AURORA – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) held his first-ever Main Street Tour in Aurora, Ohio alongside Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. During the tour, Dave and the Mayor met with constituents and business owners to hear their concerns, answer their questions and exchange ideas on how to continue building upon local economic growth and enhancing the community. The tour began at the fire station, included a visit to three local businesses and concluded at the Aurora Police Department.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better city than Aurora for my first-ever Main Street Tour,” said Dave. “When I’m back home in Northeast Ohio, connecting with constituents, local business owners and community leaders is one of my favorite things to do because I get to meet the people who sent me to Washington and get a feel for their concerns and needs. I was honored to spend my day doing just that with Ann and look forward to continuing to do these tours all over Ohio’s 14th Congressional District.”
“Congressman Dave Joyce has come to Aurora frequently and visited companies here, but his walking tour of Town Center establishments was certainly appreciated by everyone,” said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. “Approachable and always willing to listen, Dave is a Representative who cares about his constituents and the communities in his district. It was a pleasure to have him choose Aurora for his first-ever Main Street Tour and I was pleased to join him in thanking our community’s public servants and visiting our small businesses.”
During the tour, Dave chatted with Fire Chief David Barnes and Police Chief Brian Byard about topics of public safety including the opioid crisis, emergency services, and funding for much-needed safety equipment. Fire Chief Barnes, who has been with the department for 42 years, walked Dave through the amount of calls the Aurora Fire Department gets on average per year and how both his full-time and volunteer staff work to protect the community. Police Chief Byard spoke highly of his 33 officers and 11 dispatchers who all implement the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and accountability while on the job. Dave expressed his strong support for both departments and applauded their dedication to serving the Aurora community.
At the Aurora School of Music, which is owned by Vera Holczer, Dave and the Mayor had the opportunity to see a performance by one of Vera’s students, Brian Harper. Brian, who has autism, performed Clair de Luneand received a standing ovationfrom everyone in the room.
“Watching and listening to how beautifully Brian can play the piano was such a moving experience,” said Dave. “It was obvious from the moment we walked into the Aurora School of Music that Vera has not only built an incredible business, but also a supportive community where her students can explore their musical talent and unlock endless opportunities for their futures.”
Dave went on to meet Jane and Ken Ulmer, who own Wayside Workshop. The business is roughly 34 years old but just moved into a new location two years ago, a historic home on South Chillicothe Roadbuilt in 1838. Dave walked through the entire store, admired the handiwork of all the wooden creations and even purchased a small gift for his wife. The third and final local business Dave visited was Abigail’s, a hip jewelry, accessories and apparel store owned by Julie Lazor.
“If only my daughters had been there,” said Dave. “They’d love this store! It was great to hear from Julie about how her business has grown over the past nine years. As of last year, women-owned businesses in Ohio have increased by 37% since 2007 and Abigail’s is part of that success story.”