Business was booming in Aurora in 2017, and that should continue in 2018.
Such was the pronouncement recently from David Hulseberg, chief executive officer of Invest Aurora, the city’s non-profit redevelopment corporation.
Hulseberg said key business indicators showed a good year in 2017 and portend another good year in 2018 for Aurora’s business community.
He recently gave Invest Aurora’s 2017 report, including the Business Climate Feedback Report, during a City Council meeting.
One of the key indicators in the feedback report — which is culled from a questionnaire, discussions and visits to city businesses — said that 75 percent of business in town showed increased sales and business in 2017.
For 90 percent of business, there was no change in ownership and management, showing stability, Hulseberg said. And 39 percent of business showed plans to increase jobs in the coming year, up 9 percent from 2016, he added.
“That’s a big number,” he said. “We continued to see a really good year for business in Aurora.”
Invest Aurora had an $831,917 budget in 2017. The city contracts with Invest Aurora and paid $675,500 to it in 2017. That about covers the corporation’s $669,500 in wages and benefits. The rest of the budget is paid for by money Invest Aurora raises.
That figure does not include the corporation’s development programs, including the John C. Dunham Revolving Loan Program, which disbursed $562,884 during 2017 and committed $799,626.
Between the revolving loan program and the corporation’s finish line grant programs, Invest Aurora helped with many business openings and expansions, such as the opening of Endiro Coffee downtown and the M14 Hoops facility on the far East Side, group officials said.
One of the biggest revolving loan successes was at 30 N. Broadway downtown, the former Ziegler Music building. Once empty, it now has two residential tenants in rehabbed spaces, Hulseberg said.
Invest Aurora is involved with both business retention and outreach to new business. Hulseberg said the corporation completed 285 requests for information to outside business in 2017, an 83 percent increase from 2016.
The Business Outreach Program made 713 contacts with new business during the year.
For business retention, Invest Aurora held 13 business forums for existing business, and did a number of retention visits.
“These retention visits are probably one of the most important things we do,” Hulseberg said. “We get to touch the community.”
For full details of the article, click here.