November 6, 2020
I never thought I would be the one wishing to hear the old familiar song Jingle Bells, especially in early November, but here we are. It has been a long week and I admit I am wishing hard. May the sound of those bells cancel out the noise from this crazy election, may it ease our anxiety and fears about this pandemic and may it give us hope in knowing that 2020 is coming to its end. Turn it up everyone and be grateful and celebrate.  

Los Gatans - we really do have lots to celebrate this holiday season, so let’s not take what we have for granted and let’s get on with the party!  Los Gatos in Lights will brighten up the Town the week of November 19th. The Town and Chamber’s collaborative project is sure to delight residents and visitors of all ages.  

The horses are coming to Town on December 4th. Book your Carriage Ride today. This 32 year old tradition continues to charm. We have plans to follow all safety guidelines. Come join for a memorable and magical ride through town. 

We would be foolish not to celebrate the fact that we live in California where it is warm most of the year. The Santa Clara County health officials have indicated we will not see much indoor dining this winter. We will continue to be careful and cautious, but it’s California; put on those jackets and some warm socks; plan to dine alfresco and support your local restaurants. It feels good.  

As you can imagine, shopping Local is more important than ever this year. As residents here, we have to look out for our own. The Chamber is making it easy and fun this year to do everything local, even Amazon will be running scared. 

Be sure to pick up a Holiday LG Local Passport and start shopping and dining at your local favorites (starts November 23). After filling out the passport drop it into one the designated passport collection boxes for a chance to win a fabulous prize. At print time, more than 75 local businesses are participating. 

The Chamber has partnered with a new local business, locale, to give you an opportunity to create your own special holiday gift box for yourself, a neighbor, teacher, client or friend. These boxes are filled with your choice of locally sourced products. I think this is the best ‘Shop Local’ idea I have ever seen and I have been working for chambers for a long time. Stay tuned for order details on these special holiday boxes, meanwhile you can order today from locale and know you are making a difference and helping your Town. 

Be sure to remember our local senior citizens in these next few months. This pandemic has been hard on us all, but I think perhaps it has that segment of our society has been hit the hardest. The holidays will make that feeling of isolation even worse. Community, companionship and a sense of belonging are all they want and need. We have to be good neighbors, open our hearts, share, listen and be patient.  

Congratulations to the winners in our local election. Cheers to Mary Badame, Maria Ristow and Matthew Hudes. As you join Council members Rob Rennie and Marico Sayoc, thank you in advance for leading us into this next year with open minds and thoughtful discussions. There will be lots of decisions to make. 

I also wanted to congratulate one of our locals - Ann Ravel. You ran a great race for State Senate office. You taught us all so much about grace and about our democracy. Votes are still being counted, but no matter what happens you will always be a favorite. As Ann wrote in a recent letter, ‘our passion and our energy can be game-changing’. If you want something badly enough, make it happen. 

Before I sign off on this beautiful warm November afternoon, I wanted to share a short, thought provoking story. This morning, I was out walking and ran into a friend. She asked how I was doing and commented how nice it was that the election was over. For a quick second, I thought she must be losing it. This national election is far from over I thought to myself. I politely asked what she meant and told her that I was not feeling particularly calm at the moment. Then she asked "Do you have hope for your candidate?” “Of course” I offered. She then said “all Americans have hope right now for their candidate” It is so true - hope is universal and we all have that in common. Regardless of who is named the next President, we will continue to have hope. Together, blue or red or in between, we can get through anything. We are going to be alright. I suppose she is right. What I found funny about the conversation, I really do not know her candidate is and she did not know mine. Maybe, this is what democracy look like.  

Cheers to this holiday season. Get out and enjoy it as much as you can. May everyone have hope for the future. 

Catherine Somers
Executive Director
Carriage Rides
Carriage Rides are on for 2020!
 
Enjoy a holiday tradition in downtown Los Gatos and feel the romance of Christmas past. Ride in an elegant horse-drawn carriage with a friendly driver and horses wearing holiday bells. The evening ride starts in Town Plaza and continues through the Almond Grove district. This 15-20 minute ride will take you by beautifully decorated, historic homes and along downtown's N. Santa Cruz Avenue. The carriage ride booth is located in Town Plaza, at the corner of S. Santa Cruz Avenue and Montebello, across from the Post Office.
Schedule 2020
 
  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 4-6, 5:00-9:00pm
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, December 10-13, 5:00-9:00pm
  • Thursday - Wednesday, December 17-23, 4:30-9:00pm
We will be following all Santa Clara County and State protocols:
  • Carriages will be cleaned between each group of riders
  • Masks must be worn.
  • 6' social distancing must be observed at all times when not in the carriage.
  • No blankets will be provided. Please bring your own and dress warmly.
  • Maximum 6 people in a carriage (even the large carriage)
  • Riders should all be from the same household
Thank you to Linda L. Lester & Lester Square - our exclusive Carriage Ride sponsor.
Holiday Happenings Sneak Preview
The Chamber and the Town are working hard to provide a festive atmosphere for the holidays. So although we can't have the Parade or the Tree Lighting, we can all celebrate Los Gatos in Lights. From mid-November through January, enjoy our immersive light displays around Town. This 26' high starburst is just a preview of what's to come...
2020 Shop Local Passport Program
November 23 - December 31
Shop Local. Dine Local. Play Local. Win Local.
 
The LG Local Passport program rewards you for supporting local businesses by shopping, dining and enjoying Los Gatos.
 
Every time you spend $20 at a participating business, a box on your passport will be marked. When your passport is filled (20 boxes), complete the form and drop it off at a passport box at one of the participating businesses. Each completed passport is a chance to win a prize in our drawing.  Drawing to be held on January 4th.

Passports will be available November 20 at the Chamber office, participating locations and downloadable on our website. Visit our website for all details.
 
Prizes:
Gift cards and merchandise from your Los Gatos businesses.
  • Grand Prize $1000
  • Prize #1 - $500
  • Prize #2 - $250
COVID Testing
El Camino Health
November 19
Friends of the Chamber
Would you like to show your support for the Chamber and the community? Friends of the Chamber is a membership category we've created for community members who do not own businesses, but would like to support the Chamber in our efforts to be a catalyst, convener and a champion for a stronger community. Anyone who has donated $100 or more to our "Support the Chamber" effort is an automatic Friend. If you'd like to become a Friend of the Chamber click here to donate or click the Join Now button on our website. Those who donate $50 or more receive a "Friends of the Chamber" sticker, pictured above.
Los Gatos Together 2020 Mask
NEW COLORS! Stop by our office for a fun Los Gatos Together 2020 mask. Thanks to Kristina Taroni of Number One Broadway for having them made! $14 (navy, black, gray, pink)
Member Events
Christmas Goose Boutique
Now Online!
Friends of the Library
Now Open
Digital Marketing Workshops
While you are sheltering in place, now is a great time to learn about digital marketing. Sofya Elperin-Smirvov is an expert in small business marketing. Sofya offers digital marketing training, consulting and full marketing management. She is an expert in paid search ads, email marketing, social media, content creation, website optimization and all digital and traditional marketing channels.

Email Marketing + MailChimp How-To, November 18, 1-2:30pm, $20

Registration required for all webinars
Certificate of Origins
Los Gatos Chamber is now processing Electronic Certificates of Origin. In partnership with the American World Trade Chamber of Commerce, we offer electronic chamber-stamped Certificates of Origin and export related documents. 
FEES FOR ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN
  • $25.00 for Chamber Members
  • $55.00 for non-members
Protect Los Gatos
Maybe you've noticed these green signs around town? The Chamber and the Town are embarking on a Protect Los Gatos campaign, reminding people to social distance and wear a mask. We've placed signs around town: on A-frames, in store windows and on pop-up patios. Please keep us all safe!

If you'd like a sign, stop by the Chamber office and pick one up.
Town of Los Gatos website
The Town of Los Gatos has compiled a very comprehensive page of Covid-19 messages and resources. It outlines how all the Town departments are functioning throughout this crisis. In addition, it has resources for businesses and individuals, as well as ways you can volunteer.
Coronavirus Update
For the latest updates, please visit Santa Clara County Public Health.
Need information from one of our past newsletters? Click below for the last 3-4 months (before that email us).
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