Tomorrow, May 11 from 5-7 pm join us for the Prodigy Group May Mingle hosted by Elite Sportswear & Awards at the Strathcona Hotel Rooftop.
BC Election

The following are preliminary voting results from the initial count, which includes ballots from advance and general voting:
  • Esquimalt-Metchosin - Mitzi Dean, NDP
  • Langford-Juan de Fuca - John Horgan, NDP
  • Oak Bay-Gordon Head - Andrew Weaver, Green
  • Saanich North/Islands - Adam Olsen, Green
  • Saanich South - Lana Popham, NDP
  • Victoria-Beacon Hill - Carole James, NDP
  • Victoria-Swan Lake - Rob Fleming, NDP
Final voting results will be available at the conclusion  of the final count, and includes absentee and special voting ballots, e.g. those that voted out of voting area, out of electoral district, by mail, or those who voted through a mobile team, such as those in isolated communities. The final count will conclude May 24, 2017. More info here.

"The NDP are only nine votes ahead in the Courtenay-Comox riding. If this changes to a Liberal win in the final count, the Liberals move from a minority to a majority government. But if the final count confirms a minority government, the BC Green Party holds the balance of power," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "The BC Green platform could then have a great deal of influence on government. Of particular interest to Greater Victoria businesses are the sections called Sustainable Enterprise, Green Economy, Climate Action and Fiscal Plan."

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Loren Hagerty
Loren (right) plays host to Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a tall ship day sail on Oct 1, 2016.
What do you like most about your job? It combines my administrative gifts with my love of watersports while doing fulfilling work alongside kind and caring people. What is the best perk of your job? I get some phenomenal "business trips"-like sailing for ten days this summer around Haida Gwaii, or a past sailing from Fiji to Vanuatu. How is technology changing your work? Our current wooden-hulled ships can no longer sail to overseas ports, which is one reason we will be building a new steel-hulled schooner starting next year. What were your first jobs? Paper route, landscaper, stock boy. Dogs or Cats? Just kids (three!) Favourite place on Vancouver Island? Lower Myra Falls in Strathcona Park, near my hometown of Gold River. What's something people may not know about you? I'm a man. Seriously Victoria, please stop calling me Mrs. Hagerty, just because my name sounds like the common female moniker "Lauren"! What do you think is an important life lesson for someone to learn? Maintaining "humble confidence" through every success, failure, and challenge. 
More about Loren - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found inside the May Business Matters.   

  S.A.L.T.S. Sail and Life Training Society: member since 1997

Evolving into Bambora
Today Beanstream, a provider of multi-channel payment solutions and winner of The Chamber's 2017 Business of the Year (40+ Employees) Award, has been re-branded into its parent company Bambora. Bambora acquired Beanstream in 2015 and will now operate as the North American hub to serve customers in the region.

"Beanstream's customers will not notice any other major changes in the short-term outside of the new brand," shares Ryan Stewart, chief commercial officer, North America, Bambora. "They will notice some experience-related product improvements, including seamless integrations through a new suite of APIs, and a hosted solutions that render beautifully on any device. Longer term, Bambora will provide new opportunities for customers in terms of scalability, cross-border reach, and multi-channel growth."

Beanstream has seen a 34% increase in number of customers since the acquisition. Currently, they have over a 25% market share of online payments in Canada.

Bambora: member since 2015

2017 Vital Signs Needs Your Input!
The Victoria Foundation is asking you to weigh in with your opinions on 12 issue areas critical to our community, including transportation, our economy, and housing. This year's Victoria's Vital Signs survey runs from May 8 to July 1.

The information tracked in Vital Signs helps non-profit organizations, civic leaders and individual donors make decisions about grants, policy-making and charitable giving.

Vital Signs is a national program coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages community knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action towards improving our quality of life.

Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
Your July Tax Bill 
What will you - as a resident and as a commercial property owner - pay for municipal administration and services in July? Check out the 2017 municipal tax rates here. To calculate your taxes, take your property valuation, divide by 1,000. Then simply multiply by the rate given. (Note, this is only a portion of your tax bill! More here)
Why do businesses pay more for municipal administration and service (fire and police protection, libraries, roads, sewer and water, etc.) than a resident? We don't know.
We know that BC municipalities typically charge properties in Business/Other Class a multiple over Residential. For example, in Colwood, the multiple will be over four in 2017.  
"The practice of applying a multiple on Business/Other Class is common across BC," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "We asked each of Greater Victoria's 13 municipalities why businesses are expected to pay more for the same services, but no one - mayors, councillors, city staff - gave us a rationale. In the end, municipal governments should be accountable to all taxpayers, and their taxation practices and policies transparent."
Given that business owners must pass on the cost of taxes they pay to their clients and customers, business taxes - regardless of the amount - contribute to the high cost of living in Greater Victoria.
Over the coming weeks, The Chamber will be calculating the representative business property owners' July tax bill for each Greater Victoria municipality. We are looking into how property taxes affects costs of product and services and want to hear from you! Please contact Policy and Public Affairs Manager Peggy Kulmala at

Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than five minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value? 

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet
or two tickets to YYJ Eats by completing the survey.
Thanks a Million!
At United Way's Spirit Awards 11
RBC Royal Bank, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and Coast Capital Savings receive their awards. 
companies in Greater Victoria were inducted into the new Thanks a Million Club, which honors companies that have over a million dollars in cumulative giving since first starting their workplace campaigns.

Members of The Chamber include the Department of National Defence (DND)University of Victoria, Coast Capital Savings, RBC Royal Bank, City of Victoria, Camosun College, CIBC and TD Canada Trust. Special honours were given to the DND for surpassing the million dollar mark ten-fold. Since 1994, the dedicated employees at DND have raised over $10 million for the community.

Dave Wheaton, owner of Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC, received the Chair's Award of Distinction, which showcases an individual for their extraordinary commitment to United Way's community campaign through the workplace and individual giving. Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC has donated over $400,000 dollars in both employee giving and corporate sponsorship, with Dave providing a 100% corporate match donation for every dollar raised by his employees.

United Way of Greater Victoria: member since 1972


Hear Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps talk about what's ahead for the City of Victoria and how this could impact your business.

In addition, the Board of Directors has recommended the membership approve a few minor bylaw changes. It is the board's opinion that these changes are administrative rather than substantive and the board will seek the member's approval of these changes at the Annual General Meeting.

Wed, May 17 | 11:30 am-1:30 pm
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, 728 Humboldt St. 

New LNG Ferries in BC
Seaspan Ferries Corporation welcomed two new, state-of-the-art dual-fuelled/hybrid (liquefied natural gas, diesel and battery) vessels to its fleet in April.

"We take great pride in the role we play as an economic driver for British Columbia by investing in new technology and equipment that keeps goods moving and creates both direct and indirect jobs," said Seaspan President Steve Roth.

The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant, are the first eco-ferries of their kind in North America. BC Ferries will be launching their new Salish Class Ferries, which are fuelled by LNG and diesel, in late spring.

Seaspan currently operates a fleet of seven ferries out of five terminals in British Columbia, and supplies more than 50% of all cargo to Vancouver Island.

Seaspan Ferries Corporation: member since 1972

BC Ferries: member since 1983

Welcome to Our Newest Members! 
Aon - Chris Naismith

Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.

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