How can residents support local businesses during the unprecedented COVID-19 coronavirus shutdown era? A new website known as Vital Civitas
aims to help residents and Manhattan Beach businesses connect.
The website is the brainchild of father-daughter-son team Matt Figel, Sara McLoughlin Figel, and David Figel. The Figels created the website to streamline the electronic sale of gift cards and facilitate additional e-commerce, while mobilizing community members who want to support local businesses.
According to the website's mission statement: "'Civitas' is a Latin word that can be translated to 'community' or 'citizenship.' VitalCivitas.com is derived from those values. Vibrant, vital communities are the soul of society. VC is designed to provide you with a single online Main Street so you can continue to support the local business you love."
For each business, Vital Civitas provides a link to a website as well as a phone number and email address. Vital Civitas also specifies whether visitors can buy gift cards over the phone or online.
"People want to help local businesses but they aren’t sure of the best way," said Sara McLoughlin Figel. "We’re just trying to aggregate information."
McLoughlin Figel, a student who is currently on break from graduate business school, adds that Vital Civitas isn't selling anything and isn't charging anything. "It's for anyone who thinks their business will benefit - we want to help them," she said.
Currently the website has pages for both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach businesses. Any Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach business is invited to join by filling out information on this form.
Collectively, the Figels are the family members of Linda McLoughlin Figel, co-founder of pages, a bookstore