TIMMINS -- While many businesses are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, some are expanding and say business is better than ever.

For example, Chad Tolonen, owner of Timmins Mechanical Solutions, has just completed a $4 million garage. Tolonen has been working on the expansion for a couple of years and Monday, he held a virtual grand opening.

He would have loved to invite everyone to pack his new garage for a public celebration, but during the pandemic, a virtual announcement was the way to go.

"Well I guess now you could say there's really no job that we can't take on, whereas before we were limited with the facility we had," Tolonen said. "That's no longer an issue."

Val Venneri, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, said the expansion is a sign of confidence in the local economy.

"It's just absolutely a state-of-the-art facility, so we're really proud that they're a chamber member and they've done this in the City of Timmins," Venneri said.

While many businesses are struggling during the pandemic, Tolonen is faring well.

"The mines did not shut down," he said, allowing his company to keep going.

The chamber says other local businesses are also showing some hopeful signs. Siva's Family Restaurant will continue to operate out of Timmins Square, but it has built an additional location on Riverside Drive.

"It's something unique," said Siva Mylvaganam. "If I do something, I always do it unique. It'll be nice -- different."

The chamber said other local businesses also showing confidence in the Timmins economy during the pandemic include The Urban Farm, which has added a second location, and the Hobo Cannabis Company that recently opened.