September 5, 2017 is here already.  Summer is winding down quickly and fall is just around the corner.  Parents are scrambling to get their kids back to and in school…where did the summer go???

As we start to prepare for the cooler weather and eventual snow, it is great to see the activity that has begun over the last couple of weeks…. the annual arrival of our post secondary students and families attending Canadore College, Nipissing University, and CTS Canadian Career College.  The influx of this student population, is a huge boost to our local economy and welcome to first time students and welcome back for those returning.

Many studies have been done that try to capture the economic value of what these students bring to our community.  Suffice to say that over the course of the next eight to ten months, millions of dollars will be spent on rent, food and education.  Our colleges and university are one of the largest generators of economic spin off, not to mention the employment income from the employees that work in these institutions.

Over the first few weeks of arrival to our City, we are very privileged to watch and assist in many of the charity events that the student bodies engage in and give back to their adopted community.  The leaders of the student bodies, recognize the importance of giving back and participating in our community.  We have had the opportunity to sit down with many of them and their enthusiasm is contagious.  Our members at the Chamber say, “welcome home!”.

On Thursday of last week, the DIA announced the winner of “Win this Space” contest and SugarDaddy Cupcakes & Catering were the grand prize winner.  Nathan and John Serran and staff were the successful applicants out of ten hopeful businesses that participated in the competition.  They will be setting up shop in the downtown and expect to expand right out of the starting gate.  These two are young, energetic and extremely personable young men with a vision and we are confident that they will be successful.

Last weeks column, focused on the Federal Government’s proposed legislative changes that will affect incorporated businesses across Canada.  We are seeing a ground swell of opposition to these changes and many questions surrounding them.  On September 18th, your North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Dean Decaire from BDO Canada LLP and will be presenting a lunch and learn session, on what these proposed changes will mean to business owners.  Limited space will be available and please watch for our announcement and registration details over the next few days.

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