Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
May 12, 2021
Last chance to order!
Special Awards Dinner for Two
Click here for a special awards menu you can order for your at home celebrations courtesy of Chamber member Food for Thought CateringPlace your order by 4 pm on Thursday, May 13.
BC introduces temporary plan for paid sick-leave
The provincial government announced yesterday that a temporary paid-sick-leave plan is in the works. Under the proposal, employers will be required to pay workers their full wages for up to three sick days off. If the employer does not have paid sick-leave, the province will reimburse employers up to $200 per day per worker.

“These are exceptional times and we support measures that allow all businesses to ensure workplaces are safe from COVID-19," Chamber CEO Bruce WIlliams says. "We look forward to learning more about this plan, including how the province will get funds to employers quickly. We also appreciate the province's commitment to work with business before crafting the permanent plan, which is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 when the temporary plan ends."

WorkSafeBC is in charge of setting up the program, and will begin administering it next month on behalf of the government.

The Chamber would like to hear from our members about your thoughts on the temporary plan as well as a more permanent paid-sick-leave plan to be legislated to start in January 2022. Email [email protected].
WorkSafeBC: Member since 2006
Province heads into home-stretch of restrictions
We are heading into the home stretch as we begin week fof the five-weeks of stricter restrictions that began at midnight on March 29. Those orders state:
  • Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled.
  • Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining.
  • Outdoor patio seating and take-out or delivery is allowed.
  • Workplaces with a COVID-19 exposure may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days.

As well, the PHO strongly recommends:

BC has also officially moved into the fourth and final phase of our official immunization plan. As of May 12, more than half of all eligible British Columbians have had at least one dose of vaccine.

Appointments are currently being booked for people born in 1985 or earlier. Make sure you are registered so you can book your appointment as soon as possible. One of the criteria for loosening restrictions this summer is the number of people who are immunized.

"Vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic, and that light is growing brighter by the day,” BC's Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said today.
Douglas Magazine column: Ready for take off
The provincial and federal budgets unveiled in April have finally given us a better sense of the financial implications of living with COVID-19. There are a lot of unknowns about how pandemic-economics will resonate in our daily lives, but there are reasons for optimism.

B.C.’s immunization campaign is rolling out faster than anticipated, and, on Vancouver Island, we have done a remarkable job of keeping case numbers low and our communities safe. This is good news for our regional economy.

To better understand what the federal and provincial budgets mean for businesses, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce hosted an online event with Matthew Hohnsbehn, Liaison Officer at the Canada Revenue Agency, and Kris Wirk, Partner at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants. Kris is also the Vice Chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Highlights from this week's events
Did you miss this week's virtual events hosted by The Chamber? You can still watch the videos and hear what experts have to say about these vital advocacy issues.
Grants and Taxes 2021 - Tools to bounce forward
Homeless to Sheltered with BC Housing
Langford's Station Avenue to become cultural hub
A plan to revitalize a City of Langford neighbourhood will create a new cultural precinct that will showcase artists, attract new businesses and bring more people into a public space. On Monday, Langford council endorsed the project, in collaboration with the Island Corridor Foundation, to improve Station Avenue. The area between Peatt Road and Veteran's Memorial Parkway had become a concern for residents.

“For many years, Council has focused on expanding recreational opportunities," Langford Mayor Stew Young said in a news release. "Now we plan to turn our attention to arts and culture, providing new and exciting family-friendly options for residents and visitors alike."

The project will celebrate local First Nations, showcase Langford’s evolving cultural identity, and create opportunities for businesses. Funding for the project is through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Gas Tax Fund.
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Island Corridor Foundation: Member since 2020
More information on UVic Co-op and Camosun Co-Op
Upcoming events
Special Event!
Co-op Students - Business Connector
The Chamber is hosting a special networking event for students and employers to network and create new connections. Students in the Co-operative programs at Camosun College and the University of Victoria are a great resource for employers to engage with new talent. 
Students representing a wide range of skills and talents are looking for employment opportunities to put their studies into real life practice. 

Employers of all sizes of businesses can participate. With multiple funding programs available, this is a great opportunity for your business to tap into new talent.
Wed., May 26 |5 - 6 PM
Special thanks to the Camosun College and University of Victoria Co-op programs for sponsoring this event:
Opportunity on the Path to Reconciliation
Hear how British Columbia is working to promote Indigenous-led economic development opportunities by strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities and leveraging Indigenous knowledge and prospectives.

British Columbia is the first province in Canada to recognize Indigenous peoples’ human rights in law and to put the UN Declaration into action as we work towards the creation of true and lasting reconciliation.
Funds allow Wear2Start to continue helping women
A Greater Victoria non-profit can get back to helping women to reach their goals, after receiving a much-needed donation from the Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside.

Wear2Start relies on volunteers to provide a welcoming environment for women in need of professional outfits, haircuts or clothing alterations. The work is vital right now, as women account for a disproportionate number of job losses caused by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 forced Wear2Start to close its doors to clients and clothing donations for a year. And when we were able to resume services, many of our volunteers -- who fall into vulnerable age groups, have or live with someone who has underlying conditions -- were unable to return to serving clients,” Wear2Start's presidennt Angela Mangiacasale said in a news release. “A volunteer co-ordinator is helping us to recruit and train new volunteers to serve clients and establish a new system to allow us to again accept clothing donations.”
Wear2Start: Member since 2020
GVHA hosting series of Indigenous business mixers

On Friday, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams will co-host the event along with GVHA CEO Ian Robertson. Guests include Gwaii Engineering, Songhees Events and Catering and the Indigenous Perspectives Society.

Each session includes representative from Indigenous businesses in Greater Victoria, as well as providing the GVHA with a chance to highlight recent work on Indigenous procurement.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Building BC Back with Pivot Pilots
Housing costs continue to escalate as the supply chain for the Real Estate, Construction and Development sectors are operating at full speed. Three Pivot Pilots from the Construction and Development Industry speak about that in this week’s Chamber Chat.

Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Kathy Whitcher from the Urban Development Institute as well as Chamber Champions John Knappett, President of Knappett Projects, and Tom Plumb, CEO of Kinetic Construction.
Urban Development Institute - Capital Region (UDI): member since 2017
Kinetic Construction: member since 2018
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Kinetic Construction: Chamber Champion since 2020
Knappett Projects Inc.: member since 1987
Knappett Projects Inc.: Chamber Champion since 2020
Thank you to our Chamber Champions
Find youthful talent with The Chamber
In a recent poll by RBC, Victoria was ranked as the fourth best city in Canada for youth employment (aged 15-29). With such an attractive environment for young workers, ensure your business is finding youthful talent with the help of The Chamber’s job board.

Along with having your job featured on our website and in BizNews, Chamber members receive one free 30-day job posting. Enter the code INTRO2021 at checkout.

If you’re interested in learning more about hiring younger candidates, The Chamber is hosting a Co-op Students-Business Connector on May 26. Learn how to find talent and identify funding opportunities with Camsoun College and the University of Victoria. Register here.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, please email [email protected].
Celebrate Mother’s Day every day
Although Mother’s Day may be over, a mother’s love and support is an influence every day of the year. Show your mom that she’s on your mind year-round by surprising her with a thoughtful gift or experience. 
  • Purchase spa/hotel gift certificates for a future weekend getaway. 
  • Buy her a restaurant gift card to treat your mother, or order her delivery as a surprise.
  • Send a bouquet of flowers from a local florist or garden centre.
  • Get her the latest novel and set up a video chat to discuss the characters.
  • Buy her a box of chocolates or sweet snack at a local candy shop or, if that's not her taste, order some local wine or beer.
Let your mom know you love her this spring while also showing some love to local businesses. 
Member News
Open a door to a brighter future

Since March, Habitat for Humanity Victoria has been inviting local artists to create an original piece of artwork using a door. The initiative, which has more than 100 artists registered, aims to showcase doors as a symbol of new beginnings as families in need of an affordable home receive new opportunities. The doors will be auctioned off between May 28 and June 13 as a fundraiser for Habitat’s affordable homeownership program.

Habitat for Humanity: member since 2021
Father’s Day Walk/Run for prostate cancer

The Raymond James Father’s Day Walk/Run will return this year to raise money for prostate cancer awareness and to provide important support. For 20 years, Island Prostate Centre has helped men and their families receive care and access resources. The virtual run will take place June 20, and participants can either register as a team or as an individual.

Island Prostate Centre: member since 2020
Raymond James Ltd: member since 2003
Buy beer and help the salmon

Vancouver Island Brewing has re-launched the Pod Pack, a collaboration between local breweries with the goal of helping to preserve coastal wildlife. The pack, which features beers from breweries including Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, are on sale now. For every pod pack sold, $1 will be used to support and protect chinook salmon populations.
Vancouver Island Brewing: member since 1993
Whistle Buoy Brewing Company: member since 2019
The Camosun Food Affair

In celebration of Camosun College’s 50th Anniversary in September, the institution is hosting an opportunity for businesses in hospitality, tourism and the restaurant industry to promote their favourite dishes. The Camosun Food Affair will invite organizations to create a menu offering of their choice, and showcase them from Sept. 16-23. For more info and to participate, email Christina Bauzon by May 21.
Camosun College: member since 1981
Kelp yourself to some seaweed

From May 17-23, Cascadia Seaweed is hosting their Seaweed Days Festival, a week long virtual and in-person event to teach consumers about the environmental and nutritional benefits of seaweed consumption. From Catamaran Kelp Tours with Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours to a Top Secret Brand Launch, learn about seaweed by participating in a variety of demonstrations and activities.

Cascadia Seaweed: member since 2021
Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours: member since 2013
Breaking the ice with Seaspan

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards has announced they will be designing and building the next Polar Icebreaker to be used by the Canadian Coast Guard. The project will sustain more than 2,800 jobs across the country, and will lead to the construction of the largest ship in the Coast Guard fleet. Along with performing environmental research, the ship will also allow the Coast Guard to resupply Artic communities, conduct search and rescue operations, and more.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: member since 2002
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since 2020
Develop international connections

Futurpreneur Canada is currently seeking talented entrepreneurs to represent Canada at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance. The hybrid virtual summit will be hosted in Rome and Milan in October 2021. It will feature panel discussions, focus groups and more for entrepreneurs to make international connections and accelerate their businesses abroad. Entrepreneurs can apply to be a delegate until May 17.

Futurpreneur Canada: member since 2017
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