Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 29, 2020
Celebrating BC Day
This BC Day weekend, as many of us enjoy the summer weather over a three-day break, it's a good time to reflect on our remarkable heritage.

Long before the gold rushes and colonial intrigues that led to confederation, our province was home to indigenous people for thousands of years. Today, The Chamber is proud of our ongoing partnerships with our many indigenous members, including the Songhees and Malahat First Nations.

Let's take time to celebrate and respect all of those who have called our region home. A great place to learn more is at the Royal BC Museum. You can find their current hours of operation here.
Songhees First Nation: Member since 2017
Malahat First Nation: Member since 2019
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
Back to school plan welcomed by working families
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced today that all teachers and students will be back in the classroom this September.

The news is welcomed by parents who faced growing anxiety over their ability to continue working while also providing home schooling for their children.

"We know how important it is for children to be back in school – to both support their emotional and mental health and their ability to socialize and to learn,” said Dr. Henry. “Being back in school is also crucial to support many parents in being able to work, but we must do it safely. We ask for families and workplaces to continue to be flexible as we come into the fall."

Working parents make a significant contribution to our economy and The Chamber supports the safe return of students to Greater Victoria schools.

School districts and independent schools will post details and guidelines on Aug. 26.
Massive machine showcases Island marine industry
A gigantic machine painted in bright colours next to Point Hope Shipyard has attracted plenty of attention over the summer. At 30-metres in height, the stacker-reclaimer is so tall that Transport Canada requires it to have a navigation light on top.

United Engineering Ltd., part of the Ralmax Group of Companies, started the fabrication project in 2019. Parts for the massive machine were built in Sidney before being barged to Point Hope Shipyard for assembly. The project created about 100,000 hours of work for Ralmax's highly skilled employees and sub-trades.

The machine is scheduled to be shipped via barges on Aug. 15 to its new home in North Vancouver at Neptune Terminals, which handles steelmaking coal.
Ralmax Group of Companies: Member since 2011
Community builder Norma Fitzsimmons left a legacy
A former Chamber director who was well known as a community builder has died at age 97. Norma Fitzsimmons helped the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce create the annual Victoria Flower Count. The light-hearted tradition began as a way to market our region as a tourist destination. It continues to this day as a fun week, engaging dozens of schools and celebrating all communities in Greater Victoria.

Fitzsimmons love of flowers led her into a career as a florist, first with Brown's the Florist and then with her own business, now known as Poppies Floral Art.
Poppies Floral Art: Member since 2006
Brown's the Florist: Member since 1981
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.
CRA extends deadline for tax payments
The deadline for paying the Canada Revenue Agency has been extended again, this time until the end of September.

On Monday, the CRA announced it was pushing back by one month the last day for payment by individuals, corporations and trusts. After Sept. 30, penalties and interest will begin to accrue.

The deadline is typically the end of April but was postponed this year by the federal government as a way to keep money circulating while the economy was in free fall.

"While this measure for existing tax debts does not cancel penalties and interest already assessed on a taxpayer’s account prior to this period, it ensures that a taxpayer’s existing tax debt does not continue to grow through interest charges during this difficult time," the CRA said in a statement.
CEWS officially extended after passing Senate
Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy became official Monday, after passing through the Senate. CEWS has been extended until December and now better reflects variances in revenue declines among businesses.

Business Restart Series
To help you better understand the federal wage subsidy, The Chamber is hosting two leading tax experts in our next Business Restart Series on Aug. 11. Details below.
Getting you back to business
Have your questions answered by industry experts
Join Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, along with 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.
Highlight your business in 60-second pitch

We're better together. Share wins and challenges and connect with business professionals at our joint Chamber and Prodigy Group Member Networking Breakfast.

Highlight your business in a 60 second elevator pitch. Hosted on Zoom, participants will have the opportunity to connect in small Breakout Rooms.

Each Breakout room will last 10 minutes with a total of three switches during the one-hour event — that's more than 15 possible connections!
Spread the love! Pick up coffee or some baked goods to support a fellow Chamber Member.
Thurs., Aug. 13 | 8-9am
Bringing Employees Back to Work
Learn tools to re-engage staff and implement strategies that ensure a smooth transition to a new normal. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity for participants to share concerns and ask questions.
Engaged HR   is a Chamber award-winning, Victoria-based human resources consulting firm.
Tues., Sept. 1 | 12- 1pm
BC tech firms get $3 million in federal relief funds
The federal government announced yesterday that BC tech businesses will receive almost $3 million to help get through the pandemic.

The funds are expected to provide relief to about 2,500 small- and medium-sized businesses and create 1,000 jobs. Up to half of these businesses are either owned or operated by women, youth or Indigenous people. The funds come from the $304 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund for Western businesses, announced by Minister Joly on May 13.
Bike to work week returning under new name
One of the casualties of the pandemic was Bike to Work Week. It was cancelled in June due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the fact many people were working from home at the time.

However, organizers have found a way to adapt and update the event and are now planning to hold it Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 under a new name.

Go By Bike Week promotes cycling as a means to get around at any time — not only to and from the work. The change reflects the increase in ridership seen during the pandemic as more people took up cycling as a way to stay active.

Chamber staff members who cycle to work are planning to participate.

The Chamber also continues to call on the provincial government to get more of its workers back into their offices in downtown Victoria. With a green light from provincial health authorities, government workers are needed downtown to contribute to our region's economic recovery.
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.
Check your blind spots
When looking for your next great employee — or employer — leave your assumptions at the door about who might be a great fit.

When you challenge yourself to look beyond the surface, you begin to really connect with the opportunities.

Our member PwC presents a strong case on how challenging assumptions can create a better, more effective team.

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.
Current Job Listings:
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.
Things to do this long weekend
Do you remember Justin McElroy’s creative tribute to BC by naming all of the province’s municipalities through song? Re-watch that masterpiece here , while trying your best to sing along.

If naming all of BC's municipalities isn't your thing, join us in enjoying all that Greater Victoria has to offer — arts and entertainmentattractionslocal shopping, that lingering  home project, or even planning a last minute local getaway. Plan ahead, check what’s open before you go, and stay updated on provincial health guidelines.

Looking for a great place to eat? Find a patio with the Chamber Member Patio Season Checklist with delicious food, refreshing drinks and an incredible view.

BC Day will be different than others, make sure to enjoy the sunshine this long weekend and enjoy the beautiful province we live in.

The Chamber office will be closed on Monday, Aug 3. See you out there! (from a distance).
Members Around Town
Internet safety and you

The White Hatter will be hosting a free four-day back-to-school social media safety and digital literacy event to teach youth important information regarding sleep issues, exploitation, addiction and more.

The event, running Aug. 17-20, will include live Q&A opportunities to discuss how youth can stay safe online.

The White Hatter - Personal Protection Systems Inc.: member since 2012
Conquer local mountains

Climb to new heights this summer with Victoria Marathon Society ’s 5-Peak Challenge. From now until July 31, reach 1000m total elevation by climbing mountains around Greater Victoria. From Mt. Finlayson to Christmas Hill, or simply log some steps on a treadmill. Submit your progress for a chance to win prizes .

Use #RunVictoria and #RunVictoriaSummit to enter.

Victoria Marathon Society: member since 2017
Lifelong learning

The Greater Victoria Public Library has received second place in the 2020 IFLA PressReader International Marketing Award. GVPL earned this internationally renowned award due to their “ Change your mind” campaign, an initiative which focuses on creating new perceptions of what libraries can offer for self growth and exploring new ideas.
Greater Victoria Public Library: member since 2008

Victoria Women’s Professional Group has created Discover Local YYJ , an event that provides numerous discounts and savings towards local businesses. Chamber members Ocean 98.5 are a supporting partner and many Chamber members have offers through this event, including:

Victoria Women's Professional Group: member since 2019
Rogers Media - Jack 103.1 & Ocean 98.5: member since 1962
Make the weekend a splash

Although Victoria’s famous BC Day event Symphony Splash will not be occurring this year, you can still enjoy previous events online. Watch archived videos from this spectacular annual event here, and 2018’s event will be broadcast on Victoria Symphony’s Facebook page.
Victoria Symphony: member since 1984
Welcome to our newest members!
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