October 4, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Check out all the great photos from last month's 5 Chamber Mixer, which brought together businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, Sooke Region and WestShore chambers. Chamber gatherings are always popular, so be sure to register early for all the great Chamber events coming up!

Chamber celebrating

Small Business Month

October is Small Business Month. It’s a good time to check in on the many businesses we rely on every day to provide essential goods and services, create jobs and support our communities. 

Small businesses employ more than half of all British Columbians. And the dollars that go to local businesses recirculate in the community about 4.6 times more than the same money spent at corporations that have head offices far away or even in other countries. Small businesses also represent every sector of the economy, from professionals and tradespeople who aren’t always top of mind to the highly visible retailers and restaurateurs who we interact with every day. 

"Small businesses are the heartbeat of Victoria's economy, driving innovation, fostering local communities, and providing opportunities for growth,” said Kyman Chan, Partner, Assurance and Business Advisory, Grant Thornton LLP. “Supporting the small business community is not just an investment in economic prosperity, but a commitment to preserving the unique character and vitality of our region.”

Throughout October, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Small Business Month, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP.  Visit for resources and information on events designed to help small businesses thrive.  

Read the full media release

Upcoming Events

International Student & Local Business Virtual Emerge Connector

2023 Marketplace Mixer

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast - Waitlisted

Navigating Volatility: What Your Business Should Look Out For

Membership 101

Emerge Connector @ CCCU

November Business Mixer

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall New Date

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

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Thankful for good business, great community

Whether you’re looking to cook your own Thanksgiving meal, or prefer someone else do the work, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy great food and spend quality time with the people you love.

Take time this long-weekend to check out some of the exciting activities and venues across Greater Victoria. If you’re looking to unwind while staying close to home, or need a place for the in-laws to stay, check out the beautiful hotels Greater Victoria has to offer.

As the weather begins to cool, now is a great time to consider supporting one of Greater Victoria's local non-profits.

The Chamber would like to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

The Chamber office will be closed Monday, Oct. 9.

Greater Victoria named best small city in the world

Greater Victoria has risen to the top of Conde Nast's annual ranking of the Best Small Cities on the planet. More than 520,000 people took part in the readers' choice awards.

Our region came close last year, placing second on the list, but this year we are at the top thanks to our proximity to Vancouver and "one of the world’s most scenic ferry rides."

The international travel magazine point out the "bucket list-worthy Fairmont Empress," and our reputation as the "most British town in Canada." Other factors were the fact our ancient rainforests are so accessible, as are many easy day trips on the Island.

Fairmont Empress: Member since 1913

Bank of Canada says pricing norms are 'unstuck'

How much is too much when it comes to adjusting price points to ensure your business stays sustainable? In a speech yesterday to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of Canada said changes to how prices are set has become a risk for inflation.

"In ordinary times, prices are sticky. Companies typically don’t adjust prices often, even if input costs change or consumer demands shift. Why not? Because it can be expensive to change prices," Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Nicolas Vincent said, citing steps in a typical process to analyze competitive risks. "But during the recovery from the pandemic, firms were faced with fast-rising input costs and they saw that consumers had less choice because supply was low everywhere. This allowed them to pass those changes on to consumers more quickly and more fully than usual."

The Bank, which is scheduled to make its next interest rate announcement on Oct. 23, said it's concerned that rising prices are now seen as normal.

"If stores expect their suppliers and competitors to change prices more frequently, and consumers are willing to continue paying higher prices rather than shopping around, then it creates a feedback loop," the Bank said. "This could make prices more sensitive to shocks, making it more difficult to get inflation back to our 2% target."

Climate Action Leadership needed to prepare for risks

The Chamber advocates for Climate Action Leadership as businesses adapt and respond to changing expectations for seasonal weather events. Updated provincial legislation will help modernize the ability of businesses and their communities to better respond to emergencies and disasters.

British Columbia's new Emergency and Disaster Management Act will replace the Emergency Program Act, which is almost 30 years old.

"Including Indigenous knowledge — by developing regulations in consultation with First Nations — is important and something The Chamber fully supports as work toward a sustainable future," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "The climate has changed and we will continue to experience extreme weather events every year. This, of course, goes beyond borders and even local planning needs to consider the global context."

The changes align with the international agreement to protect communities from climate events. For more , go to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

BC Ferries rate hike capped at 3.2% until 2028

Rising costs and finding and keeping staff are two of the biggest challenges facing employers. Yesterday, BC Ferries was told it could only increase fare prices by 3.2% annually between April 1, 2024 and March 31, 2028. The increase had been forecast at 9.2% but was reduced because of a $500 million provincial government subsidy.

The ferry corporation — part of the foundation of Vancouver Island's economy — was also told yesterday that the province will begin levying fines for missed sailings on select routes. The penalties will apply when core services are cancelled — $7,000 if a major route and $1,000 if a minor route. Many of the details have yet to be announced.

Over the summer, ferry cancellations made headlines and frustrated travellers as mechanical issues and a lack of available staff affected numerous sailings.

"BC Ferries provides a vital connection between the Mainland and the Island, so we do need certainty that sailings will happen as scheduled," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "But perhaps there are regulatory changes or innovative solutions that can be made to modernize staffing requirements while maintaining public safety as the priority."

BC Ferries: Chamber Champion | Member since 1983

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Addressing racism by understanding cultural diversity

Powering our province's future with BC Hydro

Kulea Culture Society: Member since 2023

Chamber Chats

The Kulea Culture Society works to engage us all in a cultural understanding of the diversity that makes our region stronger. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Kulea team members about the Colourful Business Expo, their Kitchen and Culture cooking classes, their programs to address racism and more.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

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

Greater Victoria Business Awards 2024

Nominate a deserving business for: Innovation Award

The Innovation Award honours a business that has developed innovative business practices and/or continues to evolve products, services and processes to respond to a changing business environment and meet a community need. The business exemplifies inclusivity and adaptability.

Sponsored by: University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected]

Winnerjoni - video

Finalist: ASEP Medical Holdings Inc. - video

Nominate Today
Award Categories

Upcoming Events

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!

Westcom Business Solutions

Westcom Business Solutions client-first approach and innovative solutions can help you manage all your tech-frustrations and help you find the best-suited IT infrastructure for your business. With this certificate, you'll receive four hours of their expert IT services.

Magnolia Hotel & Spa

With this gift certificate, you and a guest will enjoy a romantic night out in the heart of Downtown Victoria, courtesy of the Magnolia Hotel & Spa! This package includes a one-night stay in a diamond room with a gas fireplace and a bottle of sparkling wine chilled upon your arrival. Finish the night off with a $150 dining credit to The Courtney Room.

Luv-A-Rug Services

Fall in love with your rugs all over again with a gift certificate for restorative rug washing or repair from Luv-A-Rug Services! Luv-a-Rug’s expert cleaning and repair will have your rugs looking brand new.

Market on Yates

On the hunt for a great place to buy your groceries? With two locations, shop for all your grocery needs at the Market on Yates or the Market On Millstream with this gift card courtesy of the Market Stores!

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.
Are you a member? Post your own events for free.

Member News @VictoriaChamber

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Market Collective:

Member since 2023

Victoria Airport Authority:

Member since 1981


Member since 2020

York Brooks Design:

Member since 2023

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 

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 

Director, P&C Business Partner for Public & Commercial Sector - TELUS Business

Senior Systems Administrator - University of Victoria 

Workforce Development Specialist - Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

Administrative Clerk - Capital Regional District

Community Centre Worker - Our Place Society

Estimator - MAC Renovations

Member to Member Discounts

The Irish Times - $9.99 Breakfast before 9am at the Irish Times

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit - 5% off Uplift Women's Business Summit

Victoria Bullion Exchange - 50% off Segregated Vault Storage for bullion

Victoria Fitness - Private Personal Training Studio - Get a 3-session Introductory Training Package for Half Price ($125)

West Shore U-Lock Mini Storage Ltd. - 50% Off 1st Month's Rent

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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