we will rebuild our community stronger than ever.”

As part of the initiative, the audience will be invited to take a visual journey into Chula Vista businesses at where they can watch the first of a series of videos showcasing local businesses and why they choose to build not only their businesses but often their families, friendships and living Chula Vista.

The explorechulavista.com website features opportunities to tune into videos, follow the initiative on social media, explore local shopping districts, and discover a variety of small business resources offered by the city of Chula Vista. Digital advertising and social media outreach will further promote the “We built THIS” message.

The campaign kicks off the 2020 holiday season and will extend into 2021.