2017 Business Appearance Awards


The Aurora Chamber of Commerce resurrected their Business Excellence Awards this year after a 5 year hiatus.

One has to question why, if it is so important, that the Chamber chose to not recognize Business Excellence in Aurora for the last 5 years.  The Newmarket Chamber has been doing it for 28 years.

This year the Town granted the Chamber $15,000 to hold the event.  Does the Aurora Chamber only recognize Business Excellence in Aurora if they get a financial hand-out from the Town of Aurora to do so?

That’s just sad.

For an organization that claims to be honored to “celebrate the Magic of business” they themselves have come up short of producing excellence.

3 years ago the Chamber failed so much at their own business they went into the red.

When I reviewed their 2017 Buyer’s guide earlier this year I found that the Aurora Chamber represents less than 1/4 of Aurora businesses.

I hardly consider that Business Excellence.

But the Mayor is a devout fan, and when the Chamber launched its new website late in the summer he sent his congratulations on a job well done:


Yeah, about that new look.

That’s all it is.

A look.

There’s no substance.

Take a look for yourself.

Under the Section titled “your chamber” we are greeted with this image:


It isn’t a photo taken at the Aurora Chamber or any of its events, but instead, a cheesy stock image bought from Shutterstock.

They all are.

Under the section “shop local” we see a smiling cheese shop lady:


While the copy encourages readers to “Discover the incredible variety of products and services offered by Aurora Chamber of Commerce members” it is certainly strange that the Chamber would choose another cheesy stock image that does not represent any business in Aurora.

Even the image of honey attributed to the Buyer’s Guide & Member Director is stock.

The one selected to represent “Join Us” looks innocent enough:


But it is so widely used it has ended up as the cover of this book


Under “events” is yet another bland and uninspiring stock image:


Even when advertising their own Networking Events they couldn’t be bothered to use an image of one.


I guess with all the business closings it is becoming more difficult to take a photo of an actual open sign then to put up a stock images of one but the entire site appears to be a template with placeholder stock imagery that hasn’t been replaced.

If you were to remove the Aurora Chamber logo this could be a site for any chamber, or any business really.  Which I guess isn’t all that surprising seeing that the site was designed by a Newmarket, not Aurora business.

The Aurora Chamber has members that offer photography services.  They even partner with one to do headshots.  Yet they choose to use meaningless stock images instead of engaging the services of Aurora’s own excellent businesses.

Building an image of a chamber that is supposed to represent Aurora-based businesses without using a single image from any of them isn’t a good look.

Nor is it a job well done.


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