Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
September 30, 2020
Dates set for Chamber's provincial election panels
The Chamber is setting up Election Panels to help our members get information on candidates running in Greater Victoria for the provincial election on Oct. 24.

We'll be collaborating with community chambers so make sure to save the following dates and plan to watch via Facebook Live!

  • Oct 13 - Victoria-Beacon Hill
  • Oct 14 - Oak Bay-Gordon Head
  • Oct 15 - Saanich South
  • Oct 16 - Esquimalt-Metchosin
  • Oct 20 - Victoria Swan-Lake

Note: Links to each event will be available once riding candidates are confirmed
As for the election itself, it will, of course, look a little different this fall. Voters will have a number of options to safely mark their ballot, including by mail, and physically distanced voting stations.

Candidates have until 1 pm on Oct. 2 to register, so keep reading BizNews for the latest on when the Election Panels will be held, and who is running in your riding.
Election 2020 Panel: Oak Bay-Gordon Head
On Oct. 24, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect a new provincial government. As businesses continue to be affected by the pandemic, the stakes have never been higher to have our voices heard by political candidates vying to form our next government.

This is your opportunity to ask questions and hear from candidates running in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head on issues affecting our businesses and region’s economic environment. 

Submit your questions to by Thursday, Oct. 8.
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

The Community Builder award honours a business, not-for-profit or public sector agency that:
  • Shows a commitment to the community outside of normal business practices
  • Has a long-term desire to build diverse, inclusive and balanced communities
  • Makes a sustainable and tangible impact in the region, and
  • Demonstrates a clear commitment to social responsibility.
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2020 Community Builder finalists below. Thanks to Camosun College for sponsoring this award.
Scale Collaborative (Finalist)
Chamber CEO column: Business Examiner
How will business restart successfully and help our economy return to the level we enjoyed before COVID-19? What does it mean to “build back better?”
Well, one answer is retraining our workforce to ensure we are more resilient for many years to come. Before the pandemic, Greater Victoria was booming. We were at or near what economists would consider capacity as our unemployment rate was among the lowest in Canada. Our fundamentals were strong then, and that will be key to helping us get back on our feet. But, as with all things, there is room for improvement.
New benefits replace CERB as economy recovers
The bill to approve expanded Employment Insurance passed unanimously in the House of Commons last night. The program replaces the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit, which officially ended on Monday.

The new federal relief is designed to help transition people back into the workforce.

“We are still north of 10% unemployment, so that is not healthy and we need to address that as quickly as we can,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CHEK TV, noting The Chamber's ongoing advocacy efforts to encourage up-skilling of workers to fill job openings that continue to be in demand. “If we can find a way to collaborate with government and post-secondary institutions to train people, (we can) get people into jobs that needed to be filled even before COVID.”

The federal government's multi-pronged approach includes a new Canada Recovery Benefit of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for people ineligible for Employment Insurance, including those who are self employed.

As well, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 per week, for up to two weeks, for people who can't work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. There is also a new Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for people unable to work because a dependent requires their care.
Business Matters Magazine
September 2020
​Inside this issue:
  • Message from the CEO and Chair
  • Governors' Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
  • 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards Recipents
  • Chamber Member of the Year
  • Nominees for Chamber Board of Directors
  • Introducing our New Members!
  • Met @ The Chamber
With rent due tomorrow, no new relief in sight
The Chamber is adding our voice to calls for a better approach to helping businesses struggling to pay their rent. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program runs out today, and there is still no plan to replace it. CECRA never really provided the urgent help needed by many businesses. It was complicated and restrictive, and failed to consider that businesses need to plan over a longer-term than month-to-month. The sudden end of the program will also hurt businesses that are seeing improved revenue but are not back to pre-pandemic levels.

"We know that economic recovery is being led by businesses that are able to find innovative ways to adapt and carry on, but many businesses will need time as they slowly return to the level of activity they need to cover their hard costs," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "In Greater Victoria, our tourism and hospitality sectors especially need help to survive the devastating loss of business that resulted from the ban on international visitors."

The Chamber is calling on the federal government to work with the provinces on an improved plan to provide long-term help for businesses struggling to pay commercial rent. Governments had time over the summer to learn from those landlords and tenants who were able to make use of CECRA, as well as those that couldn't make the program work.
Temperature checks now in effect at Victoria airport
Travellers departing from Victoria International Airport will now have their temperature checked, as Transport Canada regulations take effect today. The rule also affects all passengers arriving in Canada on international flights.

Temperature screenings were initially implemented on July 30 for passengers departing from airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. The program has been extended to 11 other Canadian airports, including Victoria, as of today.

If screening finds anyone with a temperature of 38C or higher, they will not be allowed to proceed unless they have a certificate explaining a valid reason for their elevated temperature. Passengers who are turned back will need to wait two weeks and re-book their trip.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Feds bring back ban on staying in vehicles on ferry
People travelling aboard BC Ferries can no longer stay in their vehicles if they are on an enclosed deck. The Transport Canada regulation is back in effect today, after having been suspended in March to allow for physical distancing. You can still remain in your vehicle if you are parked on an open deck.

BC Ferries must comply with the federal rule, and has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as physical distancing measures. Face masks are also mandatory on all passenger decks.

Chamber members will have a chance to hear more about this new rule, and other major developments, directly from BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins. Make sure to register for The Chamber's Business Restart Series on Oct. 6. Details below!
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
COVID-19: The Road to Recovery
Hear from BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins on their recovery plan to safeguard the coastal ferry service for the long term and provide essential services to customers and communities.
Sponsored by:
Registrants will also receive access to the recording post-event.
HR Best Practices in Uncertain Times
In this seminar, Denise Lloyd, Chief Engagement Officer of Engaged HR will examine five key questions that employers need to know as we head into the fall season of COVID-19.

After the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to share concerns and ask questions.
Registrants will also receive access to the recording post-event.
Thurs, Oct. 8 | 12-1 pm
October Mingle: Back to Business (Forum Style)
Experience something new as this Mingle breaks out into rooms talking about government programs, marketing, retail and financial challenges.

Prodigy Group Mingles are open to Chamber members and their guests. Learn more.
Thurs., Oct. 8 | 5-6 pm
Four Mayors, One Hour, Your Questions
AGM & Mayors Panel (Online)
Join us for an historic event, as we bring together mayors from across the Capital Regional District to discuss what's ahead for our region as we move through this pandemic.

Chamber CEO Bruce Williams will facilitate a discussion on future collaborations between our regional municipalities.
Tues., Nov. 3 | 11:45 am - 1 pm
Sponsored by:
Trade Accelerator Program
Take your business to the next level!
Final day to apply
Apply for the Trade Accelerator Program today (partial bursaries available for a limited time, for qualifying companies).

New trade agreements and a competitive Canadian dollar make it an ideal time to extend your company's reach through the export of goods and services.

The Trade Accelerator Program is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results.
Just six months after graduating the program:

• On average, export revenue increased by 28%

• Participants forecast their export sales to grow 47% over the next 5 years

Deadline to apply for the fall session is Sept. 30, 2020.

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email
Chamber job board
If you're an employer looking for your next great hire, make sure to post your career opportunities on the Chamber job board.

The job board is an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

If you have any difficulty posting, 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.
Current Job Listings:
Double your directory listings
Are you looking to gain additional exposure for your business? Your Chamber member directory listing is an effective marketing tool that uses advanced SEO to ensure your business appears across the Internet.

The Chamber’s directory database contains a wide variety of categories, from Aboriginal Goods to Wineries and Wine Stores. Each Chamber member has a directory listing in a specific category, but did you know you can sign up to be in additional categories?

Additional listings can be purchased for $75 annually. If you would like your company to appear in more than one category and expand your businesses reach, contact to learn more.
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 Jan. 1, 2021 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 is open until Oct. 11.

At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will review your application and you will be contacted by email or phone.
Members Around Town
First Nations Market in Colwood

Today, the Songhees Nation is hosting a First Nations Market at Royal Beach in the City of Colwood to raise awareness for Orange Shirt Day. The market runs until 6 pm, showcasing First Nations' artists and vendors, and feature a community mural.

Songhees Nation: member since 2017

City of Colwood: member since 2020
Seaside Gin wins gold

Sheringham Distillery has won the Gold Award for Product of the Year at the 2020 BC Food and Beverage Awards. Their Seaside Gin claimed the prize at the virtual ceremony, which featured guest appearances from BC's Minister of Agriculture and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Sheringham Distillery: member since 2018
Thrifty approach to indoor farming

Select Thrifty Foods locations across Vancouver Island are now growing and selling produce within their own stores. By using modular units, herbs and veggies can be grown in approximately five weeks, and customers can pick their own fresh, local greens.
Thrifty Foods: member since 1981
Virtual mass

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is now offering livestreamed Sunday morning services, as well as the option to reserve your seat ahead of mass. Pre-recorded worship videos are also available with art, a hymn and a sermon.

Virtual services can be viewed here
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church: member since 2007
Is your business implementing new strategies or innovative ways of connecting with consumers?

GlitterBomb dazzles at brewing awards

Glitterbomb Hazy Pale Ale from Philips Brewing & Malting Co. has won first place at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards in the “Session India Pale Ale” category. Released in 2019, Glitter Bomb began as a limited edition beer.
Philips Brewing & Malting Co: member since 2020
Grizzly Bears at the Bateman Foundation

On Oct. 3, the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature will unveil its new exhibit — Grizzly Bears: Teachers of the Land. The exhibit features works from 11 BC artists. Admission is by donation. Later in the year, the exhibit will expand to feature indigenous artwork, a storytelling area and more.
The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature: member since 2013
Giving Hearts Workshop

Coast Capital Savings is hosting a “Power of Youth: Giving Hearts Workshop,” which aims to instill philanthropic skills in youth by providing $250 gift cards to a charity of their choice. The workshop acts as a “do-it-yourself “a philanthropy toolkit that teaches youth how to give back to their communities. Sign up for the toolkit by Oct. 1.
Coast Capital Savings: member since 2011
40 Years for MD Charlton Company

MD Charlton Company Ltd is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. After four decades, they continue to be Canada’s only national distributor of tactical and duty equipment to military, police, security and first responders. Congratulations!
MD Charlton Company Ltd: member since 2003
Green initiatives at BC Ferries

BC Ferries has won three prestigious environment leadership awards over the summer: the Blue Circle Award from Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (third year in a row), the Green Wave Award from Prince Rupert Port Authority (second year in a row), and Green Marine certification for the sixth consecutive year. These awards highlight steps taken by BC Ferries to excel in environmental stewardship and reduce its carbon footprint.
BC Ferry Services Inc: member since 1983
Chamber welcomes new co-op student
The Chamber is pleased to welcome Ty Austin as our new Events Assistant co-op student!

Ty will be helping out with the first Virtual Chamber Auction, as well as assisting on other Chamber events throughout the Fall.

Ty is in his fourth year of studies at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, focusing on a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in International Business. Ty looks forward to getting to know Chamber members and community leaders. You can connect with him at or 250 953-6684 with any questions related to the Chamber Auction, or any other events throughout the Fall.

The Chamber was able to utilize federal programs in order to hire Ty. Hiring a co-op student is an investment in our future and a great addition to your team. We strongly encourage you to reach out to co-op programs at Camosun and UVic to see how you can work a co-op student into your 2021 plans.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
Welcome to our newest member!
Friends of Victoria Basketball