Don’t be surprised if you see Bob the Minion or Mickey Mouse waving at you while driving through 9th Street in downtown Colton.
Scott and Monique Salazar, along with their four children, figured they could help bring out the smiles in people, while helping promote their party supply store Smile Time Jumpers and Slides.
A few blocks away at IB Music on Valley Boulevard, Victor Suarez is providing lessons to residents willing to learn and invest in instruments.
Even though their priority is to make a profit, these two small businesses recognize the rewards of giving back to others.
“We wanted to come out here and put a smile on people’s faces,” said Scott Salazar. “People were honking and waving at the characters. It’s great to see people laughing and smiling for a change.”
The Ibarra family says it understands the impact music programs have on children’s growth. They’ve focused many of their efforts around providing resources to families.
“The more we’re connected to the community, the more of a reception we’re going to get,” said Victor Ibarra, who manages IB Music with his father Fernando. “This is just not about the money. It’s about instilling that passion for music inside the hearts of people that want to learn.”
Ibarra has taken an active role in organizing city events, such as the Taste of Colton. He believes it’s important to expose people to the city’s vibrant culture and small business philosophy.
“We have a lot of different people here,” said Ibarra. “People should walk through our city and see the heavy involvement businesses have on our community. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Instead of going to other cities, it’s essential we shake hands with people here.”
Resident Don Chambers hopes to see more businesses take a proactive role in reaching out to their customers.
“This is what we need,” exclaimed Chambers. “More positivity.”