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ORANGE : City OKs Funds for Economic Program

A plan to strengthen Orange’s economic base and make the city more attractive to new business is in the works.

City Council members, acting as the Orange Redevelopment Agency, voted this week to approve $120,000 for an economic development program for the city.

City and Chamber of Commerce officials have been discussing such a program for two years, said Councilman Mike Spurgeon, a member of the city’s marketing committee.

“Like many cities, we have a sales tax base that has to be enlarged” by attracting new businesses into the city, Spurgeon said. “It has been slowly declining as it is in many maturing cities.”

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The funding for the first year of the program will come from the advertising and promotion, redevelopment and cable television accounts, Spurgeon said.

The city expects to spend about $60,000 to hire a consultant who can assess the city’s needs and develop a strategy to attract both small business and large commercial developments, such as auto malls and discount centers. Other funds will be used to pay for advertising, trade show exhibits and a newsletter.

“We’re not in trouble now but we can’t rest on our laurels,” Spurgeon said. “It’s like that old adage: To make money you got to spend money. This is an investment for the future for Orange.”


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