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North Fork Takes "Think Local First" Campaign County-wide

NORTH FORK – Madera County residents are being invited to participate in a quick, online survey to help frame the economic development of our communities.

On Tuesday Oct. 1, the North Fork Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Fresno State University and Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council(YSRC&DC), will launch its first ever county-wide research study to analyze consumer behaviors and recreational habits of Madera County residents.

Historically, the extraction of natural resources has been the primary economic driver of mountain communities in Eastern Madera County. Today, however, the disappearance of those industries has created a vacuum effect within our communities leaving recreation and leisure based industries the key to economic revitalization.

“The seasonal nature of this industry calls for an economic analysis of this extent because the viability of small-town local economies depend on liquidity entering, remaining in circulation, and never leaving the community” says Chamber of Commerce Manager Neil O’Brien who is spearheading the research project.

The questionnaires completed by residents will identify the tendency of Western Madera County residents to engage in leisure and recreational activities found in Eastern Madera County areas, while identifying what goods and services Eastern Madera residents demand the most from outside of their communities.

The data collected will allow various Chambers, existing businesses, and aspiring entrepreneurs to visualize the unique demands of Eastern Madera communities, while also “providing a snapshot of our progress towards building economically sustainable communities—which is a goal of the area’s ‘Think Local First’ campaign,” says Brittany Dyer, Program Development Manager for YSRC&DC.

“I think that this exercise of folks answering these questions is a good start to bring the conversation home to the dinner table. They can talk about how their shopping habits contribute to, or detract from our county’s overall economic and employment picture,” points out North Fork Chamber of Commerce President, Scott Marsh.

“Anyone living in Madera County can help us out by providing feedback. Completing a survey takes about 3 to 5 minutes, it doesn’t cost respondents a dime, and personal information will not be collected,” explains Madera Board of Supervisor Tom Wheele,r who is also the president of the YSRC&DC.

Madera County residents and business owners of all ages are encouraged to complete a survey by visiting, or by scanning the QR code provided below using a Smartphone device to be directed to the questionnaire. The survey will be launched Oct.1 and closed on Oct. 31.

QR code for Chamber of Commerce survey 10-13

North Fork Chamber of Commerce is privately funded, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to revitalize the local economy in a sustainable manner that benefits the residents, business owners, and tourists visiting the area. Neil O’Brien is a Fresno State University student majoring in Recreation with a minor in Economics fulfilling an internship placement through the Department of Recreation. The Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council is a four county non-profit organization the ‘Think Local First’ campaign in the region. The mission of YSRC&DC is to promote the quality and aesthetic values of our cultural, environmental, and recreational resources by improving the quality of life through diverse sustainable economic development.

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