Activating Local Businesses to Shape Our City

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Activating Local Businesses to Shape Our City

HANDS engages community stakeholders to lead, provide input into vision plans and uses collaborations and real estate development as tools to raise neighborhoods. HANDS seeks to empower local business owners to create healthy, equitable communities. Local business owner, Roger Apollon, Jr., co-owner of Four City Brewing Company, is a great example of how a business owner can take charge in shaping the culture if a community.  

“Throughout history, it has been local business owners that have had a large part of determining the culture and direction of a town or city.  In fact, it would be odd for a very successful business owner in a town NOT to be involved in community building since their businesses are often a sense of pride for the town they serve. This is why before we even began construction of our brewery, we had many meetings with Mayor Dwayne Warren and his staff to discuss exactly how our brewery would benefit the town of Orange.

In my opinion, small businesses are the backbone of any town.  While the focus of late has been on the “big box”, national chains, people now want a more intimate and personalized shopping experience.  Small businesses like ours have a tremendous opportunity to define what the retail environment of Orange can look like for the next few years.  Four City plans on showing everyone how much talent, creativity and great beer is here in Orange!

I see Four City as an employer to many local residents, a cultural and social center of the Oranges, a rejuvenator of local pride in Orange, and a contributor to the non-profit organizations that provide essential services to Orange.

To me, community is the next layer after your immediate family.  It’s the relationships you have with your neighbors, vendors, business owners and government officials.  Like any relationship, it must be maintained and cared for. Local connectivity is the key to real and meaningful change.” – Roger Apollon, Jr.

HANDS’ vision looking forward is for Orange and neighboring cities to be composed of healthy, robust neighborhoods where empowered residents want to—or are able to– raise their families and run businesses.

With your support, we can continue to lead initiatives to create a just and beautiful city. Consider making a donation today.

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