On Thursday, February 23, Mayor Geoffrey Dawe addressed a packed room of Aurora business community leaders at the 2nd Annual Mayor's Luncheon, hosted by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Dawe spoke to the challenging economic conditions impacting Canadian businesses, brought on by recent global events. Although not immune to these global trends, The Town of Aurora has fared relatively well by withstanding major declines experienced elsewhere. To further this point, Mayor Dawe elaborated on recently completed and current business developments across Town and pointed to the fact Aurora saw healthy increases in the number of businesses and jobs over the last year.

The Mayor also introduced key staff and key projects for 2012, which includes a Business Concierge Service to provide assistance with non-residential development applications and a Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program. BR+E is a business visitation program backed by a structured survey, which will allow the Town to better identify and respond to the concerns and challenges facing Aurora businesses. Town staff recently completed a small number of surveys as part of a successful BR+E pilot, and look forward to rolling out the program Town-wide to 150 businesses. Contact Michael Logue, Strategic Programs Coordinator at 905-727-3123, extension 4324, to learn more about how to get involved in this initiative.

Closing out his remarks to applause from the audience, two major projects for the Town were announced. Best Western® will be constructing an 85-room hotel at the corner of Leslie Street and Don Hillock Drive, complete with restaurant and conference facilities and Canadian company Bulk Barn? will be relocating and expanding their head office and distribution facilities in the same area of Aurora, bringing approximately 300 jobs in the process.