Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 28, 2021
The Vax for BC campaign will shift focus from mass clinics to mobile ones, making the process more convenient. On Aug. 4, all clinics will also offer walk-in service for people who have not registered.

The Chamber is part of the national Faster Together initiative, whose studies show that 14% of Canadians are hesitant about vaccines. The majority of those say they have questions and want access to qualified health professionals before they get their shot. Let's hope this new campaign can give them the answers they need.

If you are an employer looking to transition your COVID-19 Safety Plan to a communicable disease prevention plan, WorkSafeBC offers a guide for employers.
WorkSafeBC: Member since 2006
With tourism back, BC Ferries expects busy weekend
The BC Day weekend will be a busy one for BC Ferries, which is advising travellers to plan ahead before sailing. The increased volumes are great news for the organization, and signal a return to vibrancy for our tourism industry.

"Historically, this weekend sees the highest traffic volumes of the year. The most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning," states a news release from BC Ferries.

You can reserve a sailing ahead of time, or try a new feature that allows passengers to use their phones to check-in.

“These devices will provide terminal staff with an additional option to check-in customers, which will speed up the check-in process overall,” BC Ferries says. “Follow traffic control flaggers and have your booking reference number ready upon arrival at the ticket booth to speed up the check-in process if you have an advanced booking.”
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
Grants announced for major tourism businesses
The provincial government announced grants of up to $1 million for major tourism businesses last Friday, answering calls to help this hard hit sector. Grants of up to $500,000 were also available for tour bus companies and rural attractions.

The funds were approved for 83 business across BC, including a number located in Greater Victoria.

“The sector called on government to provide grants, not loans, and we worked with tourism sector leaders to make sure these vital businesses and non-profits can continue to employ residents and draw visitors to attractions throughout BC," Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Minister Melanie Mark said Friday.

The funds will help the industry with its ongoing recovery as the number of visitors from across Canada increases. The border is set to open to US travellers on Aug. 9, providing another boost for tourism businesses.
The Butchart Gardens: Member since 1976
Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum: Member since 1990
Prince of Whales Whale Watching: Member since 2002
Wilson's Group of Companies: Member since 2004
LA Limousines: Member since 2013
Nominations close tomorrow!
This year, four (4) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.
Our influential board works with decision-makers at all levels of government to support our region’s businesses and maximize the value of Chamber membership.

Click here for key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Download your application, including a request for a bio and photo for the election ballot — as well as a form to gather your nomination supporters.

Nominations close Thursday, July 29 at noon.
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than 10 minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts.

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet by completing the survey. Congrats to Carly from for winning our Early Bird prize from EVO Car Share.
BC municipalities can now ban single-use plastics
Work done by The Chamber along with Greater Victoria municipalities helped pave the way for a change to provincial rules around banning single-use plastics and plastic bags. On Tuesday, the province announced it was amending BC's Community Charter to allow local governments to ban plastics without first getting approval from BC's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The City of Victoria has been at the forefront of the move to ban single-use plastics, and worked closely with The Chamber to ensure its regulation aligned with ongoing business practices. Consumers have asked for alternatives to plastics for years, and it was vital that regulations match the innovations businesses already had in place.

The Chamber also worked with the District of Saanich, the Township of Esquimalt, and the City of Colwood to ensure regulations are the same for businesses and consumers throughout Greater Victoria.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Chamber part of national strategy on climate change
The Chamber is part of a national network helping businesses build a more sustainable future. The Net-Zero Strategy includes innovations in supply chains and renewable energy as well as other actions.

"To ensure Canada’s pathway to net-zero is competitive, enhances investment, creates jobs for Canadians and promotes innovation, how we get there matters," states the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "Investments that support business-led transitions, offset market development, and a predictable business environment are crucial to meeting these goals. Canada’s business community is eager to collaborate with government to develop the framework to enable the greatest economic opportunity for the next generation."

The Canadian Chamber is also playing a key role in advocating for a National Climate Adaption Strategy to protect people from increasing episodes of heat, wildfire and flooding.
Chamber column in this month's Business Examiner
Life after pandemic — time to get back together
Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

With restrictions lifting and the threat of COVID-19 fading into the category of rarely contracted communicable disease, we’re all ready to get back to “new” normal. But what is normal? Can we get back to the life we enjoyed before social distancing, variants of concern and never-ending Zoom meetings? Do we want to?

Businesses have led exciting new innovations and systemic changes in the last 450 odd days. It’s time to bring that drive to change and improve into all aspects of our world so that the second-half of 2021 will be much different than it was before 2020. I truly believe in many ways we’re much better off. The crisis of a pandemic has forced us to re-examine our values and revealed systemic dysfunction that had been easy to ignore when times were good.

BCI reports record 16.5% return through pandemic
Gordon Fyfe
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) has reported it ended its fiscal year on March 31 with $199.6 billion in managed assets and a net return of 16.5% for its pension plan clients.

BCI's CEO and CIO, Gordon Fyfe, told Black Press a shift to managing assets in-house freed up $3 billion. Those savings are now being invested as well as covering the cost of 400 new employees.

“It certainly helps the economy. We now have 600 people managing $200 billion based here in Victoria. Rather than everybody around the world taking that money from our pensioners, that money’s staying here in the province," Fyfe told Black Press.
BC Investment Management Corporation: Member since 2019
Celebrating what makes us British Columbians
Take a moment this BC Day long-weekend and look back on the history of the province, the diversity of its people and the promise we share for a better tomorrow.

It's a good time to reflect on the role First Nations held for millennia as the stewards of this land. As we all work towards reconciliation, join us in supporting our friends, neighbors and community members who strive to make BC the great place it is.
Start local by enjoying all that Greater Victoria has to offer — arts and entertainmentattractionslocal shopping and more. Now could be a great time to get started on that lingering home project, or even schedule a last minute local getaway. Make sure to plan ahead, check what’s open before you go and stay updated on provincial health guidelines.

The Chamber office will be closed on Monday, Aug. 2. 
Showcase your business at the 2021 Auction
Showcase your product or service at the 2021 Virtual Chamber Auction!

We are thrilled to announce the return of our Virtual Auction, taking place Nov. 7 – 14.

This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received nearly 8,000 visitors to our auction platform for a week of bidding on fabulous gifts.

Do you want your products and services featured in the auction? From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach thousands of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.
Have any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email Alex at [email protected]
August Business Mixer (Online)
One of your last chances to log on from the comfort of your home and connect with businesses across Greater Victoria at The Chamber’s Virtual August Business Mixer.

Grow your connections and discover new opportunities as we conclude our Virtual Mixer series, moving back to in-person networking events starting in September.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Aug. 19 | 5 - 6 PM
The Prodigy Group presents Bite-Size Connections
Get re-acquainted with emerging and established members of Greater Victoria's business community at the Prodigy Group's first in-person event this year.

Attendees will be able to sit in groups of six and mingle over personal appetizers. 
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 5 - 6:30 PM
Maple Room - Strathcona Hotel
919 Douglas St. Victoria, BC
Registration is limited so don't delay!

Safety protocols will be in place and Provincial Public Health Guidelines will be followed.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: A Quiet Giant of Industry and Business Part 2
This is the second of a two-part Chamber Chat looking at one of the region's quiet giants of industry and business.

A 26-acre worksite in the middle of the region, the Seaspan Victoria Shipyards employs as many as 1,400 people. We go inside the gates with Vice President and General Manager, Joe O'Rourke.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since December 2020
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Make an impact in your industry

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board. 

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure it can be properly sorted and found by the right candidates. The list of industry types is constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting, email [email protected].
Create an online strategy to drive global sales 
Discover, learn and create an integrated online strategy to drive your global sales.

100% of ICE graduates stated that they are better equipped for e-commerce following the workshop and would recommend ICE to other SME's.

Join us for this two-day interactive workshop:
  • September 7, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • September 8, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Full Bursaries available to Chamber Members - email [email protected]
Member News

TELUS Business has committed $1 million to champion Canadian small business. As part of their #StandWithOwners campaign, business owners can apply now for a chance to receive $10,000, mentorship and local advertising.

Selected recipients will be announced weekly until Oct. 31.
TELUS Communications | TELUS Business: Member since 1962 
TELUS Business: Chamber Champion since 2020
Back to the pitch

This week, Pacific Football Club will host their first soccer game at Starlight Stadium since 2019. Up to 5,000 fans are able to attend the game in accordance with provincial health orders. Pacific FC faces Calvary FC of Calgary on Friday, July 30, at 6:30 pm.

Pacific Football Club: Member since 2019
Vax Van hits Vancouver Island

Island Health has unveiled their Vax Van, a mobile vaccination clinic offering COVID-19 shots at a variety of fun locations. From parks and beaches to shopping malls and outdoor events, the Vax Van will be traveling across Vancouver Island offering first-dose vaccines with no appointment required.

Island Health: Member since 2020 
New learning facilities at UVic

The University of Victoria has received provincial funding for the creation of state-of-the-art learning facilities. The funds will be used for a six-storey addition to the Engineering and Computer Science Building, including new laboratories and 500 new seats for students.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Member since 2021
The Upside Blend

Calling all coffee lovers! Three local businesses are giving away a prize pack valued at more than $275. You can win an Upside by CHEK News hoodie, mug, and specialty bag of coffee, as well as gift cards to Pepper’s Food Store and Iron & Wood Golf Simulators. Enter now until Aug. 18.
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Pepper’s Food Store: Member since 2002
Iron & Wood Golf Simulators: Member since 2020
Open Air Summer Festival

From July 29 – Aug. 2, the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria will conduct a 10-day live concert on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy. The outdoor concert — perfect time for BC Day — will feature individual, group and pop-up performances.
Victoria Symphony: Member since 1984
Pacific Opera Victoria: Member since 2007
Flying high with BC Transit

A BC Transit driver has created a unique message for his girlfriend competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Although spectators were not able to travel to Tokyo to watch their loved ones compete, Stephen Bains used three BC Transit double-decker buses to read out Fly High Celina, while two single buses displayed #Tokyo2020ne. His girlfriend, Celina Toth, is competing in the women’s 10-metre diving event Aug. 4-5.
BC Transit: Member since 1999
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