Chamber Update
March 30, 2020
Chamber joins calls for rent relief for businesses
With rent due on Wednesday, many small businesses are struggling to come up with money for their landlords. It's a difficult situation for both parties, but we need to make sure our economy is in a position to recover as quickly as possible as soon as restrictions limiting business are lifted.

On Sunday, The Chamber added its voice to a column that appeared on the front page of the Times Colonist calling on governments to help with commercial rents.

"The provincial government’s rent relief program for residential tenants could be scaled up for commercial tenants hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," the column states, offering examples of how other countries introduced measures to protect commercial tenants as well as property owners who don't have the means to offer rent relief on their own.

The column was co-written by:
  • Catherine Holt, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Jeff Bray, executive director, Downtown Victoria Business Association
  • Elysia Glover, executive director, Community Micro Lending
  • Lisa Helps, Victoria mayor
  • Stephen Pearce, president, Think Local First
Chamber hosting COVID-19 virtual chat Wednesday
Join Chamber CEO Catherine Holt and Kris Wirk CA, Partner at Dusanj & Wirk as they answer live questions about how recent tax initiatives announced by the federal and provincial governments will help all of us navigate our way through unprecedented times.

About the Series:

The Chamber is bringing you free virtual events to inform and provide guidance on keys topics related to the current COVID-19 crisis and its effects on business. This is your opportunity to get answers on pressing issues, and information to help you manage the uncertainty of the next few weeks or months.
Wed., Apr. 1 |2-2:30pm
Tune in to Facebook Live to listen to Chamber members ask Kris and Catherine about government tax initiatives
Please check our Events Calendar for other events and updates on tools and suggestions to get through to the other side.
Chamber member helps front-line health workers
Maximum Express Courier is teaming up with Greater Victoria businesses to help deliver much-needed supplies. The company is providing its service at no-charge to help offset the production costs for local firms such as Victoria Distillers and Nezza Naturals, who are making hand-sanitizer for front-line health workers, and pharmacies delivering medication to seniors who can't leave their homes. Drivers are also delivering reading material for Munro's Books, helping people pass the time while self isolating.

“We’re getting so many requests from so many people we normally don’t work with," Maximum Express's owner Al Hasham told the Times Colonist. "But everybody is helping each other out. In this business, we have always worked together. Anything we can do to help, we will.”

Sheringham Distillery has also helped local health care workers, donating 40 litres of locally made hand-sanitizer last week.
Munro's Books: Member since 1978
Maximum Express Courier, Freight and Logistics: Member since 2004
Sheringham Distillery: Member since 2018
Chamber member secures supply of protective gear
Canadian Tire Hillside has used its distribution channels to secure critical protective health supplies and is working to make them available as needed in Greater Victoria. The store has reached out to Island Health and wants to let local businesses know about the supply.

The Hillside Road store is taking pre-orders for face-shields, produced by a domestic supplier, as well as disposable masks. The location also has a quantity of bulk hand-sanitizer that meets WHO recommendations.

For more information or to arrange an order, email .
Canadian Tire Hillside: Member since 2018
Restaurateurs stay open to help people in need
House of Boateng is among a group of Greater Victoria restaurants keeping their kitchens open to help others in need. The initiative, called Boxes of Hope, was developed by the Jawl Family Foundation, the Coalition to End Homelessness and the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Every $10 donated to the initiative covers the cost of a warm healthy meal to someone in need, while supporting local restaurateurs and keeping restaurant staff employed. Currently, 200 meals are being delivered every night.
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homlessness: Member since 2012
House of Boateng: Member since 2016
Jawl Residential: Member since 2019
Job Board up to 100 postings for essential workers
Our expanded Job Board is now up to 100 postings for positions needing to be filled to support essential services in our community.

When we heard from some of our members that they needed more staff to provide essential services, we repurposed out job board to connect all of the great employees with transferable skills who need work. We want to keep connecting the two — after all connections are what we do best.

At this time, employers are able to post at no charge by using the code SUPPORTYYJ.

If you have any difficulty posting, email us and we will get back to you by next business day. All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Let us know about updates to your hours or services
We've created a webpage to help your customers keep track of updated hours and services as a result of COVID-19. If your changes are not yet listed, email to have your information added.