January 22, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Feedback needed on beneficial ownership registry
The provincial government is asking for feedback on a proposed public registry of corporate beneficial ownership in BC. The goal is to fight money laundering by making transparent the name of people who own or control a company, directly or indirectly.

The Chamber supports efforts to stop money laundering and its effect on housing affordability. We also applaud BC Finance Minister Carole James for asking for public input before implementing the registry. Business might have good reasons for creating holding companies, as James notes in her consultation paper. The problem is that existing rules can make it difficult to confirm legitimate business structures.

The proposed registry would complement the Land Owner Transparency Act, which takes effect this spring and requires the identification of all beneficial owners of real estate.

The government is accepting feedback until 4 pm on March 13, by emailing the Policy and Legislation Division at [email protected].

What do Chamber members think of this initiative? Will it affect your business?
If you have questions, comments or concerns, please share them with us at [email protected].
LoJo a regional gem that needs safeguarding
The fundamental need for safe communities is one of The Chamber's top advocacy priorities in 2020. All of us need to feel safe in our homes and places of work. In the Jan. 8 edition of BizNews, we spoke about concerns that criminal behaviour was becoming more visible downtown.

It's discouraging to hear that a lack of political will to properly resource policing has resulted in a spike in crime in downtown's cherished Lower Johnson Street. As the Times Colonist's Jack Knox points out, resourceful merchants are planning to hire their own security. But did it have to come to this?

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt has called on Victoria and Saanich to combine police departments. That would represent a good start to creating a truly regional police force, as is the case in the vast majority of cities the size of Greater Victoria.
Last chance to nominate
Midnight tonight is the deadline to nominate your favourite Greater Victoria business. Yes, you can nominate your own!

From start-ups to local legends, the awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 12 categories worth celebrating. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent community leaders who serve as judges.

See categories and judging criteria for details at
Thank you to our 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards Sponsors:
Chamber CEO highlights new chair John Wilson in Business Examiner
Chamber members can get exclusive access to the January edition of Business Examiner here .
BC Ferries welcomes new hybrid-electric vessels
Innovation led by business is the best way to implement climate change solutions. A great example is the introduction of hybrid-electric vessels by BC Ferries.

Last Saturday, a transport ship carrying two new Island Class ferries arrived at Ogden Point. The new ships will operate within the Gulf Islands and are capable of operating as fully electric ferries once adequate charging technology can be implemented. Until then, the vessels are powered by a low-sulphur diesel hybrid system.

The design of the ships also reduces underwater noise.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
Luncheon rescheduled after surprise cabinet shuffle
A funny thing happened on the way to today's luncheon. A surprise provincial cabinet shuffle this morning meant that our guest speaker, Bruce Ralston, is no longer the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. Ralston has moved to Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

The minister who had that portfolio, Michelle Mungall, is now in charge of the newly renamed Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness. The Chamber apologies for the inconvenience caused to everyone who bought a ticket to today's event. We are working to reschedule this Business Leaders Luncheon for a new date in the near future.
Burdening businesses with EHT hurts wage growth
As businesses feel the burden of the Employer Health Tax, expect to hear more stories like the one that made the front page of Saturday's Times Colonist. A pub located inside the Days Inn Victoria on the Harbour now clearly shows the cost of the EHT on a customer's bill.

As noted by the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association, the EHT creates a "significant" burden to businesses. The tax adds $40,000 to the cost of running the pub, forcing its operator to choose between increasing prices, reducing payroll or passing the cost onto customers.

"I think customers will appreciate the transparency," says Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "It's important to understand that although the provincial government eliminated MSP Premiums, they did so by shifting tax collection from individuals to businesses. All of us will continue to pay, but the structure of the EHT is bad for wage growth, bad for small business and will hurt investment in our province."

To learn more about The Chamber's advocacy efforts to fix the EHT, go to
BC Restaurant & Food Association: Member since 1996
Days Inn Victoria on the Harbour: Member since 1997
Find your next employee
Do your 2020 resolutions include hiring more staff? The Chamber has a plan to help.

Our recently launched job board is for Chamber members only, with proceeds being used to workers from the rest of Canada to Greater Victoria — the best place in the country to live, work and play.

Every Chamber member receives one free job post annually. Learn more here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

“Employers need to be adaptable with regards to training and developing employees in today’s job market. We have a diverse age demographic in the workforce today and ensuring that we find ways to train and develop employees in different ways will promote teamwork and a better understanding of each other’s needs and expectations.”

John Wilson, President & Chief Executive Officer of Wilson’s Group of Companies
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits for your team, including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans.

Contact us for details.
Just announced!
Wed., Mar. 4| 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is undergoing some of its most significant and innovative reforms since it was created in 1973.

Come hear from Chair Joy MacPhail on how ICBC is working collaboratively with government and stakeholders to make rates more affordable, mitigate claims costs, restore ICBC to financial stability, and improve care for British Columbians. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share your ideas with Joy. 
Thu. Jan. 23 | 4:30 - 6:30 pm
New home of Max Furniture
3460 Quadra St.
Please note special date and time
Sponsored by:
Tue., Jan 28 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
The Union Club of British Columbia
805 Gordon St.
Sponsored by:
Meet our new team member!

The Chamber is pleased to welcome Graham Battie as our new Events Assistant. Graham will be helping plan YYJ Eats 2020, as well as assisting on Chamber events throughout the spring.

Graham is in his fourth year of studies at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business (UVic), and recently returned from his exchange term in Copenhagen, Denmark. He will be back at UVic this summer to finish his Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in service management. Outside of school, Graham enjoys playing intramural soccer or spending time with friends and family. 

Graham has worked in event planning for the last two years and has loved what he has been able to do at The Chamber. He is very excited to work with our team as The Chamber is well known for the high quality of our events.
Membership 101
Start the new year by growing your business, gaining exposure for your brand, and building a larger network through Chamber events. Every year, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce hosts more than 60 events, and we want to help you showcase your business and yourself.

Learn how to take advantage of numerous opportunities and benefits through a Membership 101 session. Hosted every two months, these sessions provide tips and strategies to optimize your membership. Seats are limited, so be sure to register for February’s session as soon as possible.

To see a list of upcoming events, Including Membership 101 sessions, visit our events calendar or email [email protected] for information on how to register.

For an in-depth look at The Chamber’s Signature Events, click here.
Members Around Town
Winter wonderland at Mount Washington

After last week’s snowstorm covered Vancouver Island, Mount Washington Alpine Resort remained fully operational while adding 46cm of snow to the slopes. The mountain now has a snowbase of 130cm, providing perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding. 
Mount Washington Alpine Resort: members since 2017
University of Victoria supercluster funding

The University of Victoria has received funding from the Digital Technology Supercluster. With a goal to position Canada as a global digital tech leader, the funding will be used to advance women entrepreneurs and improve the health of major water systems.
University of Victoria: members since 1976
New Royal Roads chancellor

Nelson Chan, chief financial officer for the Capital Regional District, has been elected Royal Roads University Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors. Chan will use his extensive strategic experience to lead Royal Roads into the future. 
Capital Regional District: members since 1993
Royal Roads University: members since 1996
Valentine’s Day gift that keeps on giving

Interested in a romantic prize this Valentine's Day? On Feb. 14, if you stay at Hotel Zed between 10 am and 2 pm and you welcome a child into your family nine months later, you and your significant other will receive a free room on Valentine's Day for the next 18 years. This four hour “nooner” deal is an annual event celebrating love — and great deals! 
Accent Inns | Hotel Zed: member since 1992
Dine Around & Stay in Town

From now until Feb. 2,  Dine Around & Stay in Town has returned to Victoria. Take this opportunity to try new food and relax at many hotels with a reduced rate. Below is a list of participating Chamber members:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub : member since 1990 
Q at The Empress : member since 1962
10 Acres Commons : member since 2003
Keg Steakhouse & Bar : member since 1979
Varsha Indian Kitchen : member since 2015
E:Ne Raw Food & Sake Bar : member since 2019
Canoe Brewpub : member since 1998
Il Covo Trattoria : member since 2017
Milestones Restaurant : member since 2000
Little Jumbo Restaurant & Bar : member since 2013
The Butchart Gardens : member since 1976
Irish Times Pub : member since 2003
Steamship Grill & Bar : member since 2013
The Courtney Room ( Magnolia Hotel & Spa ): member since 1998
Lure Restaurant & Bar ( Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort ): member since 1988
The Pacific Restaurant ( Hotel Grand Pacific ): member since 1966
Veneto Ristorante ( Hotel Rialto ); member since 2001
Marina Restaurant ( Oak Bay Marine Group ): member since 1969
Fire + Water Restaurant ( Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour ): member since 2004
The Arbutus Room ( Brentwood Bay Resort ): member since 2010
Bella ( Westin Bear Mountain Resort ): member since 2003
Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio ( Inn at Laurel Point ); member since 1991
Welcome to our newest members!
Member to Member discounts
Mayfair Optometric Clinic
MokSana Yoga Centre
Vancouver Island Brewing
Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites
Looking to add a Member 2 Member deal to your business listing?
Contact [email protected] for more information.
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