Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
November 18, 2020
This week only! 2020 Virtual Chamber Auction
There’s never been a better time to shop #ChamberLocal.

Ungettable gets, one-of-a-kind experiences and amazing deals on products and services from around Vancouver Island are just a click away.

Thanks to our Event Sponsor Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics winning bidders can have items delivered right to their doorstep.
The online auction is open from 8 am on November 15, 2020 and will close at 10 pm on November 22, 2020.
Sponsored by:
Hot Tip
Let us help you remain at the top of the bidding heap. Use the 'Max Bid' function to set your top bid and the system will bid incrementally up to your top bid as others bid against you – saving you time and increasing your chance of winning an item!
Why buy #ChamberLocal?
Serving as The Chamber's major fundraising event, all proceeds from our Annual Auction support our 100% member-funded organization and the important work we do as the largest and most influential advocate for Greater Victoria's business community.
SIPP releases plan to reboot regional economy
Ensuring all sectors play a role in recovering from the pandemic is one of the key elements of Reboot: Greater Victoria's Economic Recovery Plan. The report, released Monday, is the work of the Rising Economy Taskforce, which brought together 40 business, community, government and academic leaders to work on 12 sector committees.

"I worked closely with other community leaders and the South Island Prosperity Partnership, and I think this report is an invaluable tool for making decisions about where we want to see investments made to achieve a full and equitable recovery," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said.

Among the recommendations are a call to embrace the 21st-century innovation economy and the creation of an Indigenous Economic Development Office.
South Island Prosperity Partnership: Member since 2017
Unemployment rate reflects K-shaped recovery
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.6% in October from 9.1% the month before, according to Statistics Canada's latest figures.

The numbers reflect what is now being called a K-shaped economic recovery, with some businesses able to return to pre-pandemic operations and others still facing an uncertain future.

Across Canada, 57% of businesses in the accommodation and food-services sector report they are unable to take on more debt. About one-third of those say, at current levels of business, they will need to consider closing, declaring bankruptcy or reducing staff unless revenue increases in the next six months.

"With finite public resources available, we need to look carefully at the return on investment of government spending," said Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice-President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton. "Some programs are more beneficial than others. Some policies will contribute more to economic growth. Let’s make sure federal spending is focused on quality over quantity."
Special Offer for Chamber Members Only
Chamber Chats offer perspective on current issues
In this month's Business Examiner column, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams writes about his new initiative, Chamber Chats, to provide another channel for people to get information about issues of importance to Chamber members.

"They offer fascinating insight into our economy and the path out of the pandemic," Williams says. "As we all know, we are generally shifting our information intake onto video platforms, and I do have some experience in interviewing people! Conversations like these offer genuine and engaging communication when you hear someone not just read their words."
Child care spaces open in school district 61
The pandemic has been especially difficult on working parents, with women disproportionately suffering income loss as they leave jobs or reduce hours to care for children. The Chamber has been calling for investment in accessible child care for years.

Some good news this week as the Greater Victoria School District announced on Friday that it is creating 316 childcare spaces across the region. The school district has completed four childcare studios in Saanich and is building five others that are expected to open in early 2021.
Greater Victoria School District SD61: Member since 1976
Updates on COVID-19 Government Measures
Join our Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and esteemed panelists as they break down how you can utilize these programs to keep your business running and to bounce forward out of this pandemic.

To be discussed updates and reviews on:

Next week!
Tues., Nov. 24 | 12-1 pm
Submit your questions by end of day Monday, November 23, 2020.
Meet the panelists:
Chamber Job Board

During these extraordinary times, The Chamber’s Job Board connects employers needing help with employees in need of work. Whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or a manager looking for talent, finding and retaining employees is crucial.

Learn more about how to post on the job board here. ​If you have any difficulty posting, please email
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
Innovation honours a business that:
  • Has developed a process, product or service that is original and contributes to profitability and/or market share. Demonstrated by:
  • Use of science and/or technology to create a business that is original and unique
  • Shows a high degree of originality, creativity and/or experimentation to design and realize innovation.
  • Commercialization or quantifiable growth within new and/or existing markets.
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2020 Innovation finalists below. Thanks to University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business for sponsoring this award.
Our Chamber Champions
Member News
Shine a Light on Youth

Threshold Housing Society has partnered with Silk Road Tea to create gift boxes with 12 different flavours of tea. The sale from each box will provide housing and support services to at-risk youth in Greater Victoria. Purchase your tea gift box here.
Threshold Housing Society: member since 2010
Silk Road Tea: member since 2013
Mass timber condos

Mike Geric Construction has broken ground for Victoria’s first mass timber condominium development. Tresah, which has a presentation centre at Mayfair Shopping Centre, will feature studio, one and two bedroom condos.
Mike Geric Construction: member since 2017
Mayfair Shopping Centre: member since 1963
A Royal discovery

Construction workers at Royal Roads University recently discovered four fully intact beer bottles estimated to be more than 100 years old. Found more than a metre underground, the bottles were unearthed during construction of Royal Road’s new Learning and Teaching Auditorium.
Royal Roads: member since 1996
Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2021 have been announced, and many Chamber members have received recognition including:

10,000 socks campaign

10,000 socks have been given away to people in need, thanks to a partnership between Victoria Cool Aid Society, La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor, Hutcheson & Co. LLP, and more. The socks were distributed at Cool Aid’s medical clinic at the newly-named Muncey Place (formerly the Comfort Inn). Although the campaign has concluded, donations are still accepted here.
Victoria Cool Aid Society: member since 2006
La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor: member since 2019
Hutcheson & Co. LLP: member since 2015
Shedding new light

Quality Foods is the first grocery store in Canada to sanitize carts using an ultraviolet light sterilizer. The UV light kills 99.9% of any viruses on shopping carts, including COVID-19. The 20-second sanitization process is now available in the Town of View Royal.

Quality Foods: member since 2015

Town of View Royal: member since 2020
Welcome to our newest members!