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North Bay Chamber celebrates best in business

Annual awards ceremony goes virtual
Don Champagne
Don Champagne of North Bay Plastic Molders was recognized by the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce for his efforts to pivot and adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce celebrated its top businesses of the year on Oct. 19, albeit in a different format than usual.

Hosted online during a virtual event, the Chamber’s Bell Evening of Excellence Awards recognized the efforts of business leaders in six categories.

The event coincides with the celebration of Small Business Week, observed nationally from Oct. 19 to 23.

Chamber president and CEO Peter Chirico noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made for uncertain times, challenging “all of us to do business in a different way.”

“We recognize that this has been an unprecedented year for business, and we congratulate all those who have had to restructure or make changes to ensure economic recovery during these difficult times,” he said.

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This year’s winners include: 

New Business of the Year: Elliot + Olivia Bridal Boutique

Not-for-Profit of the Year: North Bay Community Living

Young Professional of the Year: Maggie Daniel, executive assistant at Nipissing University

Small Business of the Year: iRing Inc.

Business of the Year: Premier Mining Products

Given the challenges that 2020 has posed, the Chamber also announced a special award for two companies who have adapted to a new way of doing business.

Recognized with the Innovation Award are New Ontario Brewing, which began producing hand sanitizer, and North Bay Plastic Molders, which pivoted to producing medical-grade components during the pandemic.

“It’s been a difficult year, and many businesses have had to pivot or make changes to ensure the needs of the community were met,” Chirico said.

"While we recognize a number of businesses had to move to curbside service, work from home, or add new products and services, we thank you all for your ability and innovation to do so.