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Commerce moves downtown



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October 09, 2013 - After two and a half years of searching, the Orion Township Chamber of Commerce finally found their new location: near the heart of the downtown.

Thursday, October 3 Alaina Campbell, executive director, surprised chamber of commerce members at their monthly luncheon with a word scramble of the new location at Shadbolt and N. Lapeer St.

As members worked through the code, they followed directions and balloons to 46 N. Lapeer at Shadbolt.

"It was just amazing that the timing worked out, because we got the key to this space Wednesday, so we had to take advantage of the fact that we had 80 people across the street at 51 North for lunch," Campbell said. "It was actually our intern Kate [Bumhoffer] who helped us come up with the idea for the surprise. It was a wonderful way to get people in the front door, have them see where we're at, let them know they can utilize this space now, so it just worked out great."

After looking at multiple spaces around Orion Township, Campbell and the board decided on the "hub, the center of the community" to help revitalize its attraction.

"In a lot of cities where they are trying to revitalize the downtown, one of their key strategies is to get their chamber to move their office down there if they're not already there," she said, citing Muskegon as an example. "It's really going to help not only us as a chamber, but the downtown area as well."

Not only will it bring more foot traffic, she said, but also current and potential business owners to see the downtown area.

"I'm really excited too about DJ Crashers and Birmingham Sealcoat being in this building as well because they are going to bring a lot of young people to this area to see what we have here, and those are the types of things that we need—businesses that are attracting young people in particular to see our downtown. That's what creates the synergy that makes the downtown area become attractive to new businesses and entrepreneurs."

DJ Crashers and Birmingham Sealcoat are moving into the building as soon as possible also, with the chamber spearheading the move.

Campbell said the new commerce office will be up and running within the week.

Next spring Campbell is planning the grand opening of the new chamber offices, which she will probably piggy-back on another downtown event, like the Flower Fair.

"That's one thing we will always be looking at, is how can we benefit the downtown area and help increase attendance in events that are already going on," she said.

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