CEDO to convene economic summit

BURLINGTON - CEDO and the Micro-Business Alliance will hold an Economic Summit in the Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall Feb. 13 from 8:30-11 a.m. "Building A Vision for Our Community's Economic Future" will be the theme of this collaborative session.

The City of Burlington's Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) and the Micro Business Alliance have hosted three meetings since early December 2008, with focused discussions on commercial lending, economic development and workforce training. With the success and collaborative spirit of these recent gatherings, CEDO seeks to broaden the scope, soliciting the community's input on what can be accomplished in five years if the City, citizens, business owners and local organizations work together. This Summit is part of concerted effort by CEDO and the Alliance to be proactive in responding to the economic crisis.

"We need to be there for the entrepreneurs," said Bruce Seifer, CEDO's Assistant Director for Economic Development. "Many of our local companies have thus far weathered this situation quite well. But for a business to grow, or to get started, entrepreneurs need access to capital, need well-trained employees, and need physical space. We've helped many innovative and resilient businesses start or expand during past downturns, and we aim to do an even better job this time out."

The Summit is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in shaping the economic future of Burlington is encouraged to attend, particularly small business owners. The event will open with a welcome and remarks from Mayor Bob Kiss, followed by a summary of results and viable ideas generated in the earlier discussions. "As we respond to current economic challenges, it's important to include as many people as possible in the process," said Mayor Kiss. "Burlington's economic vitality depends on an engaged citizenry, an active and involved for-profit and non-profit business community, as well as other stakeholders. I encourage anyone interested to attend this business summit as we begin to chart Burlington's economic future."

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