Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
December 2, 2020
In the News: Read Jack Knox's interview in the Times Colonist with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams: If our stores go dark, it really will be Black Friday
Contact Thomas at to submit a story for #ChamberLocalVicBC.
John Espley named Chamber Member of the Year!
John Espley has been named Chamber Member of the Year for 2021 by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

“John is someone that knows everyone, He’s a familiar face at Chamber mixers and was one of the people who helped make our virtual events so successful this year,” says John Wilson, chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors. “We’re delighted to recognize John for his support and I look forward to celebrating with him in 2021, as we continue working to rebuild and add resilience to Greater Victoria’s economy.”

Espley is a vocal champion of The Chamber and has been involved with the organization since the 1990s. Currently the Chief Connector for Connection Skills, Espley served as Chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2007. He is now a member of the Chamber’s Board of Governors.

“He is one of the strongest supporters of The Chamber I’ve ever met,” says Agilus Work Solutions’ Branch Manager Rose Arsenault, who nominated Espley and was herself Chamber Member of the Year for 2019. “John is always positive, always sharing information about the organization. He believes in the value of being a member and is always singing the praises of Chamber activities and advocacy efforts.”

For more information on The Chamber's Member of the Year and all the categories in the 2021 Business Awards, go to
Fiscal update adds debt to keep economy active
It's clear that we will be dealing with the pandemic for many months to come, even as optimism grows over the imminent distribution of vaccines. On Monday, the federal government gave a fall fiscal update that included news about an economic stimulus war chest as well as important changes to the emergency wage subsidy.

Canada's deficit will be close to $400 billion by the end of the fiscal year. To help the economy recover once the pandemic begins to wane, the government is setting aside $100 billion for stimulus.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which has been one of the federal government's key advisors, released a statement regarding the update. The Chamber has called on government to tailor its support to the most vulnerable sectors, and to have a plan to move beyond subsidies.

"Without strong and prolonged economic growth to resolve the country’s growing public debt, Canada’s growing obligations will adversely affect prosperity for future generations," the Canadian Chamber said in its statement.
Hon. Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

On Jan. 20, 2021, President-Elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.

Join us that afternoon as Chamber CEO Bruce Williams discusses how the Biden presidency could impact Canada-US relations, and BC in particular, with Canadian Chamber President and CEO Hon. Perrin Beatty. Mr Beatty held several senior Cabinet positions in the Government of Canada including Minister of Revenue, Solicitor General, Minister of National Defence and Secretary of State for External Affairs.

Submit your questions for Beatty by end of day Monday, January 18, 2021.
Wed., Jan. 20 | 12-1 pm
By-election between two candidates, experts say
Voters have started casting ballots as advanced polls opened yesterday for the City of Victoria's Dec. 12 by-election. This campaign is higher profile than by-elections typically are, with political experts saying the race is between two candidates.

Stephen Andrew is running as a voice of change for people unhappy with the current council's direction. Stephanie Hardman, alternatively, represents Together Victoria — the political group that successfully elected three of its candidates in 2018. Hardman told the Times Colonist she believes council is "moving in the right direction."

To learn about where these two candidates stand on issues important to the business community, make sure to watch our virtual Candidate Discussion at On the same page you can find a Q&A sent to all 11 candidates on the ballot.

For more information on when and where to vote, including for those who own property in the city but reside outside it, go to
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Shop locally and sustainably this holiday season
This holiday season, be sure to shop locally and sustainably! Follow these Chamber tips to help your local community and the earth as a whole.

Supporting your community this holiday season can be done by shopping locally, sustainably, safely and ethically.
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 questions about posting, please email
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
Business Person of the Year honours a business person who:
  • Is the founder, owner, CEO, President or Senior Executive of a company(ies)
  • Exhibits business leadership and vision;
  • Displays a significant commitment to the success of both his/her business and the region as a whole;
  • Serves as a positive role model or mentor for other business people;
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Displays a commitment to the community.
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2020 Business Person of the Year finalists below. Thanks to Deloitte for sponsoring this award.
Learn more about the nomination process!
Thurs., Jan. 14 | 12-1 pm
Our Chamber Champions
Member News
10 to Watch Awards

Douglas Magazine’s 10 to Watch Awards have begun, seeking up and coming businesses that are up to three years old. Focusing specifically on creating brand awareness for new ventures, winners will be featured in the June/July 2021 edition of Douglas Magazine. Learn more here.
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004
DIY Christmas kits

Take part in fun and festive online workshops with Poppies Floral Art. Create a ring wreath and matching centerpiece by purchasing a kit and following along with the instructional video. Stay tuned, as kits for a Rustic Table Centerpiece will be made available soon.
Poppies Floral Art: member since 2006
Pine-ing for your attention

The University of Victoria is hosting their annual Christmas tree sale from now until Dec. 20. Available from 10 am to 6 pm at Centennial Stadium, proceeds help fund the Vikes Cross-Country and Track team.
University of Victoria: member since 1976
The best of brunch

Small plates brunch is back at the Inn at Laurel Point. Throughout weekends in December, enjoy sweet and savoury menu items that will be sure to give you holiday cheer. You can also enjoy holiday baking and treats from the Inn at Laurel Point at home with curbside pickup. Enjoy Eggnog Ganache Filled Double Ginger cookies, panettone, and more!
Inn at Laurel Point: member since 1991 
Best experiences in Canada

Trip Advisor has named its Top 10 Experiences in Canada as part of its Traveler's Choice Awards for 2021, and three Chamber members are featured: The Butchart Gardens, A Taste of Victoria Food Tours and Prince of Whales Whale Watching. Well-deserved recognition for providing unique experiences. Congratulations!
Butchart Gardens: member since 1976
A Taste of Victoria Food Tours: member since 2017
Prince of Whales Whale Watching: member since 2002
Winter Wander

On Saturday, Dec. 5, wander along Fort Street for a day full of shopping, in-store specials, and more! Many local businesses along Fort Street are hosting seasonal deals for shoppers. Chamber members included in this year’s event are: Crust Bakery, Island Blue Print Co. Ltd, The Flag Shop, Fort Properties Ltd, Russell Books, Brown’s The Florist and Oscar & Libby’s
Are you up for the gift-card challenge?

Chamber members looking for a fresh approach to helping businesses hurt by the pandemic can take a page from Newport Realty's playbook. The company is taking money saved from not being able to host a corporate Christmas Party and using it to buy gift cards from local merchants. The cards will be donated to their non-profit of choice — Our Place Society and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. Newport challenges other businesses to do the same!
Inter-Cultural Association: member since 1996
Newport Realty: member since 2006
Our Place Society: member since 2010
Festival of Trees kicks off

From now until Jan. 5, support the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation by participating in the Festival of Trees. This year, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and Chamber Board Chair John Wilson participated as judges to determine which companies designed the best tree. Check out the trees in person at The Bay Centre or online. Your donation to your favourite tree could help catapult them to the winner's circle!

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation: member since 2016
Our Native Land

CHEK News has launched Our Native Land, a podcast featuring discussion about Indigenous and First Nations cuisine, culture, heritage and more. Hosted by Tchadas Leo, the first episode features the Hon. Melanie Mark, the first First Nations woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
CHEK News: member since 1971
HeroWork’s radical renovation

HeroWork Program Society has started and completed a “Radical Renovation” in seven months for The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island Young Moms Program at Kiwanis Victoria House. This project consisted of the design and construction of basement suites and a playground, as well as the refresh of existing suites. The Y’s Young Moms Program provides safe, affordable and supported housing opportunities to mothers 16- to 29-years-old with children up to the age of five.

HeroWork Program Society: member since 2019
YMCA - YWCA of Vancouver Island: member since 1987
Pollination Project

TELUS Communications has unveiled their new Pollinator Fund for Good, an initiative focused on creating a $100 million social impact investment fund that will be used to fund sustainable startups. This investment will help entrepreneurs create solutions aimed at improving healthcare, sustainable food production, inclusion (social and economic) as well as reducing Canada’s environmental footprint.
TELUS Communications: member since 1962
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