Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
April 28, 2021
Getting to a greener economy after the pandemic
On April 26, The Chamber hosted federal Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray, who spoke about how the recent federal budget can help Canada embrace economic opportunities and do more to protect against climate change.

If you missed seeing it live, you can watch a recording of the event to hear what Minister Murray had to say about extending wage and rent subsidies, addressing food security and much more.
Special thanks to the Camosun College and University of Victoria Co-Op programs for sponsoring this event:
Province launches new investment initiative InBC
A new provincial Crown corporation with independence to make investments without political interference has been created. The aim is to use a $500 million fund to keep growing businesses in BC, instead of moving away as they scale up and need more capital.

The province says InBC is a new initiative to "help businesses scale up, drive innovation, create family-supporting jobs" that will drive economic recovery after the pandemic ends.

“Congratulations to the BC government on the launch of the InBC Strategic Investment Fund," BDC Capital executive vice-president Jérôme Nycz said in a news release. "We are pleased that the province can rely on a new source of capital to support its innovation economy, alongside other national players such as BDC Capital.”
Business Development Bank of Canada: Member since 1976
BC increases Circuit Breaker Business Relief fund
On Monday, the provincial government announced it was expanding the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant to help businesses struggling because of pandemic restrictions. The province increased the fund to $125 million with one-fifth of that targeted at hotels and other accommodation providers. Businesses with more than 100 employees can receive up to $20,000, while those with between five and 99 employees can get up to $10,000.
Highlights from Q&A with BC's Finance Minister
On April 27, BC's Minister of Finance Selina Robinson provided Chamber members with an overview of the recently unveiled budget and she answered questions about the state of the province's economy.

If you missed seeing it live, you can still watch a recording of the event to hear what Minister Robinson had to say about government plans to help business and families, and implement new initiatives to ensure our economic recovery continues.
Special thanks to Coastal Community Credit Union & Insurance Services for sponsoring this event:
Mark your calendar for May events
Federal Budget 2021:
What's New for Business and Individuals
Join our Chamber CEO Bruce WilliamsMatthew Hohnsbehn, Liaison Officer at the Canada Revenue Agency, and Kris Wirk, Partner at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants as they break down the federal budget, explain how you can utilize existing and any new programs to keep your business running and give you the ability to bounce forward out of this pandemic.
Homeless to Sheltered with BC Housing
Greater Victoria is facing crises in housing, overdose deaths and COVID-19, with all posing significant challenges for our region.

Over the past year, BC Housing has worked with the City of Victoria, local non-profits, the private sector and Island Health on a coordinated response to shelter more than 500 people experiencing homelessness in Victoria.

Learn about recent initiatives including:

  • BC Housing’s response to COVID-19
  • Shelter to Housing Initiative in Victoria
  • Community benefits of new housing
  • Opportunities for the business community
Shining the Spotlight on Business Excellence
in Greater Victoria
Meet the 2021 Business Awards Finalists
As we prepare for the May 15 awards broadcast on CHEK, learn about our finalists and sponsors in the 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards Program. Click here to read the program.

The Greater Victoria Business Awards recognizes businesses in the Capital Region that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community through their own abilities, efforts and initiatives. A spectacular night of prestige, entertainment and celebration, the Greater Victoria Business Awards recognizes members in 14 different award categories.
Sat., May 15| 6 PM on CHEK TV | Facebook and YouTube
Follow along on social media as we countdown to the Awards ceremony on May 15
Involuntary care needs to be part of conversation
We can all agree that everyone needs and deserves a safe community in order to have functional and healthy workplaces and homes. In Greater Victoria, we know there is tremendous compassion for people living in our communities' parks and on our streets. Tremendous work has been done to help and house individuals, but more needs to be done to address root causes. Specifically, the issue of involuntary care has been a controversial topic but is one that needs to be discussed.

The Chamber commends Our Place CEO Julian Daly for this thoughtful essay published on April 27 in the Times Colonist.

Daly, who also spoke about this issue on a Chamber Chat in February, acknowledged that the issue "will be provocative and controversial to some."

"After decades of work in this field, and years of advocating for those who are homeless and struggling, heartfelt and bitter experience has taught me that, in some situations, there is a need to bring people into this kind of care involuntarily," Daly writes, stressing that he does not want a return to the old ways of inhumane institutions. However, he states there are extreme circumstances when vulnerable people need to be removed from dangerous situations. "In these situations, we believe it is the right thing to compel care. We believe that in doing so their rights are recognized – the right to be safe, the right to be housed, and the right to good health."
Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Saanich adjusting penalties for property taxes
Property owners in the District of Saanich will now have extra flexibility to pay property taxes. The municipality has adopted a staggered schedule for late penalties on all property taxes.

“We recognize that a one-time penalty of 10% is significant and is likely a bigger disincentive than needed to get taxpayers to pay on time,” Saanich mayor Fred Haynes said in a news release. “We hope this adjustment alleviates some of the financial stress for those having difficulty paying their full taxes on time or when an honest mistake is made paying late or claiming the home owner grant."
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Pivot Pilots 4.0
As we countdown the days to summer, businesses continue to make strategic adjustments to prepare for better times ahead. In this week’s Chamber Chat, we continue our series of conversations with Pivot Pilots, those businesses that have found ways to successfully adapt and are leading the way down the Recovery Runway.

CHEK is a local media outlet that knows all about finding innovative ways to redefine and grow its business and culture. Listen to CHEK General Manager Rob Germain and Chamber CEO Bruce Williams talk about the station’s history, and how the past 10 years have prepared CHEK to be a community leader for decades to come. 
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Colwood ferry to downtown Victoria motors on
A ferry between the City of Colwood and downtown Victoria continued to break new waves. The Capital Regional District's Transportation Committee looked at the concept last week and decided the idea is worth a feasibility study. The CRD's board will now vote on May 12 to decide whether to work with the province and other partners to pursue the study.

"In a region surrounded by water, it would be irresponsible not to fully explore the feasibility of marine travel as one approach to addressing traffic congestion and achieving our active transportation and clean energy goals," Colwood mayor Rob Martin said in a news release.

Last year, BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins told a Chamber Business Restart Series that a ferry from Royal Bay to Victoria could make a profit. The route would connect to Ship Point and, potentially, Esquimalt and service commuters working downtown or at the naval base.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
Capital Regional District: Member since 1993
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Highlighting our Chamber Champions
As part of the celebration of Chamber Week in February, our Chamber Champions submitted quotes highlighting the importance of investing in The Chamber. Each week we will be showcasing these quotes.
"As business advisors, we are proud to partner with the Greater Victoria Chamber to help businesses adapt and build a strong and resilient community."

Chamber Job Board
Find your next great employee with The Chamber’s job board!

As sunnier days are quickly approaching, now is a perfect time to ensure you’re well-staffed by using your one free annual job posting

Chamber Members are entitled to one free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Simply use the code INTRO2021 at checkout. 

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, please email [email protected]
Healthcare at home
Are you interested in receiving professional medical advice within the hour, without the need to leave your home? Look no further than Teladoc Health, an exclusive benefit of Chambers Plan Group Insurance.

As part of your Chambers Plan Extended Health coverage, you already receive free 24/7 access to Canadian-licensed physicians from home. From prescription refills to medical advice, Teladoc can save you and your family countless hours of waiting so you can focus on feeling better.
Simply download the Teladoc app, sign-up, and speak with a doctor within the hour. Chambers Plan offers Teladoc at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.

Looking for more information on how to utilize these benefits? For over 17 years,  Jack Insurance and Financial Services has helped Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members design a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan reflecting the size and requirements of their businesses. For more information, contact Jack Insurance by clicking here.
Member News
Fan Flight

Air Canadas Fan Flights have returned, offering unique experiences for deserving sports fans across Canada. The Fan Flight Program rewards and celebrates community leaders by gifting sports memorabilia, tickets to home sporting events, plane tickets to be used during an appropriate time, and more.
Air Canada: member since 1962
Musical Virtual Garden Tour

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is hosting a virtual Mother’s Day event from now until May 16. The Musical Virtual Garden Tour features stunning shots of private spring gardens and music played by conservatory students. Donations are accepted in lieu of tickets
Victoria Conservatory of Music: member since 2000
Healthcare bursaries available

To support students pursuing careers in healthcare, CIBC has invested $500,000 in bursaries for students over the next two academic years. With 125 bursaries available for $2,500 each, the bursary program is currently accepting applicants for first-year post-secondary students until May 12. 
CIBC: member since 1962
CIBC: Chamber Champion since 2020
Victoria Conference Centre goes carbon neutral

The Victoria Conference Centre has received carbon neutral designation. By implementing eco-friendly innovations such as LED lights, real-time energy management systems and post-consumer recycled products, the conference centre has reduced carbon emissions by 66% since 2012. Their carbon neutral designation was awarded by Synergy Sustainability
Victoria Conference Centre: member since 1990
Synergy Sustainability: member since 2017
TELUS ranks top 100 for sustainability

TELUS Communications has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Greenest Employers. With a goal of achieving 100% net zero carbon neutrality across the company by 2030, TELUS consistently establishes climate-related targets featured in their annual Sustainability Report
TELUS Communications | TELUS Business: Chamber Champion since 2020
TELUS Communications | TELUS Business: member since 1962
Camosun launches new seal

Camosun College has introduced a new institutional seal that will be displayed on certificates, diplomas and degrees. The new design reflects the 50th anniversary logo created by Coast Salish artist and college alumnus Dylan Thomas. The seal will be featured on parchments, transcripts, and other official documents. 
Camosun College: member since 1981
Auction for youth theatre programs

Kaleidoscope Theatre is hosting an online auction from April 30 – May 7 to help raise funds for youth theatre programs. Featuring gifts from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, WildPlay Element Parks, Nezza Naturals, Flying Squirrel Victoria and more, this family themed auction offers many opportunities to support local art.
Kaleidoscope Theatre: member since 2007
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: member since 2007
Nezza Naturals Inc.: member since 2021
WildPlay Element Parks: member since 2006
Flying Squirrel Victoria: member since 2018
#LunchBoxChallenge pizza lunch

In celebration of Construction Month, many construction companies across the province were able to buy lunch for their workers through the #LunchBoxChallenge, an initiative by the BC Construction Association and the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA). Western Interior Design Group Ltd, who are currently constructing a Songhees Nation cannabis store, treated their staff to a delicious pizza lunch. Check out the photos here

Western Interior Design Group Ltd: member since 2013
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA): member since 1996
Songhees Nation: member since 2017
Fill out your Ale Trail Passport

Breweries across Greater Victoria have launched a new way to support the industry while winning great prizes. The Ale Trail Passport is a month long event that encourages Vancouver Island residents to visit participating breweries including Spinnakers, Canoe BrewPub, Category 12 Brewing, Hoyne Brewing Co., Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc, Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co, Twa Dogs Brewery, Vancouver Island Brewing, Whistle Buoy Brewing Company and more. By collecting six stamps at local breweries, contestants are entered to win gift certificates, merchandise and even an overnight stay at Spinnakers Guesthouses.

Category 12 Brewing: member since 2016

Hoyne Brewing Co.: member since 2015

Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub: member since 2016

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co: member since 2020

Victoria Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery: member since 2013

Whistle Buoy Brewing Company: member since 2019
Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc: member since 2005
Canoe BrewPub: member since 1998
Vancouver Island Brewing: member since 1993 
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: member since 1990
Spinnakers: Chamber Champion since 2021)
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