Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
April 1, 2020
The Chamber held our first virtual Fireside Chat today. Chamber CEO Catherine Holt and Kris Wirk, accountant and partner at Dusanj & Wirk, discussed how recent government tax initiatives will help businesses through these unprecedented times. See more below.
Members connect through virtual Fireside Chat
This afternoon, The Chamber held its first virtual Fireside Chat with Chamber CEO Catherine Holt and accountant Kris Wirk, partner at Dusanj & Wirk.

The two discussed the federal and provincial governments recent tax initiatives and how they can help businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses need to speak with their accountants or legal advisors to make sure they make the right decisions for their situation. However, Catherine and Kris offered sound ideas on taking stock of your financial situation and how to start the process of applying for government help if needed.

Watch the full chat here.
As rent comes due, many businesses seek options
It's the first of the month — rent day. And it’s a difficult time for many businesses and non-profits that lease their space and that have seen revenue plummet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After wages, rent is the second largest expense for many employers.

On the other hand, landlords are also facing challenges as they rely on revenue from their tenants, but need to make sure they don't end up with empty spaces.

The Chamber encourages landlords and tenants to, first and foremost, talk to each other and try to find solutions that will keep everyone in business until the economy is able to begin its recovery.

Here are a few few ideas from commercial landlords and tenants who spoke to us about how they're getting through this together:

  • Defer or reduce rent
  • Pay week-to-week
  • Landlords can create a payment plan based on each tenant's circumstances. Some can pay and some can't
  • Landlords can agree to use security deposits to cover rent
  • Tenants might provide payment with goods or services rather than cash.

There are also other ways both parties can lower costs during this crisis.
  • Review insurance needs to determine if it can be reduced if a business is not active.
  • There might be solutions in your lease agreements that allow for options.
  • And finally, add your voice to calls to the Prime Minister, Premier and Mayors that you need financial help to cover rent. Email Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at and BC Premier John Horgan at

The Chamber has been vocal in our calls for rent relief for commercial tenants, and we will continue our efforts in the coming weeks. #InItTogetherYYJ
Province forgives hydro bills for affected businesses
Small businesses that have closed due to the pandemic are getting a break from BC Hydro. BC Premier John Horgan announced today that power bills will be forgiven for those small businesses from April to June 2020. No repayment is required. This covers most stores, restaurants, tourism operations, personal services and other small businesses.

Businesses that are struggling but have stayed open, or which are considered larger businesses, can defer their electricity bills without incurring late payment fees under BC Hydro’s existing COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program.
Connecting employers with employees today
During these extraordinary times, we're expanding our Job Board to support our community.

We're hearing from some of our members that they need more staff as they gear up to provide essential services to our community. We also know a lot of great staff with transferable skills need work. We want to connect the two, after all connections are what we do best.

At this time, employers are able to post at no charge by using the code SUPPORTYYJ.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you ASAP on the next business day.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Thanks to our friends at Hothouse Marketing, we have a new ad campaign you'll see online. It encourages out-of-work locals to pitch in at businesses that need help.
Stay connected with The Chamber's virtual events
In an effort to stay innovative and keep our members connected, we are proud to announce the launch of virtual networking events.

These sessions will include virtual mixers, mingles, networking breakfasts, and other useful tools to grow your connections and showcase your business from the comfort of your home.

To register for these free events, visit our Events Calendar for a list of ever growing ways to keep your businesses connected.
How to participate in virtual events:
  • Choose you computer, phone or tablet for the meeting. Make sure your choice has a camera and microphone, so you can be seen and heard
  • Download the Zoom App to create a stable connection
  • To minimize feedback use headphones or a headset
  • Rename yourself to show your first name and your organization name
  • Select “Gallery View” to see everyone participating in the event. 
  • Use Zoom Help Center if you are unsure how to enable these settings 

Upon registration, you will be given the link and password to the event. If you have any questions, please contact  
Virtual Mixer/Mingles
Grow valuable connections from the comfort of your own home, and interact with a diverse group of professionals. These networking events will be hosted on Zoom, and participants are invited to join us in developing business relationships.
Virtual Fireside Chats
As part of The Chamber's commitment to getting businesses back to work, Chamber CEO Catherine Holt will host a fireside chat with a series of experts on COVID-19 related challenges and opportunities. Get answers on pressing issues and information you need.
Virtual April Mixer
Thurs., April 2 | 4-5 PM
Employers and Workers Rights
Wed., April 8 | 2-2:30pm
Members Around Town

Relive your travel memories with Flytographer s new custom puzzles. Print your professional photos onto a puzzle layout, and spend time completing a puzzle-perfect activity. Read how completing puzzles can improve physical, mental, and emotional health
Flytographer: member since 2015
Luv-A-Rug Disinfectants

Luv-A-Rug Services Inc is offering deep-clean disinfections using their newly acquired Clorox Total 360 system . In addition to disinfecting rugs, the system is able to sanitize schools, restaurants, buses and more — eliminating 99.9% of bacteria in five seconds. 
Luv-A-Rug Services Inc: member since 2008
Hand Sanitizer Production
Sheringham Distillery has begun producing hand-sanitizer for essential workers and vulnerable groups. Sheringham Distillery will be delivering hand sanitizer to businesses such as grocery stores, post offices, hospitals and many other essential workspaces. 

Sheringham Distillery: member since 2018
Is your business implementing new strategies or innovative ways of connecting with consumers?
WIN Online Store

WIN Resale Shops has unveiled their new online store, allowing you to purchase clothes and support more than 1,000 women each year in Greater Victoria. Don’t worry, WIN has a contact-free pickup option to make sure you look great for your next Zoom event.
Victoria Women In Need Community Cooperative: member since 1998
Departures Lounge

Departures Travel has launched a virtual travel show named the Departures Lounge . Discussions about fun, new, and interesting developments in global travel will be featured, including the appearance of special guests. 
Departures Travel and Niche Travel Inc: member since 2013
10 To Watch

Douglas Magazine has announced their 10 to Watch winners , highlighting up-and-coming businesses on Vancouver Island. Three Chamber members have been included in the list, including: 

Bilston Creek Farm : member since 2019

Integrated Rehab and Performance : member since 2019

Zero Waste Emporium : member since 2018

Douglas Magazine: member since 2004
COVID spin control

As businesses look forward to a COVID-free future, they need the right story and the right plan. tCan is offering support by offering free communications help, counsel and guidance.

"Now is the time for businesses to create strategic plans to ensure business operations and services are sustained in the coming days, weeks and months ahead,” said Dan Dagg, President of Vancouver Island’s Hothouse Marketing agency, who also serves as a tCan Director.
Hothouse Marketing: member since 2005
Member to Member discounts
MokSana Yoga Centre
Regroove Solutions Inc
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