Chamber of Commerce

Live Blog: Sierra Club-Chamber of Commerce Carrboro Candidate Forum

The Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce are jointly hosting a Carrboro candidate forum this evening at Carrboro Town Hall. Sleep-deprived OP editor Damon Seils attempts to live-blog.

Live Blog: Sierra Club-Chamber Forum for Chapel Hill Candidates

Two of the 3 mayoral candidates and all 9 council candidates are in attendance. The live blogging starts now...

Should the Chapel Hill Town Council be a member of the Chamber of Commerce?

There was an interesting essay in the Chapel Hill News by Steve Hutton which asked the question: "Should government agencies be members of the N.C. Chamber of Commerce or any of the over 160 local chambers?"

The Chapel Hill Town Council is currently a member of the local CoC. Is this a good idea?

Carrboro to county ED leaders: "You just don't understand!"

I thought this was a very direct point about the philosophical divide on economic development (ED) from the Carrboro Board of Aldermen's recent annual retreat.

The aldermen agreed that some organizations just don't get Carrboro's vision, especially the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, and Orange County's Economic Development Commission, and they wondered aloud whether they should seek support from those two groups for the Think Local First Campaign.

- The Herald-Sun - Carrboro wants people to Think Local First, 2/2/2010  

Brian has written about this divide before, but I've never seen it laid out quite so starkly.  Can't we all just get along?

What does "buy local" mean to you?

Yesterday was the last day of Buy Carrboro Week (see adorable flyer at left). This was an initiative of the new group LocalMotive, which is just one of several organizations focusing on economic development and "buying local" in southern Orange County.  Others include the Carrboro Merchant's Association's Walk Carrboro, and the Town of Chapel Hill's Downtown Economic Development Initiative and emerging Franklin Street Artists' Co-op. There are also older/more traditional groups such as the Chamber of Commerce (and their We Buy Local effort), the Visitor's Bureau, and the Downtown Partnership (risen from the ashes of the old Downtown Commission). I'm sure I'm forgetting some, and I'm not even touching on the groups covering Hillsborough and the rest of Orange County. Buy Carrboro Week got me to thinking about our evolving understanding of economic development in Orange County. Just like our views on other issues such as growth management, affordable housing, environmental preservation, and school achievement I think we as a community have been continuing to learn and to look ahead, leading to a change in attitudes and goals. I've started to wonder whether a traditional "Chamber of Commerce"-type approach is all that relevant here anymore.



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