The November Business Mixer is tomorrow, Nov 17 from 5-7 pm at the Sandman Hotel Victoria. Sign up here and you could meet your next business connection!
Have Your Say in Regional Governance!

Where do you want to see integrated municipal services? One police force? Regional transportation planning and delivery?

Tell the BC Government what you need to secure your future in the virtual open house as well as via the survey.
With its 13 municipalities and the Capital Regional District, Greater Victoria has a complex arrangement of local governance, yet no one municipality has exclusive influence over any one resident. While we shop, work, play, learn, we regularly - and often without thinking - cross municipal boundaries.

This complexity comes at a cost to Greater Victoria businesses in terms of dollars, time and action. For example, inter-municipal conflicts and inefficiencies can affect our ability to compete with other jurisdictions for visitors, labour, higher government funding and more.
The BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development's  Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative is anticipated to provide our 14 local governments - including the Capital Regional District - with a clear path towards improved regional governance.

"We expect to see this study identify the solutions that best fit the needs of our community now and into the future," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "This is our chance - perhaps our only one - to get the ball rolling."

Chamber News
Opportunities and connections
Chamber Events
Chair's Holiday Reception
Prodigy Group Mingles
Business Mixers

BC Liquor Policy to Support Business Growth 
This morning, the Province announced that all types of BC businesses will be able to apply for a liquor licence effective Jan 23, 2017. 

This means that businesses like spas, cooking schools, and book stores will be able to serve liquor to their customers, enriching their suite of services as well as encouraging business innovation and opportunities.

"Business owners and leaders are increasingly aware of the need to adapt and evolve to meet customer demands, such as offering more convenience, lower prices, and increasingly unique customer experiences," said Chamber Chair Al Hasham. "The regulatory changes as outlined this morning sound well-considered, and when effectively enforced, will support businesses and protect consumers."

New Award! Chamber Member of the Year
Do you know a person that:
  • Serves The Chamber through their volunteer participation on The Chamber's Board or committees or as a Chamber appointee;
  • Demonstrates regular engagement at Chamber programs and events through attendance and interaction with new, prospective and existing member attendees;
  • Is an advocate for member businesses by: doing business with member businesses personally and corporately; personally connecting members by introducing them at events or via email; and by recommending member businesses to others; and,
  • Assists in the recruiting of new members by personally inviting businesses to join The Chamber and/or sharing referrals with staff
 If you do, nominate them to be the 2017 Chamber Member of the Year!
Auction Program Online!
From restaurant gift certificates to beer advent calendars, hotel stays to rounds of golf there is something for everyone inside the 34th Annual Dinner Auction Gala Program

See you there and happy bidding!

Businesses' Tax Burden - Ouch!

One of the most frequent complaints from business owners is that their property taxes are the most harmful tax for their operations, and that businesses are expected to unfairly shoulder the majority of the costs relating to increased local governments spending, and that taxes paid are not aligned with the services received.

"Especially for small businesses, shouldering such a tax burden can mean the difference between success and failure," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "All taxes should be fair and competitive, aligned with services received, and be open for public input."
2016 Total Tax Rate (as listed)
per $1,000 of taxable value

Residential $
Business $
5.8950 (SD61)/6.1517 (SD62)/5.8578 (SD63)  
Oak Bay
6.40717 (SD61)/6.36997 (SD62)
5.83094 (SD61)/6.08764 (SD62)
Local Bus Company Embraces Electric
For two weeks in October Wilson's Transportation was testing out a 40ft, 47 passenger, fully electric motor coach. On trial from BYD, the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world, the bus was used for local charters and the BC Ferry Connector service.
"We are pleased with the results of the trial run," said Wilson's Transportation CEO John Wilson. "BYD is a company of great substance and have committed to working with Wilson's Transportation to make electric a possible viable solution both now and in the future."
Discussions have begun with BYD for Wilson's Transportation to partner with them to bring more electric buses to Victoria in 2017 or 2018.

Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004
Shipping for Christmas?
Make the most out of your Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce membership and take advantage of the savings offered in the UPS Member Benefit Program. You can receive  30% off or even more as a Chamber member - or a staff person of a Chamber member.

It's free to sign up online with your Chamber membership and applies to current UPS users as well as new accounts. Unlike other programs, there are no minimum requirements.
You can receive c
ustomized solutions and reliable services for shipping, tracking and billing, drive greater efficiency and streamline internal processes within your organization.

The discounts are only available after you enroll online. Print your labels online and simply drop off your package at a handy UPS location. 

Contact UPS at 1-800-MEMBERS (636-2377) or click here.
Flights Lift Economy 
As part of The Chamber's three-year Trade and Investment Program, The Chamber and the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA)partnered on an air route study to examine the feasibility of a direct flight between LAX in Los Angeles, California and YYJ serving Greater Victoria. The study enables VAA to pitch the cost benefits of the potential route during meetings with airlines.

The Chamber also joined forces with VAA and Tourism Victoriato develop a marketing campaign promoting Delta Airlines' three-times daily flight to Seattle, first introduced in April 2016. Both projects were designed with an eye to opening business opportunities between these key cities and Greater Victoria.

The Trade and Investment Program, was made possible by  Western Economic Diversification Canada as well as local private and public partners. Although the program's various successes are expected to continue well into the future, The Chamber's Trade and Investment Program ends March 31, 2017. Read more about the Trade and Investment program in the newly-released Business Matters.

The Chamber Trade & Investment Program is funded in part by 

Another Home Run for HarbourCats!
Victoria has been announced as the host for the next two national men's baseball championship tournaments - the 2017 and 2018 Baseball Canada Senior Championship.

A group spearheaded by the Victoria HarbourCats submitted a bid to host the tournaments taking place in the third week of August 2017 and 2018.

"Congratulations Victoria HarbourCats," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "Thanks for helping make Greater Victoria such a great sport-tourism destination, supporting our local economy and businesses!" 
Victoria HarbourCats: Members since 2012
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 
Members Head's Up!
  • The BC Ministry of Transportation has issued a new update for residents regarding the construction at McKenzie and Admirals. You can subscribe to the Ministry's update service   
  • The BC Chamber's province-wide survey, Collective Perspective, revealed a strong confidence among the business community in both the current health of their businesses and their future outlook on the economy. Results here.
Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.

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