Claremont Insider: Local News

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Local News

There's some bad weather due in later today, so be careful out there. The rain is supposed to begin this afternoon and continue on through Sunday. Snow levels are supposed to drop to 4,000 by Sunday.

Here's the National Weather Service warning for the next few days.

* * *

Will Bigham writes in the Daily Bulletin that some Claremont businesses are not satisfied with the Village-centric nature of the latest city and Chamber of Commerce marketing campaigns. They've formed their own group called the Claremont Marketing Group to promote businesses located outside of the Village.

This complaint of our town being overly concerned with the Village is not new. It colors everything from the dissatisfaction of South Claremonters with how their part of town has been maintained to the affordable housing discussion - why no affordable housing component in the Village Expansion? Aren't they just segregating the lowest income people to outlying areas of town, away from transit and shopping?

With the exception of the Claremont Auto Center and the Old School House redevelopment, businesses outside the Village seem to feel neglected. The Bigham article reported:

Ruby Schmer, founder of the Claremont Marketing Association, said the group is courting businesses north and south of the Village, as well as home-based firms.

Schmer, owner of Biz2Biz Design & Printing, said she plans to send all non-Village merchants an association membership application in the next two weeks.

When the Village Expansion opened, Schmer said, "It made it more challenging because that's where the city and developers put the most money. So obviously a lot of advertising dollars, business-wise, need to go there.

"But we need to make sure that businesses' advertising goes outside the Village."

Schmer and several other non-Village business owners were rankled by a recent ad campaign, paid for by the Claremont Chamber of Commerce and City Hall, that promoted holiday shopping in the city.

The first newspaper ad of the campaign featured background images of the Laemmle Theatre, the Packing House, and Casablanca Mediterranean Bar & Grill - all in the Village Expansion.

Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos and Claremont Chamber of Commerce CEO Maureen Aldridge are both quoted in the article as saying the recent marketing campaign represented all Claremont businesses.