BizNews
February 23, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Asked whether the province planned to ease the burdens of the EHT — which took $207 million more than anticipated from BC employers last year — or paid sick days, the minister defended the government's current policies. She also acknowledged concerns about linking the minimum wage to inflation and said she will work to make the change as smooth and predictable as possible for business.

Budget Notes:
Greater Victoria is getting two complex care facilities, though specific locations were not announced. The budget also includes $84 million over three years for planning and capital funding for upgrading the Belleville Terminal.

The tourism sector has been allocated $25 million to help with recovery efforts, though a further $915 million was set aside for potential pandemic-related expenses, including health care costs or economic recovery funding.

Greater Victoria is also in line for numerous “bus and shoulder” expansions to improve regional transit, and money has been earmarked for the transit hub at Uptown in Saanich.

“The Chamber has long advocated for child care as an investment in our economy, and we applaud the province’s commitment to adding 40,000 new spaces within seven years. We also are encouraged by some of the steps to address our lack of housing supply,” Williams said.
Recording now available: A conversation with BC Finance Minister Honourable Selina Robinson
As British Columbia looks to the future, hear from the Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance for British Columbia, on how BC Budget 2022 supports business and families as we make our way towards economic recovery.
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Province looks to speed housing approval process
The cost of housing is a serious concern for affordability in our region. There simply are not enough homes for the number of people who want to live, work and put down roots. It's a challenge facing most of BC, which is why The Chamber supports news that the provincial government is looking at helping municipalities fast-track more homes.

“The bottom line is that municipalities are not approving enough housing for our population growth,” Eby said in a CHEK News story. “I think it’s quite possible that we’re going to need to be more prescriptive. One thing is clear is that the status quo is not acceptable.”

The Chamber looks forward to hearing more about initiatives to make housing supply a priority for all governments, including solutions for increasing labour supply and securing supply chains.
Funds will help train hundreds of new nurses
The last two years have shown that we need a robust healthcare system for our economy to prosper. The recent announcement that the province is funding 602 new spaces at post-secondary schools to train nurses is welcome news.
  • Camosun College is getting 16 new seats for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, starting in 2023.
  • The University of Victoria is getting five new seats for Nurse Practitioners and a pathway for Master's Degree in Nursing, starting this September.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
New governance for some regional policing services
Our region's numerous police forces are moving in the right direction with the establishment of the Regional Governance Council for Integrated Police Units. The new body will have limited authority, but will help municipalities better understand how they can benefit from shared services. The council will consist of mayors from Greater Victoria, and will be co-chaired by David Screech, Mayor of the Town of View Royal, and Kevin Murdoch, Mayor of the District of Oak Bay.

The Chamber continues to call on the provincial government to contribute its portion of costs for a Citizens' Assembly. In the last civic elections, voters in the District of Saanich and City of Victoria mandated their councils participate in the process. Both municipalities are now waiting for the province before they can begin the next phase.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Town of View Royal: Member since 2020
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Pink Shirt Day a reminder that bullying affects all
Today is #PinkShirtDay, and Chamber staff, pictured above during our morning Skype call, would like to encourage everyone to #LiftEachOtherUp.

Bullying affects everyone, and today, like all days, we should be kind to one another and help foster positive and inclusive environments wherever we go.
Last call to have your say on federal budget
How do you think the federal government can help Canada's economy remain robust and resilient in the years ahead? Now is the time to engage with federal decision makers, who are looking to the business community for help understanding the private sector's challenges and opportunities. The Chamber is preparing a submission for pre-budget consultations. We're also working with the national chamber network to amplify the voice of business.

Have your say by answering a questionnaire by Feb. 25.
Mark your calendar for March events
Return to In-Person Events — To Your Health

We will be taking the appropriate precautions as directed by the current PHO to protect the health of all of our guests and staff supporting the event. Please review our COVID-19 Safety Protocols before attending to understand how we can work together to keep everyone healthy.
Save the date!
March Business Mixer
With a little bit of the luck o' the Irish we look forward to welcoming you back to in person events with our March Mixer (fingers crossed). 

We have a few ideas in the works for this event, so register today to save the date and check back often! You can bet there will be a green theme in honour of St. Patrick's Day, with some fun and of course mixing mixed in.
Thurs., Mar. 17 | 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Location TBA
Create new connections
Member Networking Breakfast
The Chamber Member Networking Breakfast is a must-attend event for new and existing members. Facilitated by The Chamber, attendees will connect with nearly everyone in the room. Try it out for yourself and grow your business!

After breakfast and casual networking, The Chamber Team will take the floor to facilitate introductions and organize guests into roundtables. At each roundtable, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator speech; once everyone has had a chance to connect, it's time to meet an entirely new group of people at a different roundtable.
The Chamber in partnership with the World Trade Centre Vancouver is inviting you to the upcoming ICE Integrated E-Commerce Essentials Workshop on March 11, 2022. ICE is a quintessential cross-border e-Commerce workshop that equips small to medium-size enterprises for online market entry and international market development.
 
International e-Commerce is growing twice as fast as domestic e-Commerce and expected to hit 6.4 trillion dollars by 2024.
 
ICE is designed for growth orientated SMEs:
·    Seeking assistance to expand their international footprint online
·    With a proven track-record of domestic sales
·    Willing to actively participate in the program
 
100% of ICE graduates stated that they are better equipped for e-commerce following the workshop and would recommend ICE to other SMEs.
Chamber Member Benefit

In order to help your business bounce forward out of this pandemic, we are proud to offer members in good standing a free seat at the table. Regular value: $399.
Friday, Mar. 11 | 9 AM - 5 PM
Pan Pacific Hotel, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver 
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
The State of Local
Real Estate
Housing. Real estate. Affordability. All are ongoing topics of conversation as we see record high prices for home sales and record low numbers for inventory for sale.

In this Chamber Chat, we speak with executives with the Victoria Real Estate Board about the trend we are seeing and what’s to come in the next few months and years.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Events Around Town for Black History Month
February marks Black History Month and a chance to learn more about the stories, struggles and accomplishments of Black Canadians. Here's a look at some events happening around Greater Victoria.
Prepare for anything with Teladoc
Even when it's too cold to leave the house, you should be able to talk to a doctor. If you have Chambers Group Insurance, you can now take advantage of Teladoc Telemedicine Services — a fast and efficient way of getting the help you need, when you need it.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This cold and flu season, ensure your family is prepared for anything — without leaving the comfort of your home.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service 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.

Inquire with a Chamber member pharmacy to see if they are offering flu shots this year, and be sure to book your appointment ahead of time. If you’re not yet immunized against COVID-19, learn how to book an appointment here.
Celebrating our Chamber Champions
Claim your free job on The Chamber’s job board

Although February may be the shortest month, time is on your side when looking for new employees on The Chamber’s job board!

Chamber Members are entitled to one free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Make sure you’re well-staffed for the spring by using the code INTRO2022 at checkout.

The Chamber’s job board is an exclusive benefit for members. Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber.
If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, email members@victoriachamber.ca
Member News
Scotiabank and Habitat for Humanity empowering youth
Scotiabank has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help empower youth across Canada. With an investment of $900,000 from Scotiabank, the funds will be used to grow the Every Youth Initiative, which Habitat for Humanity uses to provide work experience to young people and at-risk youth. The investment is part of ScotiaRISE, the banks’ 10-year $500 million commitment to promote resilience within disenfranchised groups
Scotiabank: Member since 1962
Scotiabank: Chamber Champion since 2021
Habitat for Humanity Victoria: Member since 2021
Foo Fighters playing Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
Rock superstars the Foo Fighters will perform Oct. 3 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The event features Dave Grohl, the former Nirvana drummer who has not performed in Victoria since 1991. Tickets are on sale now.

GSL Group - Save On Foods Memorial Centre: Member since 2022
Camosun hosting virtual open house
Looking to learn more about post-secondary education? Camosun College is hosting a virtual info night today from 3 to 7 pm. Various departments will offer presentations, including the schools of sport and exercise, business, trades and technology as well as others.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Take to the skies and visit Tofino this summer
Harbour Air Seaplanes has announced direct flights from Victoria to Tofino, beginning June 2. Starting at $149 one way, the new route aims to alleviate the time it takes to drive to Tofino, which typically takes about five hours from Greater Victoria. Daily flights are planned for Thursday to Monday.
Harbour Air Seaplanes: Member since 1993
Colwood introduces GOCO app
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, the City of Colwood is developing an app to connect citizens looking to share transportation options. GOCO, launching this spring, will allow users to organize carpools or meet cyclists who ride on similar routes. The app is part of the city’s transportation strategy to increase cycling and multi-occupancy vehicle use.
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Kelp farming and green success
In October, Cascadia Seaweed was issued a license from the Tsawout First Nation to grow and harvest kelp in their territorial waters. Now, nearly 30 tonnes of seaweed is expected to be harvested in the coming weeks. On Feb. 25, a special ceremony will be held by the Tsawout First Nation recognizing their jurisdiction and authority to offer seaweed growing licenses.

At the 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Cascadia Seaweed won the Sustainable Business Practices Award.
Cascadia Seaweed: Member since 2021
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