Think Apex, the town says

aramos@newsobserver.comFebruary 7, 2014 

— Whether people are looking for a wedding venue, a restaurant or a place to open a business, the town wants them to “think Apex.”

Town Councilwoman Nicole Dozier has pitched a marketing campaign aimed at promoting the town. The effort could include T-shirts, fliers and online listings.

Dozier envisions a series of campaign slogans: “Play Apex,” “Live Apex,” “Work Apex.”

“We want to make sure we let everyone know who is new here, who visits here, that it’s a great place to live, work and play,” Dozier said. “We want to drive people here – not just to promote, but (to) say these things exist here.”

Apex lists about 1,000 businesses on its website, but the list isn’t searchable. Dozier hopes to fix that.

“For example, if someone is looking for fresh food, a farmers market would come up,” she said.

Unlike most municipalities, Apex does not require businesses to get business licenses. That makes it tough for town leaders to keep track of new businesses in town.

The town often learns about new businesses through fire inspections and certificates of occupancy, which don’t cover home-based businesses.

The Town Council was receptive to Dozier’s idea. Next, the council’s economic development committee will review it.

It’s unclear how much the promotional program would cost or how it would be executed.

Dozier’s idea is one of the latest the town has pushed forward in the past year in hopes of becoming more business-friendly.

The town is partnering with the Apex Chamber of Commerce to send out a listing of businesses once a quarter with utility bills.

The “Advertise via Bills” program still needs approval from the chamber’s board, said interim director Stephen Xavier.

In September, Apex partnered with the chamber to host a free workshop on how to start a new business in town. Attendees got a chance to learn about the permitting process, inspections and fees.

Apex is also looking to add a college intern to help the town’s public information officer with economic development and marketing tasks.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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