BizNews
April 13, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Langford plan would boost region's film industry
The City of Langford is looking at plans for two 20,000-square-foot sound stages at the former Western Speedway property, reports the Times Colonist. The project would be a boon to Greater Victoria's burgeoning film industry, which is also anticipating three sound stages at Camosun College's Interurban campus and a potential film studio on Malahat Nation land.

"We need these investments in infrastructure to take the industry to a new level," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, who recently hosted a Chamber Chat with Camosun's Geoff Wilmshurst about their plans.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Prime Minister makes EV announcement in Victoria
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made several appearances in Greater Victoria on Monday, including a meeting with City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps to talk about housing affordability, climate change and the opioid crisis.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister was at Royal Roads University to speak about the federal government's effort to increase sales of electric vehicles and the number of charging stations.

The PMO announced it wants 60% of all new vehicles sales to be electric by 2030, and 100% by 2035.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996
Provincial funding helps stabilize health clinics
The province announced it will provide funding to keep five walk-in medical clinics from closing on southern Vancouver Island. The measures will help keep doctors and add nurses to serve Greater Victoria.

BC Health Minister Adrian Dix told CHEK News the five clinics requested funding through the South Island Primary Care Network (PCN) Walk-in Clinic Task Force.

“These five were the ones that participated in this particular task force, and we were able to find this solution in the short run as we work together for longer term solutions,” Dix said.

"Access to health care is a fundamental requirement for a community to achieve its economic potential," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We need to retain doctors and other health care professionals so that our region continues to be an attractive destination for businesses and new residents."
Interest rate jumps as BoC looks to nip inflation
The Bank of Canada continued its efforts to fight rising inflation, raising interest rates by half a percent on Wednesday. The bank also stated it will begin quantitative tightening starting on April 25, which will effectively make fixed rate mortgages more expensive.

The interest rate increase was expected as the bank attempts to counter an inflation rate of 5.7%. More increases are likely in the months ahead.

"Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine is causing unimaginable human suffering and new economic uncertainty," stated a Bank of Canada media release. "Price spikes in oil, natural gas and other commodities are adding to inflation around the world. Supply disruptions resulting from the war are also exacerbating ongoing supply constraints and weighing on activity. These factors are the primary drivers of a substantial upward revision to the Bank’s outlook for inflation in Canada."
Chamber Champions
Kevin Light photos courtesy of Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
Cruise ships return kicks off summer tourist season
_GVHA_April_9_2022_┬®KevinLightPhoto _EV24309
The arrival of Holland America's 1,200 passenger Koningsdam last Saturday was a welcome sight for Greater Victoria's business community. It was the first time in more than 900 days that a cruise ship had sailed into Ogden Point.

Chamber CEO Bruce Williams was on hand to emcee a welcoming celebration, hosted by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

“Normal isn’t quite a word we can use yet,” Williams said to Global News. “But by seeing things recovering in the sense that we can now gather like we are, and see things coming back like this ship, means we are indeed on the way to recovery, and getting ourselves back to the way were were before, so it’s a great feeling of pride."

The 2022 cruise ship season will see 364 ship calls from now until early November with an anticipated 780,000 passengers.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
More people working in Greater Victoria: report
Record low unemployment in Canada was reflected in Greater Victoria as the regional rate dropped to 4.1% in March. That's down from 4.2% a month earlier.

“We’ve had one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, which is a mixed blessing for our regional economy,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist. “We are ­fundamentally sound and many sectors have rebounded from the ­pandemic, but the challenge facing all employers, including our members, is finding and keeping the right staff.”

Statistics Canada figures show 229,800 people in Greater Victoria were available to work in March, up 4.3% from March 2021.

"That’s welcome news as people need jobs and employers need people to achieve their economic potential. But people also need homes and our region’s population is growing faster than we’re able to add new homes," Williams said. "The Labour Market numbers really highlight how urgently we need a concerted effort by all levels of government to increase housing supply.”
Spring into Chamber Events
Protocols for all in-person Chamber events
 
We continue to ask for your support in safeguarding the health of our community at events. Please review our current COVID-19 protocols for in-person events to understand how you can help.
April Business Mixer
@ Max Furniture

Join The Chamber and Mixer Hosts Max Furniture and Maximum Express for a very comfortable business networking opportunity. This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships.
 
You will meet in small groups throughout the event venue to build meaningful connections. Remember to bring your business cards!
Sponsored by:
Thurs., April 28 | 5 - 7 PM
 3460 Quadra St., Victoria, BC
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coastal ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver for our province. For 60 years, BC Ferries has been dedicated to providing safe and efficient travel to their customers. Their role as a ferry transportation provider goes beyond getting passengers from point A to B. With 25 routes on the west coast of BC, they serve as advocates for the coastal environment and the communities where they operate. 
 
Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries, will take you through how the company is preparing for the future and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 12 | 11:30 - 1 PM
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, 146 Kingston St, Victoria 
Business Leaders Luncheon: Michael Pickup, Auditor General of BC
The auditor general has a unique role in B.C. Non-partisan and independent of government, the auditor general reports directly to the legislative assembly and provides assurance about government’s overall operations. The office's work contributes to improved financial reporting, programs, and services for the benefit of the people in B.C.

Join us to hear from Auditor General Michael Pickup on the work of his office and how they are attentive to the needs, expectations, and priorities of the Legislature, while being responsive to the needs and expectations of British Columbians.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., June 2 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.
Enjoy scrumptious snacks and delicious drinks at Picnic in the Park!
Picnic in the Park, formerly known as YYJ Eats, is your exclusive chance to enjoy a variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by some of Greater Victoria’s most popular restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries & spirit makers.

With dozens of food and beverage options available, try unique menu items from great local exhibitors such as Lighthouse Brewing!

We will be highlighting more of our exhibitors in the weeks leading up to the event, so stay tuned to see what great local flavours you can experience at Picnic in the Park.

If you and your business would like to participate as an exhibitor in Picnic in the Park, please email specialevents@victoriachamber.ca for more details.
Member and General Public Tickets include 10 tasting tickets to use at the event. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased through online registration or at the event.
Tues., June 7 | 5 - 7 PM
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site
835 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC V8W 9E6
Presented by:
Gold Sponsor:
Media Sponsor:
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
A Review of our Region with Bob Lapham, CAO of the CRD
Throughout the pandemic, we could rely on the security of clean water, water treatment, and our network of trails and parks to help us cope with the stresses we all faced. All these elements are managed by the Capital Regional District.

We talk about these elements in our Chamber Chat with CRD CAO Bob Lapham.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Capital Regional District (CRD): Member Since 1993
2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards (Sold Out)
The Chamber is excited to announce that the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards taking place in-person are now sold out. 
 
If you would like to be added to the waitlist for this event, please email specialevents@victoriachamber.ca
 
This gala event recognizes businesses in Greater Victoria that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community through their own abilities, efforts and initiatives. Click here to see the 2022 finalists!
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
Prodigy Group April Mingle
(Sold Out)
We're kicking off the April long weekend with signature cocktails, upscale dishes, and fabulous décor in a place that offers both a classy VIP experience and a be-yourself atmosphere. Friends of Dorothy Lounge is the perfect place to foster great connections and future collaborations as one of Greater Victoria’s emerging professionals.
 
The Mingle is now sold out, but don't worry you can build great connections and create new business relationships at our April Mixer.
Co-Sponsored by:
Thurs., April 14 | 5 - 7:00 PM
Friends of Dorothy Lounge
537 Johnson St., Victoria, BC
Hoppy Easter from The Chamber!
Not sure what to do for the Easter long-weekend? Enjoy these egg-cellent ideas to make this Easter relaxing and memorable.

  • Plan a brunch with family or friends
  • Buy a spring bouquet from a local florist
  • Make an Easter basket filled with delicious treats
  • Host an Easter Egg hunt in a local park
  • Make a fun snack — Devilled Eggs and Carrot Cake Muffins perhaps?

Whatever your Easter traditions may be, we hope you have a hoppy day while buying Easter supplies locally and sustainably!

The Chamber will be closed on Good Friday, April 15, and Easter Monday, April 18. 
On a hunt for your next best employee?

Hop to The Chamber’s job board this Easter!

Finding your next great employee shouldn’t be like an Easter egg hunt. With the help of The Chamber, identify great talent and ensure you’re well-staffed for the spring.

Put some spring in your step! Chamber members receive one free 30-day job posting every calendar year. Enter the code INTRO2022 at checkout.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job, please email members@victoriachamber.ca
Grow your business with successful exporting
Looking for a potential 18% increase in export revenue? The Chamber invites you to bounce forward out of the pandemic by taking advantage of the upcoming local Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)!

TAP is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. With new trade agreements, competitive Canadian dollar, and new business opportunities, now is the ideal time to extend your company's reach through international expansion of goods and services. Since 2017, World Trade Centre Vancouver has successfully delivered 24 TAP cohorts in B.C.

Qualifying Chamber Members pay only $500 (a $4,500 savings).
Apply Now

Enter Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in the Who Referred you section.
Learn more about the program and apply today at tapbc.ca.

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email info@wtcvancouver.ca.
Workshop Days
9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.
June 1, 2, and 3

Mentorship Days 
8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
July 12 and 13

Application Deadline:
May 17, 2022
Member News
UN leadership training coming to UVic

The University of Victoria has announced the opening of a UN leadership training centre, the first of its kind in western North America. The centre will focus on sustainability, innovation, decolonization and global well-being — all while supporting the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Serving smiles with Cool Aid

In a recent edition of CHEK NewsVital People, the Victoria Cool Aid Society was highlighted for their affordable dental treatment options. The Cool Aid Dental Clinic began operation since 1972, providing reduced rates for people on fixed or low incomes. The clinic serves 25-30 patients a week, including walk-in appointments.
CHEK News: Member since: 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Victoria Cool Aid Society: Member since 2006
Hybrid learning and the evolution of education

Royal Roads University and Camosun College are at the forefront of hybrid-learning innovation. And though the transition to online-learning has not come without challenges, both institutions have placed an emphasis on giving students choices and increasing their access. Combining online learning with in-person discussions is likely here to stay, and post-secondary institutions are continuing to find new ways to streamline learning. Read more about academic flexibility in Douglas Magazine.
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Maximum Express receives maximum praise

Al Hasham, President and CEO of Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club Victoria-Harbourside for his commitment to charitable causes. Over the years, Al has delivered free packages for community initiatives. The Paul Harris Fellow Award is one of the highest honours the Rotary Club can bestow.
Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics: Member since 2004
Canada’s most reputable company

Shoppers Drug Mart has been named as the most reputable company in Canada as part of the 2022 Reputation Study. The study surveyed more than 38,000 Canadians about hundreds of Canadian businesses, and Shoppers Drug Mart achieved the highest rating. Canadian Tire also appeared on the Top 10 list, coming in fourth.
Shoppers Drug Mart #269, Royal Oak: Member since 2022
Canadian Tire Hillside: Member since 2018
Stop and smell the flowers at Canada’s most beautiful garden
The Butchart Gardens has been rated among the six most beautiful gardens in the world. The result is according to rankings compiled by HouseFresh, which are based on TripAdvisor reviews that use the word “beautiful.” To date, visitors have used the word “beautiful” 5,022 times when describing The Butchart Gardens.
The Butchart Gardens: Member since 1976
$90k in Grants for View Royal organizations

The Town of View Royal has announced more than $90,000 worth of grants-in-aid will be distributed in the coming weeks. Numerous community-focused organizations are receiving grants, including the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. View Royal has also set aside $10,000 for additional grants which may be approved later this year.
Town of View Royal: Member since 2020
Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission: Member since 1980
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