Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 14, 2021
The Greater Victoria Chamber Business Hall of Fame presented by RBC, will be the first of its kind on Vancouver Island and will celebrate the legacy of pioneers and leaders who have played a role in the region’s economic growth and prosperity.
“The story of The Chamber is the story of Greater Victoria in so many ways, and it is time to honour all of the individuals who helped establish and grow business in our region,” Chamber Chair John Wilson says. “Throughout The Chamber's history we have accelerated our members’ connections to support their growth.”
The process to select inductees will recognize and respect the diversity of leaders who helped build business in Greater Victoria over the decades.
“Generations have come and gone, with each leaving a legacy that has made us who we are, a community,” says Mark Lovick, RBC Regional Vice President, South Vancouver Island. “It’s a privilege to be part of this inaugural event that will honour our region’s remarkable history, highlight our current success and inspire our community’s future prosperity.”
Inductees will be announced this fall with an official ceremony scheduled to take place in February 2022.
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South:
Member since 1962
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South:
Chamber Champion since 2020
Chamber CEO named to BIPOC and Inclusion Council
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams has been named to the inaugural Canadian Chamber of Commerce BIPOC and Inclusion Council.

Diversity initiatives across the country are playing a part in creating a more socially inclusive economy. Small businesses play an important role, but often don’t know where to start.

"Chambers are experts at building connections and bringing people together," Chamber CEO Bruce Willams says. "We talk about being more inclusive and diverse, and we also need to walk the walk by hearing directly from voices and lived experiences that will guide us in making meaningful change."

The new council will inform the Canadian Chamber’s initiatives in supporting BIPOC, drive meaningful action to address the identified challenges and opportunities BIPOC face in participating in the Canadian economy, share and recognize best practices and advocate for changes that facilitate diversity and inclusion.

The Chamber has repeatedly advocated that inclusion is a key economic driver. Across Canada, improved participation rates could add 2.2 million workers to the labour force by 2040, including more women, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities, thereby growing our economy by $101 billion.
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. Are you getting your full membership value?

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet. by completing the survey. Early bird prize, get your answers in by July 26th and you could win free membership & 150 free driving minutes from EVO Car Share.
Tourism fund aims to build industry's resiliency
Tourism businesses received welcome news on Monday as the federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Mélanie Joly, announced the $500-million Tourism Relief Fund. The program aims to help businesses and organizations make their products and services more resilient from future shocks.

Money can be used for adapting to new regulations, modernizing products and encouraging environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices. As well, the funds can aid with strategic planning that helps with destination development. The funds are not available for restaurants, retailers or hotel chains.

Eligible applicants can receive up to $100,000 in non-repayable contributions for 50% of eligible costs, or up to to $500,000 in repayable contributions for up to 75% of eligible costs.
Federal funds move BC closer to $10/day child care
The pandemic has made it clear that affordable and accessible child care is needed to ensure employers can access the talents and skill sets of parents. Last week, the federal government announced that BC will receive $3.2 billion over five years to improve access to child care for kids under six years old. The provincial and federal governments say they are working toward $10 per day child care, with BC also committing another $2.5 billion over three years. The agreement is expected to lead to 40,000 new child care spaces in the next seven years.

"Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return," states the federal government news release.
Applications open for digital adoption funding
Applications are now being accepted for the first stream of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, initially announced in the federal government's 2021 budget.

The $4 billion fund is comprised of two streams. The first provides funding of up to $336.8 million for not-for-profit organizations to support small businesses as they adopt digital technologies such as digital storefronts and e-commerce platforms, and expand their digital presence. The deadline for applications is Aug. 6.

The second stream will provide $2.6 billion in zero-interest loans to help businesses in Canada adopt new technologies.
Only two weeks left to nominate!
Each fall, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates.

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 membership with The Chamber.

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. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 29 at noon.
More people working as jobless rate drops in June
There are more people working in Greater Victoria than before the pandemic, with 212,200 people employed in June. That compares to 194,200 in June 2019 and 187,400 last year. One explanation for the increase could be migration into Greater Victoria.

The unemployment rate was 5.4% in June, still higher than it was before COVID-19, but BC didn't enter Step 3 of the province's Restart Plan until July 1. With visitors from across Canada now welcome, the expectation is for the numbers to improve in July. However, until international travellers return, the recovery will continue to be difficult for many businesses in the tourism sector. The Chamber has been working with our national network and our community partners to ensure government has a plan to safely open borders and support the return of cruise ships.
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. Registration is limited.
Safety protocols will be in place and we will be following Provincial Public Health Guidelines for events.
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 5 - 6:30 PM
Maple Room - Strathcona Hotel, 919 Douglas St.
Victoria, BC
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Securing data vital before it's too late
Securing your data often doesn't seem like a top priority until it's too late.

In this Chamber Chat, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with two experts to help ensure businesses and employee data stays protected.

Joining Bruce are Caroline Dixon, Senior Manager of Risk and Forensic Services at Grant Thornton, and Ryan Smith, Security Manager of Island Savings.
Island Savings: Member since 1984
Grant Thornton LLP: Member since 1973
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Heat up your hiring process

As we all enjoy warmer weather and longer days, now is a perfect time to ensure you’re well-staffed by using your free annual job posting.

Chamber Members are entitled to one 30-day listing on the Job Board every calendar year. Simply use the code INTRO2021 at checkout.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, please email [email protected]
Update your Benefits of Interest in your new Member Portal
Let us know what aspects of Chamber membership mean the most to you! Next time you login to your Member Portal, click on “Edit this profile” and then “Update What’s Important to You.” From here, you will see a list of numerous benefits and opportunities available with your Chamber membership.

Are you interested in advertising opportunities, utilizing The Chamber’s job board or the Ambassador program? Select from 17 possible interests and we would be happy to send you more information. If you haven’t updated your benefits of interests since you joined The Chamber, now is the perfect time to review and refresh.

If you have any questions about your new Membership Portal, please contact Thomas at [email protected]
Member News
Greater Victoria charm featured on MSN

MSN says Greater Victoria is one of Canada’s most charming university towns. The article highlights the gardens of Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria’s unique Ring Road, which encircles the campus.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996
Book Bash for literacy

The Victoria Literacy Connection Society is hosting a Book Bash to encourage readers of all abilities to enjoy a great book this summer. The Book Bash aims to raise funds for free literacy programs across Greater Victoria by obtaining pledges for every 100 pages an individual reads. Participants are invited to set a reading target, pick a theme and take part in the challenges throughout July and August.

Victoria Literacy Connection Society: Member since 2018
Toss the Boss

In August, you and your team can raise money for the Victoria Brain Injury Society while having the chance to throw your boss off a bridge (with a bungy cable attached, of course). Organizations are encouraged to register a team and start collecting pledges. If your team raises $500 or more, your boss either has to pledge an additional $500 or do a bungy jump at WildPlay Element Parks! The top fundraiser will win a new mountain bike, while the top team will win a day pass at WildPlay.
WildPlay Element Parks: Member since 2006
Celebrating with Refire

Refire Kitchen is celebrating their first anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, they are offering a 10% discount on original menu items, including their famous Chicken Tetrazzini brought back for this week only. Refire provides fresh and frozen takeout meals that can be placed right in your oven at home.

Refire Kitchen: Member since 2021
Wildfire support from Chamber Champions

Two Chamber Champions have stepped up to support the victims of wildfires in BC’s interior. RBC is offering short-term payment deferrals, fee reversals and other help to clients affected by wildfires.
CIBC has donated $75,000 to support ongoing relief efforts in Lytton, along with flexible payment options for customers.
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South:
Member since 1962
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South: Chamber Champion since 2020
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Member since 1962
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Chamber Champion since 2020
IG Wealth supports youth reconciliation

IG Wealth Management has partnered with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in support of Imagine a Canada, a national leadership and art program. Students participating in the project in Grade 5 or under will be encouraged to submit an art piece, essay or other representation to reflect their vision of reconciliation. Older students up to Grade 12 will be asked to submit a plan on how their vision of reconciliation can be addressed in their community or school.
IG Wealth Management: Member since 1993
Q̓ʷalayu House opens in Campbell River

Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island has officially opened Q̓ʷalayu House, a 10-bedroom home to be used by families with children receiving medical treatment. The home away from home features a shared kitchen space, stocked pantry, laundry facilities, multiple communal areas and children’s play area to give families a chance to play, rest and be together.
Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island: Member since 2007
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