Thank you to our exhibitors, attendees and sponsors for making the 2017 Marketplace Mixer such a success. Over 300 people came to this fun networking tradeshow, see for yourself - check out the photos here.
Federal Budget 2017 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the federal budget early Wed afternoon. Although a deficit is projected for the next several years, Canada continues to perform well compared to other G7 countries in terms of net debt to GDP.

Today's budget committed money to support innovation and skills development with a plan targeting specific sectors.

There is $11.2 billion over 11 years for a national housing strategy and $7 billion over the next decade to increase women's participation in the workforce. This includes allowing women to begin maternity leave earlier, a new care-giver benefit and funding for childcare spaces.

Read this detailed report on how the budget could impact your taxes as a business and personally.

Chamber News
Succession Planning for your Business
Social Media Series
2017 Greater Victoria Business Awards
YYJ Eats
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles

Plastic Bags in the Wind?

Wednesday's Times Colonist article outlines the City of Victoria's six-month roadmap to a plastic bag ban or levy within the municipality, which can also be found in the March 9 Staff Report here.
"We understand the motivation to reduce plastic in the environment and particularly the ocean," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "This is a textbook case of an issue that is regional, not specific to the City of Victoria."

Region-wide business owners are already employing waste minimization strategies - on their own time and dime.

These businesses encourage their employees and customers to reduce single use bags, such as by giving discounts for use of their own cloth shopping bags or imposing their own levy for plastic bag use.

"We'd like to see Victoria's roadmap include the other municipalities and the CRD," added Catherine. "A regional approach would be more inclusive for business and have more impact."

Gayle Robinson
What is the best perk of your job? Getting to adventure travel all over the world. The Inca Trail, The Annapurna, the Galapagos... so awesome! What's your favourite Chamber event? The Business Awards. I love to see businesses being honoured... and it's an excellent promo for your own business. What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria? The people, the ocean... getting to do outdoor activities all year long. Best team-building moment or program you've ever experienced? Giving boxes of gear to our charity, Power to Be Adventure Therapy and knowing we had made a difference for so many young people. What was it about a boss/co-worker/employee that made them great to work with? Combined hard work with a great sense of humour! What project is your business proudest of? Being a founder of ThinkLocalFirst. Now 190 member businesses.  Who has had the biggest influence on your life? My Grandfather, George Robinson. He survived a depression and a world war. If I'm stressed, that puts everything in perspective. What is the best advice you've ever received? Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. Courage is what counts.

More about Gayle - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found inside the March Business Matters.  

  Robinson's Outdoor Store: member since 2005

Meet BC Ferries' new CEO!

On April 1st, Mark Collins takes over as CEO of BC Ferries. Hear from Mark on his vision for BC Ferries as he takes the helm of one of the largest ferry operators in the world.

Wed, Apr 26 | 11:30 am-1 pm
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, 728 Humboldt St.

Construction Boom Alert
Greater Victoria continues to see an unprecedented level of construction flowing from the strong demand for new buildings and infrastructure.

According to the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) final report
for 2016, the number of building permits issued within the CRD in 2016 increased 33% over the number issued in 2015. The dollar value of residential permits increased 30%, which could be partly due to a shift to higher quality units and higher construction costs.  Construction remained a significant employer in 2016, with 16,000 people working in the Greater Victoria construction sector.
"All construction projects, large or small, create jobs for skilled tradespeople and building professionals," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "There are also added economic spinoffs as developers purchase products and services from local businesses and when the project attracts workers or investment from outside the region. Further, the economic impact of new construction projects can continue after project completion, ranging from furniture and equipment purchases to leasehold improvements - a ripple effect that supports local businesses throughout the region."
"Last year's boom in construction and employment is a clear indication Greater Victoria is poised for continued growth and investment in the construction sector," said VICA CEO Rory Kulmala. "We expect this trend to continue into the foreseeable future."
VICA: member since 1986  
The Food Rescue Project
Perishable food donated by Thrifty Foods will be collected and re-distributed by The Mustard Seed to Food Share Network partners and food insecure people living in Greater Victoria. It is estimated that up to 2,000 kilograms a day will be diverted from the compost through this initiative.

14% of all people living in the region are food insecure, meaning some 50,000 people do not have the means to access healthy food. Food banks, emergency hampers and meals programs currently serve 20,000 people annually, but there are an additional 30,000 "hidden hungry" who do not access these programs and struggle to feed themselves and their families. 

"Food waste is painful for everyone," said Ralf Mundel, Senior Director of Retail Operations at Thrifty Foods .  "The food rescue project is an amazing way to connect quality, perishable food to the people in our community who need it the most."

The food rescue project is the result of regional collaboration - led by the Victoria Foundation - among non-profit agencies and stakeholders that came together under the Food Share Network umbrella.  
Thrifty Foods: member since 1981
The Mustard Seed: member since 1999 
Victoria Foundation: member since 2004 

John Wilson: Greater Victoria Transportation 

In this South Island Prosperity Project podcast,
Wilson's co-owner/CEO and Chamber Board Secretary John Wilson gives an overview of the iconic company's history, the dynamics of running a successful family business, and the future of transportation in the South Island region, including some of the exciting partnership projects they are involved in.

Wilson's Group is an award-winning family company that includes Wilso n's Transportation Ltd. , Greyline Sightseeing, YYJ Airport Shuttle, BC Ferries Connector, Capital City Station and Capital City CafĂ©. Established in 1962 as a Salt Spring Island general delivery service, Wilson's has grown to become the largest motor coach and transport company on Vancouver Island. 

Wilson's Group: member since 2004
Members Around Town
V2V Vacations has appointed Bryden Smith as Senior Master of the V2V Empress. As Senior Master, Bryden will be responsible for assembling the team of qualified and capable marine crew to operate the V2V Empress.
V2V Vacations: member since 2016

Lynn Reiter, a licensed optician, is the newest member of Mayfair Optometric Clinic's growing team of optical professionals. Lynn is a second-generation optician who grew up in the optical business and has more than 16 years of experience.
Mayfair Optometric Clinic: member since 1996
Dr. Rebecca Grant, associate professor of information systems at UVic 's Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and Chamber Chair in 2004 has been named one of
the 2017 Women of Influence in BC Business Magazine.
 UVic: member since 1976 
The team at Photonic PR has welcomed Gina Wicentowich as their new Digital Marketing Strategist. Gina brings with her extensive experience developing customized solutions for B2B and B2C clients.
Photonic PR: member since 2014     
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 
Member to Member Deals

Want your company's special offer to appear here? Send us an email!

View on Instagram