Put Orange First News
What Put Orange First is all about was on show for all to see last weekend when Orange City was abuzz with people. The big Bird Sale at the PCYC and the Runners Festival both brought oodles of visitors to town and as is so often the case when things like this take place, we hear of the great economic benefits that come as a result. There is no question about it, the more people that are in Orange at any given time, the more money is spent here, there and everywhere, and when that happens, everything good flows from there. Businesses make profit, business owners will often invest some these profits back into their own business or their personal property or lifestyle, the result of this is more work is created for others, jobs are maintained or created and so it all flows on. It all starts with people coming into Orange, not locals but visitors, visitors from the next town, the next state or the next Country.
Doesn’t it therefore make excellent sense for us to make sure we always have things happening to bring more people (from outside Orange) here more often. That’s why Put Orange First wants to see Orange promoted far more aggressively and more often, and not just our food and wine sector. That’s also why Put Orange First is so adamant that we need a permanent tourist attraction like the Mountain Bike facility or the Planetarium to happen sooner rather than later. We can’t just rely on the events that groups or organisations put on, like the Runners Festival or Bird Sale. These are excellent of course, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to the people who put them on, but they should be the cream on the cake, not the cake itself. We need something in place that keeps people coming here week after week, every week! That is to say people who may not normally come here, or come here as often. Occasional events do this of course, but we need things in place to keep teasing or urging more people to come here more often. I can’t say it any simpler than that.
For the record, this responsibility is not Put Orange First’s. This responsibility falls in some measure, to all those in business who claim to care about our city. Overall, it’s a team responsibility, but for the team to function as it ought, it needs to be led by strong leaders, people who we’d all gladly follow and support.
Speaking purely for myself and as a capable marketing person, I believe our Council, our Councillors, Orange 360 and our Business Chamber have all failed us in this area. They may have their reasons, but from where I sit, our Council and Councillors, like so many others, put most of their resources into tourism, Orange 360 puts most of their efforts into Tourism with a heavy emphasis on food and wine, and the Business Chamber puts most of their efforts into the annual Business Awards and not too much promotion of Orange business. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of ratepayers dollars are poured into Council funded initiatives that revolve around tourism and our hospitality sectors, but very little if any, into promoting the remaining sectors of industry, business or services. For some reason, these have to fend for themselves. Please explain to me how that makes sense, or is in any way fair?
With a different mindset, there is so much we could do that would make a real difference to our local economy, but it will take a major change of attitude and direction by those people that hold the purse strings. For all of time to date, and again purely in my personal opinion, those who hold the power still don’t appear to get it.
Put Orange First will keep chipping away within our limited means, but any real success will always be governed by the support, vision and business savvy of those who have the power and resources to do the things that will make a real difference, and be willing to think outside the traditional square.
Here’s a snapshot of items that Put Orange First is currently working on –
Our next Pot Luck Saturday Sale in Orange set down for March 30. We’re in talks with various people about adding extra reasons to come to Orange on that day.
We’re also along the way with an idea for having promotional flags on the Summer Street flag poles all year round.
We are also considering other ways that we may be able to suggest for improving the look and experience visitors get in Orange CBD, and especially Summer Street.
We have made a preliminary approach to Orange Business Chamber to seek their interest in working with us.