On Friday of last week, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce announced it’s newly elected Board of Directors, for the 2019 fiscal year.  Welcome to our new directors, Debbie Hudson-Burrows Country Store & Garden Centre, Tracie Marsh-Premier Mining Products and Bobby Ray- North Bay Granite Club.  The new Board made up of the new directors and returning directors, will be sworn in for the upcoming year at our Board meeting on Thursday.  As well, we want to acknowledge and thank our outgoing Directors Marc Rancourt, Thomas Brown and Rob Deleo for their commitment, dedication and service to our business community.

It has been a busy week within the municipal scene, with the swearing in of the various Municipal Mayors and Councils.  Congratulations to all the successful candidates and good luck as well, as they commence their official duties for the next four years.   We look forward to working with all the communities within our district to assist in attracting, retaining and creating new opportunities, for our business community.  This is no small task and it will require co-operation and collaboration by everyone, in order for this to happen.  Isolation and the creation of individual silos will impair the ability of this region to grow and we encourage all municipalities and politicians, to work to that common goal.

North Bay Council will face its first major decision of this term and this will take place on Wednesday evening, with the “Special Meeting” of Council.  The meeting has been called to deal with the outstanding conditions that were set back in 2012, with the original approval of the Casino for North Bay.  If approved by Council on Wednesday, it is anticipated that announcements regarding the location and construction timetable will follow shortly thereafter.  Reports in many media outlets two weeks ago regarding the Casino proposal, indicated that construction is expected to cost approximately thirty one million dollars.  That would be a great start to the construction season and more so, will demonstrate how “Open for Business” this Council will be.

It was great to see Nipissing University staff and students at City Hall on Friday, for the release of their economic impact numbers.  Annual spending by the university now tops one hundred and thirty million dollars and approximately forty four million of that total is from out of town students.  The report highlighted the fact that Nipissing University is one of the area’s top three employers and the University’s enrollment is just under five thousand full time students.  Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Mike DeGagne and the entire Nipissing University family for not only the economic contributions to our district, but for being an important part of our community fabric, for so many years.

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