The announcement this week coming out of IION and MetricAid regarding the creation of Northern TechHub is great news and congratulations to Rob Deline, Les Blackwell and their respective staff.  With the creation of this new partnership they are doing their parts, to try and accelerate the growth of technology based start-ups or SME’s.  They will be providing access to MetricAid and IION resources, programs and services. This in turn will provide an environment conducive to success and help foster the development of Northern Ontario IT/Technology based firms.  If you are in this sector and possibly fit, more information is available at www.northerntechhub.com.

This is one of a number collaboration’s that we are following and others that we are participating in.  It is refreshing to see the number of individuals and companies that are breaking down barriers that have existed for far too long.  Isolation and protectionism are words that are being thrown out of discussions that are taking place in North Bay and District as we all look at how we do things and attract new business and or retain our youth.

For the first time in a number of years, these discussions are taking place both at the municipal government level and with entrepreneurs, both established and start up.  The emerging economy in the technology sector outside the usual geographical locations, large urban centres, is being noticed by many of the new start ups and young entrepreneurs.  It is cheaper to live, work and play and for most of these young individuals, the lifestyle of non-urban centres, is important.

More of these collaborations and discussions must take place, in order for us as a community, to grow.  The public-sector reliance that North Bay and District has relied upon in the past, has changed substantially in the past decade.  These changes have hurt and it is evident in our census data that has also been a discussion topic in recent months.  If we are going to change these trends, collaboration, partnerships, and positive attitudes are needed at every level, for this area to rebound and to borrow a title from south of the border, ignite our futures.

We have a lot of talent and experienced people that reside in this city and surrounding municipalities.  They are all part of the solution to what ails our economic stagnancy.  As a business community, this expertise and their willingness to share that same expertise, is invaluable.   Every organization and members sitting at the various tables for economic development, including NBDCC, must work together better in the future.  The announcement that I have mentioned previously is a great start to what I hope is just the beginning.

Peter Chirico is the CEO and President of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.