The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Bridge City and Vidor Chambers of Commerce and launched a “Shop Orange County” campaign. This campaign is designed to educate our local citizens about the many advantages to keeping our local dollars with our county retailers. This multipart series will focus on the different advantages that shopping locally will bring to our community.

School has started once again for another year. Our local schools are funded based upon a combination of local and state monies combined with enrollment numbers. One of the more impactful pieces to the school funding formula is the enrollment of students. Simply put, the greater the number of students attending a given school district the greater amount of funding available to the local school system.

Our local schools are funded through a combination of state and local tax money at approximately $5000 per student. Each of the school districts in Orange County earn different amounts per pupil based on property values and tax effort. However, when school district enrollments increase, so do local school budgets.

When you choose to shop locally, your money helps to grow local business. Growing businesses hire additional employees to meet the needs of their customers. These new jobs allow these employees to move their families to our area. As more families move to our county, our school districts enroll more students.

This new employment not only helps to meet the needs of our local businesses and their customers. The additional enrollment to our schools also serves to benefit our community. When our schools have additional resources everyone wins. Some of the benefits are improved educational programming, additional extra-curricular resources, and increased teacher pay. These benefits come without any increase to the school tax rate. 

Shopping locally pays many dividends to our community. Our local businesses certainly benefit. However, the impact to the education of our children cannot be overlooked. As our schools grow and thrive, there is a direct economic benefit to our area school districts.

The next time you and your family are shopping or dining out, think locally first. Our local restaurants and retailers offer exceptional service and value. But, remember, your dining and shopping experience doesn’t stop there. The families you support with your patronage help to grow and sustain our local educational system. Shop Orange County and everyone benefits. What Stays Local, Grows Local!