Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 20, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the new orders mean patrons can't mingle and drinks can only be served at tables. As well, dance floors are no longer permitted.

Earlier today, the provincial government announced it will spend an additional $1 billion to help cash-strapped municipalities and transit services.

The funds will match the federal contribution announced July 16 as part of $19 billion in new spending across Canada. That money includes funding planned for paid sick leave programs.
Victoria well positioned as ocean innovation hub
Victoria is well positioned to become a centre for ocean innovation. A request for proposals has gone out to study the feasibility of increasing the value of the marine sector to Greater Victoria's economy.

The City of Victoria is working with the South Island Prosperity Partnership and the marine sector to explore the idea of an Ocean Futures Innovation Hub. It would be located in Victoria and foster an environment of entrepreneurship building off our region's existing marine industries and our location on the Pacific. Being home to Ocean Networks Canada, which yesterday announced a $29 million investment from the federal government, is a boon.

The Chamber supports innovation led by business. We look forward to helping build an Ocean Futures Innovation Hub in Victoria.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
South Island Prosperity Partnership: Member since 2017
Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019
Victoria looking at return to paid parking downtown
The City of Victoria is looking at ending parking measures introduced during the early stages of the pandemic.

In April, Victoria council decided to reduce parking rates and stop enforcing time limits in most spots. As economic activity picks up downtown, parking is once again becoming scarce.

“It’s a sign of going back to what it used to be, in a way,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist . “It’s a bit back to normalcy. I don’t think it’s out of the question for them to be charging for parking. A lot of the parking when it is reduced like that is not being used by shoppers. it's being used by workers (who take up prime spots for an entire day).”

The city uses a formula to encourage turnover of parking spaces, making it easier for more people to access businesses downtown.

Council is expected to decide Thursday on the proposal, which would take effect Aug. 4.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Pandemic a chance to rethink approach to homeless
The pandemic is causing a rethink about many things, including what we need to do to solve homelessness and the delivery of police services in our region.
The Chamber has advocated for long-term solutions that are proven to work, such as the Therapeutic Recovery Community operated in View Royal by Our Place Society.
We understand the challenges facing businesses located near former hotel properties purchased by the province to house people who had been living in encampments. The move was initially made to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading among closely packed tents. The new locations include mental health and addiction treatment services. However, the problem is complex and concerns about safety and property need to be taken seriously.

The Chamber would like to see better enforcement of rules in place to ensure all of us can enjoy a safe community. Victoria Police Department Chief Del Manak has support from the city's police board to augment policing with civilian social services.
We know the roots of homelessness, mental health issues and addictions run deep and it's clear we need an innovative approach that can do more than push the problem between neighbourhoods.

“Greater Victoria businesses are known for their compassion and prove it by giving back, by investing in solutions to help people in need in our community," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams. "They want real solutions and all of us deserve to feel secure at home and at work. The Chamber would like to see more options for long-term treatment, and we hope BC Housing intends to fulfill its plans to transform these hotel properties into affordable housing that includes homes for our workforce.”
Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Final week for Chamber Board nominations
Now more than ever leadership matters.

We’d like to invite you to be a part of the history of the region and serve on The Chamber Board.

Each fall the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates. This year, six (6) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.

Our influential board works with decision-makers at all levels of government to support our region’s businesses and maximize the value of membership with The Chamber.

Click here for key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure.

Download a nomination form here. Please also include your bio and photo for the election ballot. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 30 at noon.
Patio Season has arrived in Greater Victoria! Use this handy checklist to discover patios with incredible views, delicious food and cold drinks to enjoy on a hot day.

Before heading to a Chamber member patio, ensure they are open by visiting the Chamber Member Service Update page or by contacting them directly.

Take a photo of yourself completing the Patio Checklist, and tag us with @victoriachamber and #YYJPatioChecklist for a chance to be featured on our social media channels. Stay safe and support local this season.
Getting you back to business
Last chance to register!
Join Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and a panel of air transport and tourism leaders as they discuss how to safely and responsibly open aviation travel and the role of tourism in moving our local economy forward.
Have your questions answered by industry experts
Join our Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, Matthew Hohnsbehn, Liaison Officer at the Canada Revenue Agency, and Kris Wirk, Partner, at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants as they break down how businesses can take advantage of this program and avoid any pitfalls.
Upcoming Virtual Events
Thurs., Aug. 13 | 8-9am
Tues., Sept. 1 | 12- 1pm
Tourism industry asks BC for $680 million stimulus
The devastating impact of COVID-19 on BC tourism sector was driven home on Tuesday by a request for $680 million in relief needed to survive.

The Tourism Industry Association of BC sent a proposal to the provincial government requesting almost half of the $1.5 billion set aside to restart the economy.

"Unfortunately, as the only industry almost entirely based on the discretionary movement of people, the tourism and hospitality sector has been the most severely impacted by far by COVID-19 due to business closure orders and restrictions on personal travel, as well as the closure of international borders," TIABC's statement says.

The best case scenario forecasts 2020 revenue to be $6.7 billion compared to $20.4 billion in 2018. To survive, the industry wants $475 million to help businesses stay solvent, $190 million to encourage innovation and accelerate recovery and $15 million to support supply chains.
Chamber supports regional chamber advocacy
The Chamber continues to spearhead advocacy efforts in Greater Victoria to help our members and the community recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

In this month's edition of Douglas Magazine, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks about what we and other chambers in our region are doing to get back to prosperity.

“Businesses need certainty and they don’t have that when programs run month to month and extensions are granted at the last minute,” Williams said. “Businesses thrive when they can plan. A tiered system that gradually goes away is better for planning for a return to business that can be successful in the long term.”
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
BC Transit campaign encourages riders to don masks
A new campaign encouraging bus riders to wear masks has been launched by BC Transit. Called Together We Ride, the campaign will run for eight weeks and includes a contest starting July 27 with prizes including BC Transit branded masks and shoes.

While the provincial health officer has not mandated wearing masks, BC Transit is hoping the practice will be adopted as good etiquette by riders.
BC Transit buses already adhere to a number of safety conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Watch our Chamber Fireside Chat with Erinn Pinkerton, CEO of BC Transit, as she speaks bout how COVID-19 has impacted ridership in the region and how the company plans to restore consumer confidence (originally recorded on June 3).
BC Transit: Member since 1999
Bus service restarts between BC communities
Bus service that had been on hold due to COVID-19 have resumed, with safety measures in place.

The Wilson's Group of Companies has started up routes up Island and to the mainland. Passengers must adhere to physical distancing measures, limiting seating to one person per row or two from the same household. If physical distancing can't be maintained, passengers will need to wear masks.
The B.C. Ferries Connector is running Friday through to Monday, between downtown bus terminals in Victoria and Vancouver.

The Vancouver Island Connector is running between Victoria and Campbell River.

The Tofino Bus linking Victoria to Tofino and Ucluelet.

The company is also offering a BC Residents Rate, which gives locals a 25% discount.

“We are hopeful that with enough support from local travelers, as well as the continuation of government programs, that we can continue to operate well into the fall and winter,” John Wilson, president and CEO of the Wilson's Group said in a statement.

Additional weekday runs may be added later this summer.
Wilson's Group of Companies: Member since 2004
Let us know you're open!
To help locals looking to support businesses in the region, we want to make it easier to find businesses that are open and ready to provide products or services.
You'll see on our Chamber  online business directory  that we've added an Open icon for businesses.
Details on how the business has adapted and/or new hours will appear in Products and Services at the bottom of the listing.

We've also enhanced the SEO keywords on these listings to get you noticed.

Do you have updated business hours or services? Contact us   for your Open Icon and enhanced directory listing.
Tips from Canada's top CEOs on building career
Building a career has its challenges during a pandemic.

Here are a few tips from some of Canada's top CEOs — and Chamber members — on how to stand out from other job hunters.

According to BNN Bloomberg, Jim Pattison, chair and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group, advises people starting their careers to pick a field you enjoy rather than choose based solely on money.

JJ Ruest, president and CEO of CN Railway, says the best prospects are ones ahead of economic trends.

Even "centuries young" operations that are using technology to improve will prosper, he says.
Current Job Listings:
Dave McKay, president and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, rose to the top after starting with RBC as a co-op student. His advice is to grab the reins and work to create positive change in the world.

If you're an employer looking for your next great hire, make sure to post your career opportunities on the Chamber job board.

The job board is an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Trip planning with Teladoc
Do you have a local summer vacation coming up? Ensure you’re up to date on your prescriptions without ever walking into a doctor’s office. If you’re a member of Chambers Plan Group Insurance , you already have access to Teladoc Telemedicine Services. You can speak with a doctor by phone or video conference to get a renewal of up to 30 days of medication within an hour of booking an appointment.

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 benefit comes at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. Don’t let an empty prescription ruin your trip – download the app to book an appointment with a registered Canadian physician today.

If you’re traveling this summer, be sure to follow protocols and guidelines on how to travel safely within British Columbia. Check local updates for places you intend to visit, and plan ahead for your provincial trip of a lifetime.
Members Around Town
Most efficient airport in North America

Victoria International Airport has won an international award for being the most efficient airport in North America with under 5 million passengers. YYJ Airport received the award from the 2020 Global Airport Performance Benchmark Report, a n annual report that studies the performance of over 200 airports around the world. Learn more about this achievement during our Business Restart Series: Air Travel event with YYJ Airport President & CEO Geoff Dickson. Register for tomorrows event here.
Hotel Rialto: member since 2001
Save your bottles, create change
Our Place Society and the Bottle Depot are holding a fundraising initiative to help people in Greater Victoria experiencing homelessness. Drop off your returnable bottles at participating locations, and 100% of money raised will be used to provide meals to those in need.
Our Place Society: member since 2010
A literary reopening

The Saanich Centennial Library reopens today after being closed for nearly one year. Due to flooding last August and the COVID-19 pandemic, the library unfortunately had to close its doors. Starting today, bookworms are able to browse through a limited selection of books, DVD’s, videogames, and more.

District of Saanich: member since 2019
Award of Excellence

Maureen Sawa, CEO of The Greater Victoria Public Library, has been awarded the 2020 Award of Excellence from the Association of BC Public Library Directors. Sawa received the award due to her outstanding leadership in library advocacy, contribution to the library community, and continual innovations.
Greater Victoria Public Library: member since 2008
Still adventuring at 91

To celebrate their 91st anniversary, Robinson’s Outdoor Store will be giving away 90 prizes to 90 different winners over the next three weeks. Sleeping bags, LifeStraw water bottles, and other adventure gear is available to be won, so enter the content here and start planning for your next adventurous camping trip.
Robinson’s Outdoor Store: 2005
A Tasty Tour

Tally-Ho Carriage Tours have announced the Tally-Ho & Sea Cider Picnic Experience, an exciting way to support multiple businesses while having a private tour of Central Saanich. Begin your adventure with a private horse-drawn carriage tour before arriving at Sea Cider Farm & Cider House for a delicious tasting. To accompany the cider, enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch from Truffles Catering filled with locally sourced ingredients
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours: member since 1980
Truffles Catering: member since 1994
Tour the world from home
Yearning to travel? Flytographer has launched an online store with city-inspired collections to entice you to dream of your next adventure or reminisce of trips gone by. From beach towels to notebooks and everything in between, there is something for every explorer to enjoy.

Flytographer: member since 2015
Alacrity offers digital bootcamp

Alacrity Canada has partnered with the Government of BC to offer a virtual digital marketing bootcamp to aspiring marketers. During this six-week course, participants will receive comprehensive lessons in SEO, content marketing, analytics, and other tools to support their business or start a career in digital marketing. Register here.

Alacrity Canada: member since 2019
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