Mark Haywood

Retail Sales Slowly On The Rise In Orange, Surrounding Counties

ORANGE COUNTY – According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the local economy is showing signs of improvement. The year-end results for Orange County show taxable retail sales rose seven percent between 2011 and 2012. County Manager Frank Clifton says trends are starting to return to where they were before the economic crisis. “Where people were not spending or holding back on certain expenditures in 2011, they’ve started to move forward in 2012,” Clifton says. Clifton also says opening smaller shops in the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough areas have led to growth. He says some of those businesses have grown out of plans for the future. “The Edge Project in Chapel Hill, and then the hotel project down in Carrboro, that I think are stimulating activity in those areas, and you know, you may have some small businesses that are doing better as a result of some of those activities,” Clifton says. In addition to projects around town, Clifton says there’s an opportunity for economic expansion across the interstates that crisscross Orange County. He says with the addition of utilities in these areas, opportunities for retail and even small-scale manufacturing will become available. Despite the economic growth, Orange County still finished behind Durham County last year. Durham experienced an 8.1 percent jump in retail sales between 2011 and 2012. Because Orange County prides itself on homegrown, local businesses, many...

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