Businesses Get Morale Boost In Orange

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Changes are inevitable as time passes by-- just take one look at Downtown Orange and you'll see the dramatic difference in business there.

One group of business leaders are now working to promote new change to bring customers back to the area.

Look at many towns throughout the country, and you will see its people living their lives, as they would day to day. What you do not see is its businesses struggling financially.

"In so many cities, the downtown areas tend to lose their customer base to the mega malls, and strip malls," said John Seymour who runs the Orange Pharmacy.

John Seymour says losing the customer base takes away more than a town's money. It takes away a town's character.

The Orange Downtown Alliance is ready to step in and hold on to its more than 200 businesses.

"We're having a forum in our community to address the future business landscape in our downtown area. This will invite and encourage participation of all our merchants in the Main Street project area of Orange," said Jay Harrison, the Executive Director of the Orange Downtown Alliance.

Business in Orange has come a long way since the revitalization of the town almost 14 years ago. Visitors to Orange are seeing more places to shop, dine, and sleep thanks to volunteers with the Orange Downtown Alliance.

"The year before we started our Main Street program, we had a 50% percent vacancy rate, and it's now down to 3%," added Harrison.

Showing the town, now has a spring board, to bounce right into its goals; despite not having a huge advertising budget.

"We have to rely on individual businesses and partnership with our organization, and other organizations and groups, to promote our downtown. Not only regionally, but nationally," added Harrison.

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