WILTON — The first session in a series of economic development forums will be held Monday, aimed at helping promote the town as a business friendly community following a spate of recent store closures.

The town and Greater Franklin Economic Development Corporation will jointly host the forum at Calzolaio Pasta Company from 3 to 5 pm. Monday. The event, “Wilton’s Future…Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Energy and Technology,” will be the first in a series to promote the town and Wilton business owners in these industries, said Town Manager Rhonda Irish.

She said the goal of the series is to let the community know that the town is business friendly and wants assist local business people.

“We want people to know that the town is open for business,” she said.

Irish said the topics and dates for the other two sessions have not been finalized yet but will most likely be about marketing business space in the downtown and marketing business products and services.

The idea for an economic forum was first brought up at a board of selectmen meeting late last year. The board had noted that there had been a number of recent business closings in town, including Mt. Blue Agway and Bradley’s Pizza and Harris Golf was also for sale. Since then, 100-year-old Wilton Hardware has also closed its doors.

Irish said anyone who has industrial and office space within the town and along the U.S. Route 2 corridor has been invited to the session, and as of Thursday about 30 planned to attend.

Speakers for the session include Darryl Sterling, former director of economic and community development for Richmond and now executive director of the Central Maine Growth Council; Glen Kapiloff, director of the Foster Regional Applied technology center at Mt. Blue High School; Aaron Paul and Josh Broder from the Three-Ring Binder Project, which is a initiative aimed at expanding Internet access and infrastructure in Maine.

Alison Hagerstrom, director of Greater Franklin Economic Development Corporation, and Irish will also discuss business incentives available.

Irish said representatives for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, U.S.Sen. Angus King and U.S. Rep Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, will tour area businesses before the forum.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 kschroeder@centralmaine.com