Chamber Update
June 22, 2020
Province must extend temporary layoff time-limit
The Chamber joins business organizations from across BC calling on the provincial government to extend the temporary layoff time-limit until Aug. 31. Failing to do so, creates a cliff in early July for many businesses who have not been able to restart or are struggling to survive on a portion of their typical revenue. Provincial regulations treat layoffs that are longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period as terminations requiring severance pay. The province extended this to 16 weeks because of the pandemic, but has said it won't do so again even though no one knows how long the crisis will last.

COVID-19 caught everyone off guard, and many businesses do not have cash in hand to cover this potentially crippling expense. Forcing employers to cover unexpected severance costs could push businesses to overextend, resulting in insolvency, bankruptcy or closing down for good.

BC's Minister of Labour, Harry Bains, has the power under the Employment Standards Act to resolve this issue, but has so far refused to take action.

"Businesses are trying everything they can to stick around and make it through this crisis," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, who sent a letter to the province co-signed by Chamber Chair John Wilson. "We need the provincial government to do the right thing and give businesses a chance. Help them hold on a little longer so we can get through this together."
Latest news and initiatives
COVID-19 must not raise premiums for businesses
A discussion paper to add COVID-19 to WorksafeBC's list of presumptive occupational diseases must not result in a prohibitive increase in premiums for employers.

Businesses in BC are already struggling to get through the pandemic and rebuild operations. Many face unexpected expenses in order to maintain physical distancing, which also limits the number of customers and affects revenue.

Forcing businesses to carry the burden of additional costs related to COVID-19 could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

The Chamber strongly urges WorkSafeBC to ensure that its proposal does not hurt the ability of employers to contribute to restarting BC's economy.

Take 10 minutes and fill out BC restart survey
Chamber members are encouraged to participate in the provincial government's Restart and Recovery Survey.

The survey, which takes about 10 minutes, is a chance for you to have your say on the priorities for BC's economic recovery plan. You can also provide input on how quickly you would like to see the economy re-open, and how to best inspire confidence in your staff and customers.

The survey runs until July 21.
Saanich increases cap on unrelated tenants to six
Up to six people who are not related can now share a home in the District of Saanich. At a virtual public hearing on Saturday, council heard from renters in favour of the increase as well as from people concerned about increasing the number from four.

The Chamber applauds Saanich's thoughtful decision. The municipality will continue to use enforcement officers to address complaints about noise and garbage. Capping the number of unrelated tenants at six still gives Saanich a limit it can enforce, while also allowing more people to access legal housing they can afford.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Don't miss these Virtual Events
Virtual Seminar: Bringing Employees Back To Work
As businesses look to re-open storefronts and offices — employers are faced with a number of challenges as they try to get back to business.

Learn tools to re-engage staff and implement strategies that ensure a smooth transition to a new normal. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity for participants to share concerns and ask questions.
Business Restart Series: Tourism (Online Event)
As Phase 3 begins, tourism businesses in the Inner Harbour are grappling with how to adapt with a renewed focus on domestic tourism as our borders remain closed.

Join our CEO Bruce Williams and a panel of tourism leaders including Indu Brar (Fairmont Empress), Ian Robertson (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority) and Randy Wright (HarbourAir Seaplanes) as they talk about how the pandemic continues to affect our tourism industry, what's needed and a look to the path forward to recovery.
Nominations open for 2021-22 Chamber Board
Interested in running for the Board of Directors of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce? Find out everything you need to know at this information session facilitated by our Chamber Executive.

The Chamber works together to build good business and great community. It is our vision to be the most diverse and influential business association in the region.

For more information on the board and the nomination process, go to .
Thurs., July 9 |12-1pm
Getting you back to business
Open for Business — Chamber directory style
To help locals looking to support businesses in the region, we want to make it easier to find businesses that are open and ready to provide products or services.

You'll see on our Chamber online business directory that we've added an Open icon for businesses. Details on how the business has adapted and/or new hours will appear in Products and Services at the bottom of the listing. We've also enhanced the SEO keywords on these listings to get you noticed.

Do you have updated business hours or services? ​ Contact us for your Open Icon and enhanced directory listing.
Job board back to being exclusive member benefit
The job board has returned to being an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

The Chamber is proud to have featured more than 500 jobs on our job board , including 250 since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We opened up this member benefit to help our community meet the demand for essential service jobs. We are now seeing a return to job postings that reflect the restart of our economy.
If you have any difficulty posting, please email . We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.
All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Don't let self isolation make you feel alone
The Chamber has a myriad of resources to help you and your business. You can connect with our staff or schedule a virtual coffee with one of our Ambassadors to talk about your business and next steps on our road to recovery.

We're #InItTogetherYYJ even if we can't be together. We look forward to talking with you soon about how we can help.