Orange Chamber opts to not shop local

Published 8:56 am Saturday, July 4, 2015

Shop local.
Shop Orange first.
Shop Orange County.
The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of over 450 businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs from the cities of Orange, Pinehurst and West Orange that are here to help local businesses thrive and to promote economic development. “We not only want to do our part in giving our current businesses the support they need, but we also want to encourage continued development and growth. Additionally, we want the community as a whole to understand the asset we can be as a source of information, a promoter of community involvement and much more” according to the official website at
For a year, residents and businesses alike have heard these words from local chambers.
Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce has kicked off an advertising campaign for a Slice of Orange using ‘all’ platforms for marketing.
However, one quickly notes, the campaign does not include any local print media. The Orange Leader is one of the oldest members of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber, which insists residents should shop locally, hired a marketing company located outside the county.
The Refinery Source is a marketing, consulting and design company located in Beaumont in Jefferson County.
How is one to follow the suggestion of shopping locally when the organization kicking off the campaign is not shopping locally?
There are marketing companies right here in Orange, and within Orange County that would have enjoyed the task of marketing their hometown. A quick Google search results in at least four such companies.
According to a promotion to encourage local businesses to buy into the Slice of Orange campaign, 50 – 70 percent of dollars spent locally is re-invested into the community through taxes and other expenditures. However, the chamber is asking local businesses to spend money which will assist a county other than Orange.
In the same presentation, this affects:
• Quality of the schools
• Healthcare
• Community recreation
• Decrease in Emergency Services
• Fewer Social Services
• Fewer jobs
• Higher taxes
These are reasons we are suppose to support local businesses and shopping locally.
“When you choose to shop locally, your money helps to grow local business. Growing businesses hire additional employees to meet the needs of their customers. These new jobs allow these employees to move their families to our area. As more families move to our county, our school districts enroll more students” according to a press release from Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce announcing ‘Shop Orange County’ in September 2014.
Sadly, the chamber is not following their own suggestions and is shopping outside the county.