January 25, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Thank you to everyone who attended our first networking event of 2023! Members of The Chamber and the recently rebranded Emerge Committee met at The Union Club of BC for an evening of conversation and connection. See photos here.
Bank of Canada signals interest rate likely at peak
As expected, the Bank of Canada bumped up its policy interest rate by a quarter point while signalling no further moves are planned until the impact on the economy can be more fully assessed.

"Inflation is projected to come down significantly this year," a media release from the Bank stated. "Lower energy prices, improvements in global supply conditions, and the effects of higher interest rates on demand are expected to bring CPI inflation down to around 3% in the middle of this year and back to the 2% target in 2024."

The Bank of Canada has hiked its rate eight times in less than a year. The moves have slowed business investment and dampened consumer confidence, adversely affecting most business sectors.

"We've been checking in with our members during this time and I know it's been difficult for many people facing higher costs," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We're focused on supporting members as we can, helping them build resiliency in their organizations while calling for smart investments from government so that our regional economy can come back stronger than ever."
Cruise ship season tentatively set to begin April 11
Cruise ship season is tentatively set to begin April 11 with the arrival of 2,600 passengers aboard the Sapphire Princess. The year is shaping up well as the industry appears to have fully bounced back after the pandemic.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority anticipates 330 ship calls at the Victoria Cruise Terminal between April and October, with about 850,000 cruise passengers getting a taste of our destination. According to a survey, 53% of people who stopped in Victoria aboard a cruise ship said they would be back for another visit within five years.

“GVHA is focused on sustainable growth that benefits the region. We understand that, along with many economic benefits to the community, cruise also presents some challenges. We want to make sure we address those challenges,” GVHA CEO Ian Robertson said in a news release. “Shore power is top priority, and we continue to work with the federal government to get that funding piece in place. It’s a modest investment to realize huge potential and impact, and time to finalize the funding and move this ahead.”
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Discussion: Getting rail back on track on the Island
Join The Chamber for a discussion with the Vancouver Island Transportation Corridor Coalition and Island Corridor Foundation on the work done towards identifying the need for, and public interest in, reinstating Island Rail Service.
"The provincial government is quickly approaching a critical decision point and must provide an answer on the future of the Island corridor by March 14," said coalition representative Paul Robinson, noting that reinstating Island rail service could help the Island's tourism economy and get more vehicles off the roads. "VITCC believes that rail is, by far, the most equitable mode of ground-based transportation as there are no age, health, ability, income impediments, and no requirements for vehicle operator ownership, licensing, and associated expenses."

The Chamber will be leading the discussion on rail as part of our role in The Island Chamber Advocacy Alliance, connecting business across the Island.
This free, virtual event is open to members of Chambers across Vancouver Island.
Island Corridor Foundation: Member since 2020
A win for Maritime Museum and Bateman Gallery
A plan for the Bateman Foundation Gallery and the Maritime Museum of BC to swap spaces makes sense for both organizations. The idea is for the Bateman Gallery to set up a temporary exhibition space at 744 Douglas St., where the Maritime Museum currently resides.

The board chair of the Bateman Foundation, David Schneider, said the move will allow their organization to "re-imagine how we can connect people to nature through the power of art in a community-focused interactive space.

It would also achieve a major goal of the Maritime Museum, which has had its eye on setting up in the CPR Steamship building.

“We do want to get a toehold in the building,” Maritime Museum chair Jamie Webb told the Times Colonist. Webb added that he's hopeful BC's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which manages the Steamship Building, will agree to the plan and provide a "favourable lease" that lets the museum establish itself in the new location. Webb received good news yesterday when the estate of Cora Shaw donated $1 million to help secure the museum's long-term viability.
Bateman Foundation Gallery: Member since 2013
Maritime Museum of BC: Member since 1989
EHT remains a burden and needs changes in 2023
Before the pandemic, The Chamber was a leading voice calling for changes to the province's Employer Health Tax. A lot has happened since then, but the EHT remains a concern for businesses throughout BC.

And while The Chamber is a non-partisan organization, we welcome the announcement today by the BC Green Party proposing an increase to the EHT exemption threshold. The change would benefit businesses with payrolls between $500,000 and $1.5 million. It would also remove the disincentive for businesses that are growing or paying employers more and face being burdened by the EHT if they surpass $500,000.

It's an idea that the chamber network has supported in the past, and one that deserves to be back in the conversation in 2023.
Royal BC Museum engagement process underway
The Royal BC Museum is a major attraction in Greater Victoria that has been important to our region since its inception in 1886. The current building has been in place since 1968. Last year, plans to redevelop the site were stopped after a much publicized outcry. Since then, the RBCM has been rethinking its future.

A series of public engagement opportunities continues tomorrow with Dialogue Sessions in the afternoon and evening at the museum.

"This is a chance to make sure we do it right. That the museum tells the many stories that reflect all of us who live here," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We can do much better at providing opportunities for First Nations to share their stories in their words. I encourage all chamber members to participate in the engagement process and show your support for keeping the museum in Greater Victoria."
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
Raise a glass as we celebrate 160 years of serving Greater Victoria
The Chamber has spent more than a century connecting hard-working entrepreneurs and innovative organizations with one another while amplifying the voice of business to all levels of government.

This event will feature opportunities to
connect with businesses from across Greater Victoria surrounded by exhibits highlighting the Chamber's past, present, and future.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Feb. 9 | 4 - 6 PM
Royal BC Museum, Floor 3
675 Belleville Street
Media Partners:
Chamber Week Member Networking Breakfast @ Royal Roads
Come celebrate the power of Chamber businesses with the Chamber Week Member Networking Breakfast presented by Royal Roads University and supported by our media partners 98.5 The Ocean and 103.1 Jack FM.

This breakfast is a must-attend event for Chamber members. After casual networking over breakfast, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator pitch; once everyone has had a chance to connect, it's time to meet an entirely new group of people at a different table!
Wed., Feb. 15 | 8 - 9:30 AM
Royal Roads University, Sequoia Building, Top floor - Centre for Dialogue, 2005 Sooke Rd
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Attracting, Developing & Engaging Talent: The Changing Workforce
Join The Chamber and Royal Roads University on February 16th for a panel discussion on responding to changing workforce realities.

In this session, we will explore trends and developments that are shaping today’s workforce and how businesses can more effectively attract, develop, and engage talent.

Key areas of discussion will include: 
• Changing attitudes and expectations of today’s workforce 
• Attracting and retaining the next generation 
• Developing and upskilling staff – supporting ongoing learning and development 
• Engaging those who are in their ‘post-career’ or ‘second career’ stage
Make sure to register even if you are unable to attend. Everyone registered will receive the recording.
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Stay cozy with Teladoc
Even when it's too cold to leave the house, you should be able to talk to a doctor. If you have Chambers Group Insurance, you can now take advantage of Teladoc Telemedicine Services — a fast and efficient way of getting the help you need, when you need it.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This cold and flu season, ensure your family is prepared for anything — without leaving the comfort of your home.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.

Inquire with a Chamber member pharmacy to see if they are offering flu shots this year, and be sure to book your appointment for your COVID-19 booster.
Celebrating #IndigenousBusinessVicBC
The Chamber is committed to Indigenous reconciliation. We’re proud to feature new Indigenous members, including Geo Services!

Geo Services is a small business owned by Songhees member Les George offering security services and parking enforcement. Geo Services is a small but mighty team that are actively looking for more opportunities.

Stay tuned as we highlight more Indigenous Chamber members — #IndigenousBusinessVicBC

Are you an Indigenous-owned business working in Greater Victoria? Learn more about Chamber membership and opportunities to connect by emailing [email protected]

Geo Services: Member since 2022
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
What are the Vital Signs for Greater Victoria?
The 17th edition of the Victoria Vital Signs report is out, providing a look at how we see ourselves and how residents feel about a variety of issues.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Jonathan Dyck of the Victoria Foundation, the creators of the report.
The Victoria Foundation: Member Since: 2004
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Solutions available to ensure Safe Communities
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Victoria Police Chief Constable Del Manak about ongoing challenges of crime in the city and solutions being created.
Victoria Police Department: Member Since: 2008
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find the best talent with The Chamber’s job board
This January, advertise your job for free!
Chamber Members are entitled to one free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year, and there’s no better way to kick of 2023 than by adding great talent to your team. Use the code INTRO2023 at checkout when posting a 30-day listing.

The Chamber’s job board is an exclusive benefit for members. Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, email [email protected]
Member News
Vikes Cheer Team shines on world stage

The University of Victoria’s cheer team have become world champions! Achieving the highest score out of 15 teams across the world, the University World Cup Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida, awarded the Vikes team top place within the Premier All-Girl Team Cheer category. The Vikes cheer team are undefeated within BC since 2017.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Celebrate Scottish heritage this Robbie Burns Day

Today is Robbie Burns day! Celebrating the Scottish poet’s birthday more than 250 years ago, two Chamber members have marked the occasion with special events. Craigdaroch Castle celebrated with Haggis, bag pipes and Celtic rock music, while Bard & Banker Pub is offering a traditional menu and a variety of ales to choose from.
Bard & Banker Pub: Member since 2008
Craigdarroch Castle Historical Society: Member since 1990
Empress celebrates 115 years

The Fairmont Empress celebrates their 115th birthday! After opening their doors on Jan. 20, 1908, the hotel has welcomed guests from around the world including Winston Churchill, Bob Hope and members of the Royal Family.

As The Empress celebrates their milestone birthday, The Chamber is proud to also mark a special occasion. Join us as we celebrate our 160th anniversary at the Royal BC Museum on Feb. 9 just steps away from the Fairmont Empress. Register today!
Fairmont Empress: Member since 1913
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
BC Ferries upgrading fleet maintenance

BC Ferries has been approved to modernize their fleet maintenance facility by the BC Ferries commissioner. With a goal of increasing service capacity by 45% to 50%, 39 vessels that makeup BC Ferries' fleet will receive more efficient upgrades. Work will begin next month on the facility, with an estimated completion date of September 2026.
BC Ferry Services Inc.: Member since 1983
BC Ferry Services Inc.: Chamber Champion since 2020
Origen Air receives additional seed funding

Origen Air has received a $100,000 investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada. As one of 25 companies across Canada to receive seed funding from SDTC, Origen Air is part of the 50% of businesses included for funding that are women-led.

Origen Air: Member since 2020
Reality Bites for a good cause

Singing Bowl Granola has created a new product to help support nutrition in the community. REALITY BITES are bite-sized treats of organic quick oats, peanut butter, honey and other delicious ingredients. When customers purchase 10 Reality Bites, five will be delivered to the consumer and five will be given to outreach groups including the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society. From there, they are given to people who are most in need.

Singing Bowl Granola: Member since 2021

Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society: Member since 2021
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
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