It’s never been more important to shop local.

The President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce Peter Chirico says many local businesses are physically closed and they’re feeling the pinch like never before, but there are ways to support them by purchasing gift cards or going through drive-thrus for takeout.

“They need help at this point in time. Anything that you can do to buy local would be much appreciated. We really encourage that people buy local and support our local merchants. They’re having a rough time,” he says.

Meantime, he gives the province good marks in its fiscal update last week.

The $17 billion package will provide an influx of cash for the health sector, direct payments to parents, and tax breaks for businesses.

He says when this ends there will be significant deficits but they will be needed to get the economy back on track.

“Our economy was on a pretty good roll for the last 12-18 months. To get that momentum back and to get the economy growing again is going to take some investment,” Chirico says.

He says tax relief will be needed too.


Starting today (Monday) the local Student Nutrition Program will be offering food to children, youth and families.

Officials say with schools closed and children and youth still hungry, they want to meet the needs of the community in these uncertain times.

Two hubs are being set up for families to pick-up breakfast items, with regulations from public health being followed, including safe physical distancing.

The hubs are The Gathering Place from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Mondays and the Home Style Cafe from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on Wednesdays.

Register by emailing


A reminder, starting today North Bay Transit will begin operating on a reduced Saturday schedule from Monday through Saturday, in response to customer demand.

Buses on Sunday will continue to operate on a Sunday schedule.

The MyRideNBT app will update to reflect the changes.

This year’s Northern Ontario Open Country Singing Contest has been cancelled. Officials made the announcement on their website saying “with heavy heart and with the safety of the public” the board has decided to CANCEL the 2020 event. Refunds are being sent out. The event was planned for July 31st to August 2nd.


The city is making staff available to deliver groceries and other essential items to seniors, people with disabilities and others who may be without someone to assist them.

The service is available from 10 am to 1 pm Monday-Friday and the groceries must be pre-paid.

You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number and grocery store location.

If interested contact Crystal at 705-474-0626, ext. 2329, or e mail

Keep in mind the driver will be practicing physical distancing meaning the groceries will be delivered to the recipient’s door and they will be called immediately to be notified of the delivery.

(West Nipissing)

The Municipality of West Nipissing now has only one due date for you to pay your interim taxes.

It is May 22nd.

Previously, the dates were April 24th and May 22nd but the April 24th date is being waived.

All pre-authorized payments will continue as scheduled.
As well, effective April 1, the municipality will freeze any penalties and interest charges on overdue accounts, non-payment of bills or past arrears will not be charged interest and the water and sewer bill scheduled for May has been postponed to June.

The Municipal Office remains closed to all walk-in visits and in-person essential services will be conducted by appointment only.


(File photo by station staff)

Filed under: COVID-19, North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, North Bay Transit, Student Nutrition Program