The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has handed out its 2020 awards to local businesses as part of a virtual celebration on Monday.
Five small businesses in the area were honoured by the Chamber with its annual awards for excellence, with two additional awards being handed out for innovation during the pandemic.
Peter Chirico, President and CEO of the Chamber says that the board briefly considered not going ahead with the business awards this year because of the pandemic, but elected to continue.
“We thought that this is the year that we have to. We really have to recognize those businesses and individuals who have gone above and beyond to be adaptive and innovative,” Chirico said.
The winners of the 2020 business awards are:
- New Business of the Year – Elliot + Olivia Bridal Boutique
- Not-for-Profit of the Year – Community Living North Bay
- Young Professional of the Year – Maggie Daniel
- Small Business of the Year – iRing Inc.
- Business of the Year – Premier Mining Products
- New Ontario Brewing – Innovation Award
- North Bay Plastic Molders – Innovation Award
Chirico says that Elliot & Olivia Bridal Boutique took home New Business of the Year for its resiliency in starting a business in the middle of a pandemic.
“They’ve grown and continue to grow through this by adapting and being innovative. Especially for a young entrepreneur to put themselves out there,” he said.
Community Living North Bay was the nonprofit business of the year for its day-to-day role in the community.
“What they do each and every day is why they were selected. They do so much great work in our community with persons with disabilities. Not only working with them, but making sure they’re safe, making sure they’re well-taken care of,” he commended.
Maggie Daniel was honoured as the Young Professional of the Year for her work with young entrepreneurs in the city as a member of the Chamber board.
“She has engaged with young professionals and worked well with young professionals. These are the leaders of the future. These are the people we’re going to depend on to take over the Chamber. She has just exemplified everything that we could want in a young professional,” said Chirico.
The software engineering company iRing was honoured as the Small Business of the Year for its continued contributions to the mining sector.
“They’ve launched a number of innovative products over the past two years. They continue to grow. They continue to be innovative and work with our mining community. We have some 60 manufacturers of mining equipment and there’s not a mine within 90 miles of here,” Chirico noted.
Premier Mining Products was recognized as the overall Business of the Year by the Chamber for its work in the mining industry both in Canada and around the world.
“They have just expanded their employment, their sales, their techniques and their product lines. They have done everything right. The mining industry has been in a recession for the past 10 to 12 years and yet they’re still growing,” Chirico said.
New Ontario Brewing and North Bay Plastic Moldings both won Innovation Awards from the Chamber for their work in providing personal protective equipment. New Ontario Brewing has shifted its alcohol production into hand sanitizer, while North Bay Plastic Moldings has been producing protective face shields.
Chirico says the Innovation Award is given out “sparingly”, but 2020 called for two winners.
“We use it when we think that there is a deserving company. In this case, two companies. These companies have helped North Bay, Ontario and Canada become self-sufficient when it comes to PPE and supplies to help people stay safe,” he said.
Each winner of an award received a gift package and a certificate of recognition from the Chamber of Commerce.