February 26, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Celebrate success at the 2020 Business Awards
This gala event recognizes businesses in the capital region that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community through their own abilities, efforts and initiatives. A spectacular night of prestige, entertainment and celebration, the Greater Victoria Business Awards recognizes members in 14 different award categories.
Tuesday, May 12 | 6 - 10 PM
Fairmont Empress
721 Government St.
Victoria, BC V8W 1W5
Changes to Evide nce Act aimed at cutting ICBC costs
New details have emerged about how the provincial government plans to reduce costs at ICBC. On Monday, BC's Attorney General announced proposed legislative amendments to the Evidence Act, which will reduce the use of experts in lawsuits involving the auto insurance system.

“With limits on the number of experts and expert reports, we are reducing the cost, complexity and delay associated with expensive duelling experts,” Attorney General David Eby said in a statement.

Since 2017, the increased use of experts has contributed to a 30% increase in the cost of ICBC injury claims that are litigated. Under the proposed changes, the limit on experts won't apply if the expert report was served before Feb. 6, 2020, or if a notice of trial was filed and served before Feb. 6, 2020, for a trial before Oct. 1, 2020.

You can hear first-hand about what the new rules will mean at The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon on March 4 with ICBC chair Joy MacPhail.
Province responds to Chamber calls for tax relief
The provincial government has responded to calls from business organizations including The Chamber to provide property tax relief for small businesses and non-profits as well as arts and culture organizations.

An Interim Business Property Tax Relief program was unveiled on Monday to allow local governments to provide immediate property tax relief for the 2020 tax year.

The Chamber added our voice to a call for reforms to how property value is assessed, which can have a direct impact on the amount of property taxes owed. Many small businesses that provide valuable services to their neighbourhoods are being taxed at the same rate as if their property was a fully developed high rise. Last year, the Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292 needed emergency aid from the City of Victoria to meet an unexpected tax bill that came with soaring land values.

The Chamber is now calling on all Greater Victoria municipalities to work with ministry staff on adopting these interim measures ahead of sending out 2020 tax bills. We will also continue to work to ensure the province comes up with a comprehensive long-term solution. All Chamber members are encouraged to contact your local government and let them know you expect them to participate in this opportunity to lower taxes on small business.

Under the interim tax relief program, municipalities can exempt a portion of the assessed value of properties, reducing taxes and lease costs for tenants with triple-net leases.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch #292: Member since 2007
Promote your job across Canada
Desperately seeking a larger talent pool? The Chamber, with the help of HotHouse Marketing, is connecting workers from the rest of Canada with jobs in Greater Victoria during February and March. Make sure your jobs are on our board to showcase why we really are the best place in the country to live, work and play.

Every Chamber member receives one free job posting annually. Learn more here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

"Employee benefit programs that provide coverage for services like dental expenses and professional fees (chiro, massage, physio) are always well received by employees. Recently other benefits like employee assistance programs, which help employees work through stresses that are happening in their lives, have become very popular, and valued by employees. A new benefit that has been added to the Chamber Group Plan is Teladoc, this service gives employees quick access to speak with a BC based doctor. Employees can avoid long line ups at clinics and if required, get a prescription."

Robert Jack, Owner of Jack Insurance & Financial Services
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits for your team, including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plan.

Contact us for details.
Maritime Museum finds new home in Langford
The Maritime Museum of BC will have a new home as part of a major new project in the City of Langford that will also see the addition of a high-rise office complex, a 40,000 sq.-ft. conference centre and 1,200 seat theatre.

The City of Langford announced yesterday it had entered a memorandum of understanding to build the $87 million complex on McCallum Road near Costco.

The museum, which has been working on being officially recognized as part of the national museum system, hopes the new location will serve as a destination for visitors.
Maritime Museum: Member since 1989
Costco: Member since 1998
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Saanich seeks input on electric mobility strategy
The Chamber is encouraging all BizNews readers to provide feedback to the District of Saanich about the municipality's Electric Mobility Strategy.

An online survey, available until March 8, will help Saanich plan a rapid transition to electric vehicles and e-bikes.

Saanich hopes that focusing first on readily available light-duty electric vehicles and e-bikes is the quickest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the community.
District of Saanich: Member since 2018
Next week! Learn about the largest reform of
BC auto insurance in 45 years
This is your chance to hear about how ICBC's plans will impact you and your business. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask Joy MacPhail directly about changes including the new Fairness Office and compensation limits. 
Wed., Mar. 4 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Come aboard BC Ferries' newest electric hybrid vessel then join us for lunch to hear from President & CEO, Mark Collins, on how this new class of vessel is changing the future of the company and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Tue., Mar. 24 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Connect with new clients at the trade show every business is talking about. Network with 300+ people and meet 50+ businesses who will be showcasing their services and products. Stay tuned for door prize announcements and more!
Thurs., Mar. 19 | 4-7 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
BC shutting down municipal auditor general office
Instead of enhancing the powers of the Auditor General for Local Government, the province has decided to pull the plug on an office that was never given the chance to truly deliver on its promise. The auditor general saw its budget cut by one-third in last week's provincial budget. On Monday, the Minister of Municipal Affairs announced that the office — due to a lack of support from local governments — will be shuttered after it wraps up projects currently underway.

The purpose of the Auditor General for Local Government should be to ensure arm's length oversight of, and accountability for, spending by local governments — as the provincial auditor general does for provincial spending. The lack of local government support for the office is irrelevant.

One of the very last projects for the office, is an audit of Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge, which came in way over budget and well-behind schedule. In 2009, the cost was estimated at $63 million and work was expected to end by 2015. The bill for the bridge turned out to be $105 million and it took until 2018 to complete.

The Chamber encourages the provincial government to work with BC's municipalities to put in place an oversight office that will ensure taxpayers can have full confidence in how local governments are managing their finances.
Chamber CEO's Business Examiner column pays tribute to Brian Small

I think it’s fair to say there will never be anyone quite like Brian J. Small, who passed away on Jan. 24, at the age of 85. From 1969 to 1994, Brian held the job that I do now at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. His name was part of our organization’s archives but, I must admit, I’ve only recently learned about the extent of his accomplishments.
Victoria adds four calls to 2020 cruise ship season
Businesses that benefit from every arrival of cruise ship passengers will have a few more opportunities this season.

“Ships are deploying earlier than normal from Asia over to the West Coast to begin their Alaska cruise season,” Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson told CTV. “As a result of that, Victoria is going to see four additional calls.”

The additional stops mean as many as 9,000 more visitors than initially forecast will have a chance to enjoy our region.

Concerns over the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus have seen the cruise ship industry exercise precautions that have resulted in the cancellation or rerouting of sailings to Chinese ports.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Spring into savings on office supplies
With blossoms blooming around town, and spring cleaning just around the corner for your office, you’ll want to take advantage of our exclusive discounts for Chamber members with Grand & Toy, Lenovo and Monk Office.
You can save up to 85% off of 7,500 quality office products from furniture, office supplies, tech, facility supplies, and print and promotional products from Grand & Toy.
Save up to 30% on Lenovo’s entire product line including laptops, tablets, servers, and more.
Receive a preferred pricing discount of 10% on all regularly priced office supplies at Monk Office, Vancouver Island’s local office supply store for nearly 70 years. Restock your office this spring with major savings! Click here to find out more.
Members Around Town
Chamber member presents to APEC

CMX Partnerships Director, Juan Navarro, presented his most recent research on competition policy to leaders and representatives from the 21 APEC economies earlier this month. Navarro had the opportunity to engage with business leaders and authorities during the first meeting of 2020, which meets to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
CMX Partnerships: member since 2020
Internationally awarded liquor

Victoria Caledonian Distillery and Sheringham Distillery have both received international awards for their liquors. Victoria Caledonian Distillery competed at the World Whisky Awards in the UK, receiving first place for the best new-make in Canada as well as first place for best single cask, single malt in Canada. Sheringham Distillery’s Kazuki Gin won the “ Canadian Artisan Spirt of the Year” award, competing against 60 other distilleries from across Canada. 
Victoria Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery: member since 2013
Sheringham Distillery: member since 2018
UVic Co-op Wage Subsidy Program
Do you hire co-op students? The deadline is quickly approaching to receive a wage subsidy from the University of Victoria’s Co-operative Education Not-for-Profit Wage Subsidy Program Organizations can receive up to $5,000 towards hiring a co-op student if the position is listed by March 1. Need assistance posting your co-op position? Visit The Chamber’s Job Board for more information on attracting great talent. 
University of Victoria: member since 1976
Saanich wins Small Business BC award

The District of Saanich has won first place in the Small Business BC “ Open for Business” awards within the large municipality category. The Chamber proudly provided Saanich with a letter of support for this award. Mayor Fred Haynes also highlighted the importance of the partnership between Saanich and the South Island Prosperity Partnership for this award, as well as the municipality’s collaborative and sustainable economic practices. 
The Corporation of the District of Saanich: members since 2019
South Island Prosperity Partnership: member since 2017
BC’s Top Employers
A comprehensive list of BC’s Top Employers for 2020 has been announced, and the following Chamber members were included:
Best Buy : member since 2019
BC Ferry Services Inc : member since 1983
Capital Regional District (CRD) : member since 1993
Coast Capital Savings : member since 2011
Great Little Box Company : member since 2016
Raymond James Ltd : member since 2003
TELUS Communications : member since 1962
Victoria Airport Authority : member since 1981
WorkSafeBC : member since 2006
Welcome to our newest members!
Member to Member discounts
Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites
Costco Wholesale Langford
Mayfair Optometric Clinic
MokSana Yoga Centre
YWCA Hotel Vancouver
Looking to add a Member to Member deal to your online business listing?
Contact for more information.
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