SUDBURY -- First-time business owner Brian Chrétien has been looking to open up his heating and cooling business for a year and a half.

He finally got the chance to open up his show room for Northern Climate in March. He had no idea at the time that he'd be opening during a pandemic.

"We really haven't been too affected by it. There's a need for what we do here and people have to have it done daily so we've actually hired," said Chrétien.

"We've hired since the pandemic, we've brought on five people and we're looking to bring on a few more."

According to Chrétien, he says people haven't stopped over the last few months. In fact, he believes they're probably busier now because they have to be at home.

With the amount of work they're getting at their shop on Kingsway Boulevard, he sees the fact that they have to hire more people as encouraging.

"It wasn't ideal to come in where we did but we're doing really well and things are picking up," he explained.

It's a similar story next store where Jolie Nguyen has opened 'Wellness Studio', a one-stop shop for anyone looking for their beauty treatments.

She's hired ten people since the pandemic, everything from registered massage therapists to hairstylists and a nurse.

"It was definitely a scary risk for us to take, however, we found the time while we were in isolation like the best time where we could come out and do all the renovations without the interruptions, taking our time and making sure everything was done," she explained.

Nguyen's business opened up for a week in March before it had to close. It's only been open for a few weeks now and their services are already in demand.

"By June the 3rd we opened up with limited business operation so we opened up the massage as well as the MERI MED spa who does the Botox and fillers and right from the get-go, our booking system was fully booked for two weeks, three weeks in advance," she said.

It's a dream come true for Nguyen who had been hoping to open a business over the last 20 years.

"I was assuming when we first opened up that it would be like a soft-launch, we wouldn't have to worry about being bombarded and running out of things to do however it was so busy from the get-go," she said.

According to Statistics Canada, 419,000 jobs were created in July. When you add those with the numbers that were added in both June and May respectively, it still puts the country 1.3 million jobs shy of where it was in February, pre-COVID but it is heading in the right direction.

The report shows Sudbury is faring better during the economic uncertainly brought on by the pandemic than most major cities in Ontario.

Downtown Sudbury BIA Executive Director Maureen Luoma is encouraged by some of the numbers she's hearing in the report.

"The numbers look very positive and certainly it's a very good sign," said Luoma.

"I think we also have to be realistic and know that it is still a long and hard road ahead for many. It depends on who you speak with. There are those businesses by nature of the type of business they are, have weathered the last few months well and may have in fact done very well because they fill the gaps in types of services that are needed."

"And then you have the small businesses right across our province that have been hit very hard because they don't have a war chest," she explained.

Luoma says she's been encouraged by the numbers of "HIRING" signs she's seeing in windows as of late and believes we, as Canadians, are heading in the right direction.

"We still have some time ahead of us to keep this momentum going and keep moving in the right direction," she said.

Statistics Canada also determined the job gains to be uneven. While the unemployment rate now sits at 10.9 per cent, the numbers of unemployed in the South Asian, Arab and Black Canadian communities are a lot higher.

There was virtually no movement when it came to Canada's indigenous population.

The majority of the jobs that were created were also part-time at 345,000 compared to only 71,000 full-time jobs.

Ontario led the way with 151,000 jobs followed by Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.