February 12, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
VicPD steps up downtown patrols after calls for help
Project Downtown Connect will see two officers increasing police presence downtown, Victoria Police Department Chief Del Manak announced Monday. The initiative will cost $55,000 with funding coming from the department's overtime budget. The patrols will engage with small businesses four days per week for four months.

The project will help police better understand issues facing downtown businesses, who will also receive advice from officers on improving security.

Businesses downtown have voiced concerns about a growing sense of helplessness in the face of increased shoplifting linked to slow police response. The Chamber advocates for safe communities as the foundation for being able to function in our daily lives. The VicPD initiative is a step in the right direction.

After four months, the city will review the effectiveness of the program and decide if it can be incorporated into the police budget over a longer-term.
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Be the first to hear about Budget 2020
Provincial Finance Minister Luncheon
Hear from B.C. Finance Minister Carole James at her first public event in Victoria following the tabling of the provincial government's 2020 Budget.

The presentation will provide an overview of the recently unveiled budget and details on province-wide changes that could impact our community and your bottom line.
Thurs., Feb. 27 | 11:15 am - 1 pm
The Fairmont Empress
721 Government St.
Sponsored by:
Greater Victoria added 10,000 jobs last year
The Greater Victoria economy added 10,000 jobs over the last year, including 2,300 in the past month alone. Statistics Canada figures show 201,000 people held a job in our region in January.

Greater Victoria's unemployment rate continues to be the lowest in Canada, even though it rose slightly to 3.5% in January compared to 3.4% in December.
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 job posts are online to showcase why we really are the best place in the country to live, work and play.

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

"An internal culture that aligns company and employee values creates a positive environment that makes people want to stay with an organization. We support our employees at every level to think and act as leaders, and we start by developing an understanding through education on what leadership is. Our teams feel empowered to make decisions and succeed, and that gives them a greater level of satisfaction in their roles."

Moira Hauk, Regional Manager of Coastal Community Credit Union
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits for your team, including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans.

Contact us for details.
ICBC undergoing largest reform in 45 years
ICBC's announcement last week that it would undergo the largest reform of BC auto insurance in 45 years is good news for drivers. The coming legislation will lower ICBC premiums by 20%, saving an average of $400 per year for drivers, the province said.

However, trial lawyers have condemned the changes, saying that the new system is unfair to people seriously hurt in crashes — especially cyclists. Insurance brokers are also watching closely to see how the rules changes will affect their business and their clients.

Beginning in May 2021, ICBC will pay about 90 per cent (up to $1,200 a week) of what someone had been earning if injuries suffered in a crash keep them from working. However, earnings will be based on current earning and will not account for future increases in earnings.

Last year, ICBC paid out $435 million in future wage losses.

Make sure to register now to hear firsthand about the changes from ICBC chair Joy MacPhail, the guest speaker at The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon March 4.
Business gets chance to vote in Victoria by-election
The City of Victoria by-election is a rare opportunity for people who have businesses or income properties in the municipality but live outside its borders.

Typically during civic elections, voters will cast their ballot in the municipality in which they reside. But doing so disqualifies them from also voting in a different municipality where they own commercial property.

With the April 4 by-election only happening in Victoria, there's a lot of interest from people who have a business in the city but live outside its borders.

For information on who is eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector, here’s a link to the details. A few notable requirements include:

  • You must be a registered owner of the real property and are not holding the property in trust for a corporation or another trust. There is no corporate vote in BC.

  •  If there is more than one registered owner, you’ll need written consent of the majority and only one of you can cast a vote as the non-resident property elector.

Call Legislative Services at 250-361-0571, or check out for 2020 Information for Voters, including what documents you need to register as a non-resident property elector.

It’s a great opportunity for business owners to ensure their voice is represented on Victoria council.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Chamber Business Leaders Series 2020
Wed., Mar. 4 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Tue., Mar. 24 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
GVHA shifts focus to shore power for cruise ships
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority announced last week it was shifting resources to focus on the feasibility of providing shore power for cruise ships and other environmental initiatives. The move means that the GVHA will extend the schedule to finish a master plan for the Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

GVHA CEO Ian Robertson met with The Chamber's Public Policy and Advocacy committee last week and noted that the 2020 cruise ship season is shaping up very well, with the industry showing strong demand for new ships. Robertson estimated cruise ships contribute about $150 million to the regional economy.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd: Member since 2020
Happy Valentine's Day
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, finding that perfect gift may seem like a daunting task. Luckily, Chamber members are here to ensure you have a romantic day while supporting local businesses.

As always, check our community calendar for exciting Valentine’s Day events happening all over Greater Victoria. Whether you’re spending the day with a loved one, or having a special day for yourself, The Chamber wishes you a happy Valentine’s Day!
Members Around Town
David Foster provides advice to students

David Foster, 16-time Grammy winner and founder of the David Foster Foundation gave a speech to University of Victoria students about the importance of networking and having a strong work ethic. Foster gave students financial and life advice, while later serenading students with a performance of his hit song “My Girl.”
David Foster Foundation: member since 2000
Butchart Gardens hosts job fair tonight

Butchart Gardens is hosting a job fair tonight from 6 to 8 pm at 800 Benvenuto Ave. to showcase opportunities in multiple departments. With more than 600 employees during the summer and Christmas season, Butchart Gardens offers employment for all ages. 
Butchart Gardens: member since 1976
UVic honours distinguished alumni Sybil Verch

Sybil Verch, EVP and Head of Private Client Solutions for Raymond James Ltd has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Verch graduated the University of Victoria in 1997, and created the finance talk show “ The Wealthy Life with Sybil Verch,” which airs on CHEK TV.
Raymond James: member since 2003
University of Victoria: member since 1976
CHEK News: member since 1971
The City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria Public Library have named Neko Smart as the new youth poet laureate for the city. Smart is a graduate of Victoria High School ( Greater Victoria School District SD61 ) and will present her work at bi-monthly City Council meetings, host workshops, as well as numerous other engagement projects.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Greater Victoria Public Library: member since 2008
Greater Victoria School District SD61: member since 1976
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