October 20, 2021
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Concerts, sports back to 100% capacity next week
Next week marks a significant shift in responsibilities and opportunities for businesses in BC that are required to check for proof of vaccination.

On Sunday, everyone over the age of 12 will need to present their BC Vaccine Card to show they are fully immunized against COVID-19. And then on Monday, the province is lifting restrictions on capacity limits in specific situations. This will allow more people who are fully immunized to gather together on Vancouver Island and other areas of BC with high vaccination rates.

"The provincial health officer order restricting capacity limits to 50% for inside organized events and gatherings will be revised to allow 100% capacity in those settings where the BC Vaccine Card is in place and proof of vaccination status is checked," BC's Ministry of Health said in a news release. "In addition, the requirement to remain seated at a table in restaurants and pubs will be lifted. Indoor mask requirements remain in effect for all indoor gatherings and events."

The changes mean that many theatres, stadiums and events such as weddings can return to full capacity.
Chamber joins cruise ship industry advocacy effort
The Chamber is lending our voice to a coalition working to protect the future of the cruise industry. The coalition, spearheaded by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, is calling on the federal government to immediately engage with the United States to ensure cruise ships continue to stop in Canadian ports such as Victoria.

The urgent effort is needed after the US Congress passed a temporary exemption to the US Passenger Vessel Services Act. The exemption was a response to Canada closing its ports in May 2021, and effectively allowed cruise ships to bypass Canada.

Until that exemption was signed into law, the PVSA had required foreign-flagged ships sailing from US ports to stop at an international port. The law has helped grow the Canadian cruise ship industry as BC ports have become a popular stop for ships on the way to Alaska.

However, there are new threats to permanently end the requirement for ships to stop in Canada on the way to Alaska. This could be devastating for places such as Greater Victoria, which has many businesses that cater to the cruise ship season.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Last week to have your say on paid sick-leave plan
It's the last week to offer feedback on proposed paid sick-leave options. The provincial government is closing its engagement process at 4 pm on Oct. 25. Until then, employers and employees can comment on options for a paid sick-leave entitlement to be implemented in January 2022.

The new entitlement will replace the temporary program introduced in the spring.

For details of the initial consultation with employers and employees, and to provide feedback on which proposed option you prefer, go to
October is Small Business Month
The Chamber wants to help your small business shine!
In celebration of Small Business Week, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams is visiting members such as Derek Orr, owner of Iron and Wood Golf Simulators (pictured).

“Being a small business in Greater Victoria means we can be a part of something bigger than just the four walls we call Iron & Wood,” Orr says. “We are an activity-driven sports hub that focuses on authentic and inclusive ‘play time,’ while contributing to and supporting other local businesses and charities.”

We'll be sharing photos from our members all week on our social media channels. We hope you'll join the conversation by using the hashtag #SmallBizVI and tagging @VictoriaChamber (@ChamberVictoria on Twitter).

If you'd like Bruce to drop by, email [email protected] with a sentence on what being a small business owner means to you. If selected, we will contact you to set-up the visit. Your municipality’s mayor may also join in the celebration of your business.
Looking for exceptional talent to add to your team?
Due to overwhelming demand by students, the Prodigy Group is hosting a second special networking event for international students from Royal Roads, Camosun College, and the University of Victoria who are eligible to work in Canada, to network and create new connections with local employers.
Connect with a motivated group of students who are ready to put their skills and experience into practice. Students come from a wide range of studies including Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Hospitality, Retail, Marketing and Communications, and Science, Technology and Engineering.
Register today to find your next team member.
How to get the funding you need to hire a co-op
Interested in hiring a Camosun or UVic co-op student, but not sure where to start? Come learn about timing, mentorship and funding options to hire a student for Winter/Spring 2022.
Engaging a student is a cost-effective way to tackle ebbs and flows in the workplace— no matter the economic temperature, and particularly now as we look forward to recovering from the pandemic. Students are available from a wide variety of programs from technology and sciences to business and communication and everything in between.
Presented by:
Jacquie Burden, Employment Facilitator, Camosun
Robyn Booth, Employment Development Officer, UVic
Tara Coulter, Employment Development Officer, UVic
Langford helping families enter housing market
The City of Langford is stepping up to give a hand to residents struggling to get into the housing market. On Monday, Langford announced a $3 million Attainable Home Ownership program, which will pay up to 75% of a 5% down-payment for a two-bedroom condo in the city.

“It’s tough for young families to get into the market, even in Langford,” Mayor Stew Young said in a news release.

The amount of funding available is based on gross annual household income. Families with incomes less than $99,999 receive 75%, while those between $100,000 and $115,000 receive 50%. Households with incomes up to $125,000 receive 25%.

The two-bedroom condos are being offered at a set purchase price of $450,000.

“This program comes at the height of a major housing crisis across the region and will assist those Langford families who could afford a mortgage payment but are struggling to save the amount necessary for a down payment," Young told CHEK News. "We want to see more Langford residents in a position where they can purchase their own home.”
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Saanich e-bike incentive pilot proving popular
A program to get more people out of their cars and onto e-bikes is proving popular for the District of Saanich.

The Community E-bike Incentive Pilot Program launched Oct. 12. It's aim is to provide 300 people with between $1,600 and $350 toward the purchase of an e-bike. As expected, the $200,000 allocated for the program is being claimed quickly. After the funds run out, the municipality will review the program to see how it fits with future climate programs.

District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Pilot child-care plan could help working parents
A pilot project could help working parents of school-aged kids. The Seamless Day Kindergarten project, announced Monday by the BC Ministry of Education, will provide before and after school care in the same classroom that children are in for their school day. The pilot is being tried at 21 BC schools, including Millstream Elementary in the City of Langford.

The program requires no new construction and can be set up quickly. It potentially could help more parents contribute to the work force by providing quality and convenient child care at the beginning and end of typical work days.
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
All About Esquimalt with Mayor Barb Desjardins
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins joins CEO Bruce Williams to chat about all things Esquimalt. Why are families flocking to Esquimalt? How does CFB Esquimalt impact the township? We hear it all from the mayor.
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Last chance to be featured! 2021 Chamber Auction
As we prepare for bidding to start on Nov. 7, we'll be featuring incredible items that will be up for grabs at our 2021 Virtual Auction!
Have you ever wanted to enjoy a nice meal or drink outdoors, but it was too cold? Thanks to FortisBC, you can now spend time outside without getting the shivers thanks to this powerful natural gas patio heater!

Get massive exposure for you and your business with a 1/2 Page Feature Ad in Print and 100,000 Digital Ad Views courtesy of the Times Colonist.

Enjoy a website SEO audit and report courtesy of Caorda Web Solutions. Have a team of experts take a deep-dive into your website and identify the best options to improve your website.

This week is the last chance to have your products featured in our auction! For more details, email [email protected] or fill out our 2021 Auction Donation Form.
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.
Sponsored by:
Nominations now open!
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

Business of the Year (11 – 39 Employees) honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates continual business excellence through positive business growth
  • Displays a commitment to the community;
  • Exemplifies superior customer service;
  • Embraces an outstanding commitment to quality;
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Need some inspiration?
Check out the videos of the 2021 Business of the Year (11 – 39 Employees) finalists below. Thanks to the Worldline who is our sponsor for this award in 2022.
 Orca Masonry (Winner)
TUTTI Delivery (Finalist)
Chamber benefits for you and your office
Are you still working at home? Are you moving back to the office? Regardless of where you’re currently working, make sure you are comfortable and efficient with exclusive Chamber member discounts from Grand & Toy, Lenovo and Monk Office.

You can save up to 85% off of 7,500 quality office products from furniture, office supplies, tech, facility supplies, and print and promotional products from Grand & Toy.

Save up to 30% on Lenovo’s entire product line including laptops, tablets, servers, and more.

Receive a preferred pricing discount of 10% on all regularly priced office supplies at Monk Office, Vancouver Island’s local office supply store for nearly 70 years.

Restock your workplace this fall with major savings! View more exclusive benefits, discounts, and savings here.
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].
Member News
UVic recognized as top comprehensive school
The University of Victoria has been recognized as the top comprehensive school in Canada. Maclean’s Magazine's ratings listed UVic and Simon Fraser University in a tie for the highest recognition. Ratings are based on faculty awards, medical/science grants, student/faculty ratio and other criteria.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Return of Dine Around and Stay in Town

Dine Around and Stay in Town, an initiative launched by Destination Greater Victoria and the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA), is returning Jan. 20 to Feb. 6, 2022. Restaurants and hotels can register here to showcase their meals and accommodations as a way to celebrate the new year.
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA): Member since 1996
10 years of Canadian ships

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards is celebrating 10 years of building ships for Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Seaspan was selected as Canada’s long-term strategic shipbuilding partner in 2011, tasked with constructing large non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. More than $185 million has been invested by Seaspan to improve and modernize infrastructure.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002 
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since 2020
Out of the Rain shelter

Beacon Community Services has opened a temporary youth shelter that will stay in operation until next April. Up to 25 spaces are reserved for youth aged 15-25, and two youth workers will provide overnight support to those in need
Beacon Community Services: Member since 2009
RBC Black Entrepreneur Program

RBC has launched the Black Entrepreneur Fund, a commitment to enabling growth and wealth creation for Black entrepreneurs. The program offers access to experts/mentors and to loans up to $250,000. Recipients of RBC’s Black Entrepreneur Business Loan are also eligible for exclusive savings on mobility, security, internet and collaboration tools — courtesy of TELUS Business
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South: Member since 1962
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South: Member since 1962
TELUS Communications | TELUS Business: Member since 1962 
TELUS Business: Chamber Champion since 2020
Greater Victoria restaurants receive national praise

Seven Vancouver Island eateries have made the top 100 national outdoor dining list from Restaurants receiving recognition include Alpina Restaurant at Villa Eyrie Resort, Bear and Joey, the Butchart Gardens dining room, and Faro in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
Villa Eyrie Resort: Member since 2018
Bear & Joey: Member since 2021
Butchart Gardens Ltd: Member since 1976
Oak Bay Beach Hotel: Member since 2011
Island Savings vote to expand across Canada

Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, is taking steps to shift itself from a provincial to federal credit union, and it needs your vote to make it happen. If you are 19+ with a minimum of five Class-A Membership Equity Shares, you can vote to support First West Credit Union’s long-term goals of becoming federally regulated. Voting opens Nov. 1.
Island Savings: Member since 1984
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