Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
August 11, 2021
Photo courtesy of Destination Greater Victoria
Visitors from Washington State play a vital role in job creation and the economic vitality of our region. The companies that operate ferries, as with all businesses, need certainty before they begin the process of resuming operations. This takes at minimum three weeks and, as we get closer to fall, a decision must be made to resume by the end of summer or to suspend operations for 2021 entirely.
Victoria’s Inner Harbour has long been a gateway to Canada and we are concerned about the federal government’s approach to Belleville Terminal’s designation as a port-of-entry. We are asking that immediate attention be given to reinstating Canada Border Service Agency personnel at Belleville Terminal in order to demonstrate that fair treatment is being given to this vital border crossing.
Vaccine passport in works for Canadian travellers
Canada is moving ahead with a vaccine passport for people who want to travel outside the country. The federal government announced today that it hopes to have a vaccine passport available by the fall to give Canadians a trusted and verifiable credential they can show to border officials in foreign countries.

"We will continue our work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to provide Canadians with a secure and reliable proof of vaccination, which could be required for international travel. I encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to,” Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a news release.
Victoria office part of new EcDev agency for BC
A new economic development agency for British Columbia will include offices in Victoria and Campbell River.

Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Mélanie Joly says Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) will provide a tailored approach for British Columbia’s economy.

“Minister Joly’s announcement has the potential to have a significant impact on the economic recovery and resilience needed in the Capital Region to move along a path of a sustainable and diverse post-pandemic economy,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says, noting that as B.C.’s population has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, the province’s economy is becoming more advanced. “By creating two offices on Vancouver Island, one in Victoria and the other in Campbell River, the federal government shows it recognizes the unique opportunities and challenges of our Island economy. Greater Victoria has distinct priorities, as do the central, northern and western regions of the Island.”

PacifiCan builds on work done by Western Economic Diversification Canada over the last 34 years. Another new agency, Prairie Economic Development Canada (PrairieCan), will now serve Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Survey opens for permanent paid sick leave plan
Have your say on the province's plan for paid sick leave, and help make sure it fits with programs your business currently has in place. The first phase of engagement, which began Aug. 5, includes surveys for employers and employees. The surveys close Sept. 14 and Phase 2 will launch Sept. 20 seeking comments on a proposed model for a permanent provincial paid sick leave program.
August Business Mixer (Online)
One of your last chances to log on from the comfort of your home and connect with businesses across Greater Victoria at The Chamber’s Virtual August Business Mixer.

Grow your connections and discover new opportunities as we conclude our Virtual Mixer series, moving back to in-person networking events starting in September.
Sponsored by:
Next Thursday!
Thurs., Aug. 19 | 5 - 6 PM
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. 
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 5 - 6:30 PM
Maple Room - Strathcona Hotel
919 Douglas St. Victoria, BC
Registration is limited so don't delay!

Safety protocols will be in place and Provincial Public Health Guidelines will be followed.
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.

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet by completing the survey.
Province funds skills training to retrain job seekers
The provincial government has allocated $95 million to provide skills training to help people facing barriers to employment. The money will be paid out in three streams, including $33 million to the Community Workforce Response Grant program.

The program funds short-term skills-training projects for low-skilled workers, youth, women, workers older than 55, Indigenous people, recent immigrants, people of colour and those with employment history in an industry or sector impacted by the pandemic.

Recipients include the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. which is offering a Level 2 Landscape Apprenticeship Project that can lead to Red Seal designation. The training provides skills such as pruning, hardscaping, softscaping, botany and soil science.
Horticultural Centre of the Pacific: Member since 2013
Chambers call for tax reform to address federal debt
With a federal election expected to be called as early as Sunday, our national Chamber network is calling for a comprehensive review of Canada's tax system "guided by the principles of competitiveness, simplicity, fairness and neutrality."

Canadian Chamber CEO Perrin Beatty recently spoke to BNN Bloomberg about the increase in federal debt over the pandemic and why a more effective tax system will be key to creating private sector growth needed in the years ahead.
Do you want to be on a Chamber committee?
The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. A key reason for the success of our board committees is the involvement of our Chamber members as volunteer committee members.
Each year, there are a few openings on our committees for new members. We are recruiting now for members who will be available starting on Jan. 1, 2022 for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:
  • The Ambassador Committee
  • The Finance and Audit Committee
  • The Prodigy Group
  • The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open until Oct. 15, 2021. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will be in contact by email or phone.
Staying active this summer
As one of Canada’s most active cities, Greater Victoria is known for its beautiful trails, expansive bike-lane network and many waterways. With summer in full swing, it's a good time to enjoy what your municipality has to offer and get active while supporting a Chamber member.

Lace up a new pair of shoes and pick up sports equipment at a local retailer to enjoy an activity with friends and family. You can also explore Greater Victoria while staying fit by purchasing a new e-bike from a local retailer. Rebates are available for this fun and active mode of transportation.

Feeling the need to enjoy some air conditioning? Many gyms and fitness facilities have re-opened during Step 3 and are offering fitness classes to teach new skills.
Whether you’re swinging between the trees at WildPlay Element Parks or jumping for joy at Flying Squirrel Victoria, remember to stay hydrated, purchase sunscreen and enjoy the warm weather this August.
Showcase your business at the 2021 Auction
Do you want your products and services featured in the auction? From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach thousands of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.

This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received nearly 8,000 visitors to our auction platform for a week of bidding on fabulous gifts.
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.
Have questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email Alex at [email protected]
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
A chat with View Royal Mayor David Screech
When travelling through Greater Victoria by vehicle, transit, bike or trail, whether on the the Old Island Highway, Trans Canada Highway or Admirals Road, chances are you'll go through View Royal. It's literally in the middle of the region.

With amenities such as Victoria General Hospital, Jeneece Place, Elements Casino, Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse, View Royal has a big story to tell. On this week’s Chamber Chat, we hear that story from View Royal Mayor David Screech.
Town of View Royal: Member since 2020
Victoria Hospitals Foundation: Member since 2019
Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island: Member Since: 2007
Elements Casino Victoria: Member since 2001
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Work for a Chamber Champion

When you’re searching for your next employer, look no further than a Chamber Champion!

Featured on The Chamber’s job board, Chamber Champions are offering great career opportunities for talented individuals across Greater Victoria. From a Senior Recruiter position at Kinetic Construction to an Assistant Pastry Chef/ Chocolatier Position at Spinnakers, Chamber Champions are ready to offer you your next great career move.

Visit The Chamber’s job board and find new opportunities today.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, please email [email protected].
Create an online strategy to drive global sales 
Discover, learn and create an integrated online strategy to drive your global sales.

100% of ICE graduates stated that they are better equipped for e-commerce following the workshop and would recommend ICE to other SME's.

Join us for this two-day interactive workshop:
  • September 7, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • September 8, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Full Bursaries available to Chamber Members - email [email protected]
Member News
Get on Board with BC Transit

Starting Sept. 1, all children 12 and under can ride BC Transit buses for free. An estimated 370,000 children across the province will be eligible for the program, saving families who ride the bus an average of $420 annually. The initiative is part of the provincial government’s plan to provide affordable transit for families.
BC Transit: Member since 1999
Saanich takes lead in cleaning Elk/Beaver Lake

The District of Saanich is moving forward on plans to improve water quality at Elk/Beaver Lake. Saanich Council has agreed to take a leadership role in the initiative and are proposing solutions such as addressing rural and urban land management practices, reducing phosphorus in sewage systems and more.

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Embracing the Growth Mindset

Douglas Magazine hosts a roundtable discussion Aug. 18 about how challenges can be used to grow. Featuring Kristy Lowes of Uptown Shopping Centre and Giuseppe Pietraroia of the Victoria Symphony, this free event lets participants examine restart strategies being shared by local businesses.
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Victoria Symphony: Member since 1984
Shape Property Management – Uptown: Member since 1983
Phillips Double Header

With BC set to lift most remaining restrictions on Sept. 7, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. is hosting a two-day concert Sept. 10-11. Showcasing five bands, the Phillips Double Header is looking to bring back live concerts to Greater Victoria. Tickets are on sale now. Attendees will be asked to show proof of vaccination when entering the venue.

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co: Member since 2020
Security grants now available

The Downtown Victoria Business Association is offering grants to help businesses upgrade their security. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, DVBA will provide 50% of the cost on upgrades up to $500. The grants can be used to purchase locks, protective film for windows or other security measures. Tesseract 2.0 Computing is also selling security cameras to businesses at cost.
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
Tesseract 2.0 Computing: Member since 2021
Posterize your next event

Have a live event coming up? Metropol Industries Inc. has waived poster fees for live-event companies for the foreseeable future. To help event producers rebuild, Metropol has launched with their promotion. The website gives promoters a place to showcase their event posters digitally, while their printed posters are displayed on poles and cylinders across the downtown core.
Metropol Industries Inc: Member since 2008
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