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Invest North Bay annual meeting short on details about attracting new business

Investment attraction group speaks of Toronto marketing, hospitality suite and surplus
20200902 invest north bay agm
The Invest North Bay AGM was held on Zoom, but reporters were only allowed in for two items. (BayToday photo)

The Invest North Bay board held its annual general meeting Sept. 2, but more was left unsaid, than announced.

The meeting was held virtually on Zoom, but reporters were muted for the entirety and then shut out without the opportunity to ask any questions.

No mention of the board actually attracting new business to the city was made, and the controversial $1.2 million marketing contract that was broken with TWG Communications wasn't addressed.

Board president George Burton allowed only a list of initiatives and the financial report to be presented during the 30-minute public portion. No documents were made available to the media.

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A number of board members were absent, and the speculation is that there have been some resignations.

Invest North Bay was formed in 2016 with the mandate of attracting business to North Bay and creating new jobs. The city provides annual funding of $140,000.

Executive director Ian Kilgour outlined to the board the initiatives taken by Invest North Bay over the past couple of years. It included buying a suite on the opening night of 2018 Ford World Women's Curling Championship to wine and dine prospective new business.

The report says one company did eventually relocate here. Another initiative was a marketing campaign in Toronto to generate awareness of North Bay.

Although the list was lengthy, it was not given to reporters.

Financially, Invest North Bay finished 2019 in the red by $42,000 on revenues of $420,000, but Kilgour pointed out that Invest North Bay is still is carrying a surplus of $247,000, accumulated from city funding during the first couple of years of operation.

"I was making sure that our media guests picked up on that," added Kilgour.

"As much as we're in a deficit position for this year, overall we're not in a deficit because we have a healthy surplus."

BayToday reached out to both Kilgour, Burton and Mayor Al McDonald for comment on the meeting, but our calls were not returned.

– BayToday




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