September 20, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Last week's Emerge Connector was an amazing evening of great sport and fun times meeting new people at an exciting Pacific FC game. Chamber gatherings are always popular, so be sure to register early for all the great Chamber events coming this fall!

CEBA extension does little for businesses in need

After reviewing the federal government’s announcement on Sept. 14 regarding changes to requirements for repayment of CEBA loans, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is joining our national chamber network as well as our many partner organizations to call for an extension to the repayment deadline while maintaining the forgivable portion.

Razor sharp margins and a steep increase in interest rates have created unfavorable conditions for doing business. The Chamber is calling for a two-year extension to give businesses and interest rates enough time to stabilize.

“Many organizations still need time, and extending the deadline for repayment of the loan is reasonable, however, that needs to be coupled with continuing to allow the forgivable portion of the loan,” Chamber Chair Kris Wirk said. “The reality facing many small businesses — especially those in hospitality, tourism and retail — is that they have a viable path to making a full recovery but it’s going to take longer than expected.”

Read the full Media Release

Upcoming Events


5 Chamber Mixer at Camosun Interurban - At Capacity

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall

Hire a Co-op Student to Benefit Your Team - Webinar

International Student & Local Business Virtual Emerge Connector

Marketplace Mixer

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast

Navigating Volatility with Grant Thornton

Check our Events Calendar for updates. 

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Bill C-48 could help make communities safer

A proposal to keep communities safe from the small group of people responsible for repeat criminal activity is a step in the right direction.

Bill C-48 was given its first reading in the Senate yesterday. The Act to Amend the Criminal Code (bail reform) aims to keep violent offenders behind bars instead of being released before trial. The amendments were supported by BC's provincial government, and reflect a public frustration with feelings that some areas are becoming more unsafe.

"The Chamber strongly advocates for safe communities as fundamental to good business," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "That said, we've also heard from experts on criminal law in Victoria and know that real change will require investing in the court staff and infrastructure needed to keep the system working as intended."

New law prohibits drugs near parks

In related news, the federal government also approved this week a request by the province to prohibit illicit drugs in areas frequented by kids and families.

As of Monday, it is illegal to possess controlled substances within 15 metres of a playground, wading pool or a skate park.

“Decriminalization is one part of a complex response to the toxic-drug crisis," Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto said in a news release. "As the longer-term effects of decriminalization are assessed, and more addictions and mental-health services are established, it’s important to consider and take steps that specifically protect children.”

Canadian Chamber releases proposed policies

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has finalized the list of proposed policy resolutions that will be voted on at its 2023 AGM next month.

The resolutions reflect input given to chambers by their boards and members. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an annual member survey and consults with our Public Policy and Advocacy committee to determine policies to support.

"The policy book reflects the work of over 400 chambers across the country amplifying the voice of business on issues around climate change, innovation, skilled labour force and other critical issues for success," Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams said. "We want to make sure the resolutions that are adopted provide the government with practical solutions to challenges facing businesses."

The Canadian Chamber AGM takes place Oct. 12-14 in Calgary.

Also at the AGM, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce will find out if we won an award for our work supporting diversity and inclusion. We have been nominated for the Canadian Chamber’s Inclusive Growth Award.

Program offers $40K to build more secondary suites

Secondary suites have long played an invaluable role in our economy, offering affordable housing for many workers who are vital to keeping our economy vibrant.

The Chamber applauds Monday's announcement that will see less red tape for homeowners who want to add secondary suites — which also creates income that helps with the cost of living. As well, an incentive administered by BC Housing will provide a forgivable loan to qualified homeowners of up to $40,000 to add a secondary suite. The unit must be on the property where the homeowner lives and rent for less than market rates.

The province has prepared the Home Suite Home guide to provide more info on programs that incentivize the creation of new rental housing

BC Housing: Member since 2019

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Housing the cornerstone for employee retention

Powering our province's future with BC Hydro

Greater Victoria Housing Society: Member since 2012

Chamber Chats

Housing supply and affordability is a huge issue in Greater Victoria. In addition to private companies and governments, a non-profit agency is building affordable housing across the region. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Virginia Holden, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Housing Society, about housing supply, income-related rent and types of housing available.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

Rising inflation still a threat to economy, Bank says

The Consumer Price Index rose 4% year over year in August, Statistics Canada reported this week. That's up from a 3.3% increase in July.

"In addition to facing higher energy prices, Canadians paid more for rent and mortgage interest in August," Statistics Canada said. "Moderating the all-items CPI were declines in prices for travel-related services and a smaller increase in food prices compared with the previous month."

The rise in inflation could impact the Bank of Canada's next interest rate decision. In a summary of deliberations, released today, the Bank noted that they had concerns about pausing rate increases last month. The Bank said it needs to make sure Canadians aren't expecting interest rates to be lowered soon, and that there is still a risk of ongoing high inflation.

Uber seeks business feedback on labour reforms

Uber Canada is hoping Chamber members can help give the province feedback on proposals that could have a profound impact on the sustainability of "app-based workers." Often referred to as the gig economy, this sector has evolved quickly alongside technological advances. The Chamber is a strong advocate for Fair Rules for emerging and established businesses.

Uber is siding with proponents of labour reforms that would mandate benefits and protections for workers while preserving the flexibility of their work environment.

A discussion paper was published in the summer by the Ministry of Labour, exploring employment standards for app-based rideshare and food delivery workers. The paper itself focuses on:

  • fair compensation standards
  • pay and destination transparency
  • account suspensions, deactivations, and terminations
  • workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety coverage

The government has asked for feedback by Sept. 30, emailed to: [email protected]

Uber Canada: Member since 2019

2024 Business Awards nominations are now open!

From start-ups to local legends, the 2024 Greater Victoria Business Awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 14 categories worth celebrating. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who serve as judges. 


The Chamber is excited to share that this year's Award nominations will once again be hosted on Awardify — a Canadian based awards platform that makes it easier for you and your team to nominate deserving local businesses in your community!

Nominate Today
Award Categories

If you have questions about the platform or the awards process, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected].

Deadline to join a Chamber committee approaching

The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. Each year, our committees will have a few openings for new members. If you're interested, we are recruiting now for Jan. 1, 2024, for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:

  • Ambassador Committee
  • Finance and Audit Committee
  • Emerge Committee
  • Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advancement Committee
  • Family Business Committee

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open until Oct. 6. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will review your application and you will be contacted by email or phone.

Upcoming Events

To find out more or register for an event, click on the corresponding graphic below.

Wisdom for family businesses

Listen to David Bentall explain how you can benefit from connecting with him and others who understand the challenges of family businesses.

The Chamber Auction - November 5-12

Showcase your product or service

It's back! We are excited to announce the return of our Annual Auction, taking place Nov. 5 - 12.


Last year, we received thousands of visits to our auction platform for an action-packed week of bidding on fabulous gifts and memorable experiences. Take a look at some of the great items being featured this year below!

L.A. Limousines

Live the life of luxury with a $100 gift certificate to be used towards rentals of luxury vehicles, limousines, SUV limousines, limo buses, minibuses, or a Luxury Wine Tour from L.A. Limousines!

Thrifty Foods

Time to go grocery shopping? Whether you’re stocking up for a feast or just grabbing a few essential ingredients, this gift card to Thrifty Foods is sure to assist in your culinary adventures.

Inn at Laurel Point

Unwind with a one-night stay in an Erickson Wing Studio at the Inn at Laurel Point! Included in this package is delicious breakfast for two in the Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio. With stunning views of the Inner Harbour, the Inn at Laurel Point makes every stay a remarkable one

Fine Line Edits

Make your next writing project a success with three hours of writing, editing, or education services from Fine Line Edits! After this session, your communications will be polished, unique, and will be sure to capture the attention of your target audience.

Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?


From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach hundreds of potential customers by donating a prize today.

Sponsored by:

As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Donate Today!
Chamber Member Events
Want to know what events are happening in the community? Check out The Chamber's Community Calendar to stay up to date with plays, seminars, grand openings and more.
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Member News @VictoriaChamber

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LIDA Construction:

Member since 2019

Victoria Royals:

Member since 2022

Destination Greater Victoria:

Member since 1988


Member since 2022

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Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected]
Chamber Job Board 

Administrative Coordinator – Scotiabank 

Senior Administrative Assistant – MNP  

OFA 2 Attendant – Knappett Projects 

Manager of Curriculum and Learning Development – Indigenous Perspectives Society 

Director of HR Services – Engaged HR 

Board of Director – Royal & McPherson Theatres Society

Member to Member Discounts

Joni - 10% Off Your First Order 

MetCredit - Special Chamber Rate of 22.5% 

Moe's Home Victoria - 20% Off Regular Priced Items 

Monk Office + Art - 15% Off Monk Office & Art Supplies 

Paramount Executive Centre Inc. - Discounted Boardroom Rentals

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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