City Rolls Out ‘Aurora Bucks’ to Help Local Businesses

In a time when, sadly, most of the news about businesses is bad, here’s a story to make you smile.

The Aurora City Council voted at its last meeting to give the lion’s share of a recent economic development grant the community received right back to its citizens — in a way that would also help the town’s struggling stores, restaurants and other small businesses.

It’s called “Aurora Bucks.” The $25 vouchers are good at dozens of the town’s small businesses and were mailed to approximately 400 households with their water bills last month.

“The money came from a grant to help our community economy,” Mayor Brian Asher said in a community newsletter explaining the program. “A big thanks to the City Council.”

The vouchers are good until the end of the year, and must be used all at once (no change given). They can be redeemed at a wide variety of businesses, from dining and drinks (including Filbert’s Farmhouse Kitchen, Aurora Colony Pub and the new Chug Coffee), antique stores (like Aurora Depot, Aurora Mills and Main Street Mercantile) — and even essential services: dentistry, health care, groceries, flooring and the Shell gas station.

Aurora City Councilor Mercedes Rhoden-Feely told The Canby Current that the funds for the program came from Marion County.

“With Covid-19 and the impact on the local economy and families, and the cancellation of Colony Days, the council decided that this was a great way to put these funds in the hands of our Aurora families and local businesses,” she said. “It’s a fun project that inspires pride in our community while fostering economic growth.”

If all 400 or so vouchers are redeemed, the cost of the program would come to about $10,000, Rhoden-Feely estimated.

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