From the Provincial Finance Minister Luncheon to Chamber Week events and Social Media Seminars, The Chamber has many events coming up in February. Check them all out here.
Ready for 2017?
Make sure your business info is up to date in The Chamber's online business directory, a powerful tool that helps people find your business while strengthening your online presence. 
  • Is your business name correct? 
  • Is your main contact correct?   
  • Is your address and postal code correct?
  • Is your phone number current?
  • Are there any changes to your website address or social media accounts?
  • Are you still in the right category? 
We ask you to update your directory listing by Feb 5, to ensure your up-to-date listing appears in our most popular publication of the year - the March edition of Business Matters, which includes the compiled membership directory in print for all of our 1,400+ member businesses.

Not sure how to login and update your listing?  Email us and we'll be happy to help. Our online directory listing is a phenomenal tool for promoting your business online and we want to make it work for you.

Want to give your business a little more exposure? Click here to book your ad in this well-read edition.
Chamber News
Opportunities and connections
Chamber Events
Marketplace Mixer
Chamber Week Events
2017 Seminars
Prodigy Group Mingles
Business Mixers
Stranded Travellers in YVR Have a Place to Stay
Accent Inns is offering complimentary accommodation at its Vancouver Airport Hotel location to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) travellers from the countries affected by U.S. President Trump's travel ban.

"We at Accent Inns are saddened by any sort of discrimination," says CEO of Accent Inns Mandy Farmer. "We want to take a stand for what's right and help anyone who might be affected in our community. Accent Inns welcomes diversity always."

For the 90 days that the travel ban is in place, Accent Inns will offer complimentary accommodation for up to three nights to travellers that have been stranded due to the travel ban.

Accent Inns: member since 1992

Bike Lane on Fort Street?
Fort Street businesses - including The Chamber - met with City of Victoria planners  on January 27 to discuss the proposed two-way separated bike lane on the north side of Fort Street. 
The proposed bike lane runs between Wharf and Cook, and will include the loss of a vehicle lane and 30 on-street parking stalls.
Attendees' questions focussed on the plan's effect on their businesses during construction and afterwards, the anticipated construction start date, and the option of moving the separated lane to less busy streets such as View or Broughton. 
"The Fort Street business owners and operators present were eager for information and the opportunity for input," said Chamber Policy Manager Peggy Kulmala. "We were relieved to hear from planners  that there are still opportunities for public engagement and that the plan isn't a 'done deal' until a shovel breaks ground."

Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Finalist for Best Immigrant Entrepreneur

FreshWorks Studio is a top 5 finalist in
The FreshWorks office. Click here to watch the video. 
the Best Immigrant Entrepreneur category at the Small Business BC Awards, the largest awards competition for small business in the province. FreshWorks Studio will now have to pitch their business to a panel of business experts in Vancouver who will determine the winner in each category.

"As an immigrant to Canada, I'm proud of the fact that I was able to establish a successful business and hire local developers and project managers," said Co-Founder and CEO Samarth Mod. "We are at 12 employees now and growing. It was satisfying to know that this is getting recognized and I made it in the top 5 finalists."

As a growing tech company in Victoria, Samarth recently spoke to CTV News Vancouver Island about how the US Immigration ban could boost Victoria's tech sector. Watch it here

Another Chamber member Picture This Today 3D Inc. made it into the top 10 in the Best Employer category. 

FreshWorks Studio: member since 2017 
Picture This Today 3D Inc.: member since 2015  
Be First to Hear About Budget 2017!

Join us for The Chamber's annual post-budget address with B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong. 
Hear about how B.C. plans to invest surplus savings back into the economy, and find out what province-wide changes could impact our community and your bottom line.

Wed, Feb 22 | 11:15-1 pm
Fairmont Empress
721 Government St. 

Businesses Get Help Going Green
The Government of BC  announced last week it is  providing $385,000 in incentives for zero-emission specialty-use vehicles to help businesses and vehicle fleets lower fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

"As one of British Columbia's largest ground transportation companies, The Wilson's Group has been investigating solutions to reduce fleet emissions," said Wilson's Group President/CEO and Chamber Secretary, John Wilson. "The Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program supports our commitment to a greener and more sustainable environment and is a very welcome initiative." 

Zero-emission specialty-use vehicles include electric or hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles, low-speed utility trucks, heavy duty transport trucks, passenger buses and airport and port service vehicles.

Currently, zero-emission versions of common specialty-use vehicles can be priced from 40% to 600% higher than traditional gas or diesel versions. The incentives will help close the price gap and make zero-emission specialty-use vehicles a more attractive and economically viable option for fleet operators. 
Your Chamber in the News
Daisy & Adam Orser
What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? That we have relationships with over 250 Vancouver Island & BC Growers, makers & shakers. Buying direct and KNOWING the farmers and producers is something that makes us very unique in this business. What's your favourite Chamber event? The Annual Chamber Business Awards. What is the best perk of your job? Um, THE FOOD. What are you passionate about? Food sustainability and ethics and integrity in business. Favourite place on Vancouver Island? East Sooke and Tofino. What is the best advice you've ever received? Fortune favours the brave. Getting comfortable taking risks has served us immensely and made both life and business way more exciting! If you had a superpower what would it be? Being a morning person.    

More about Daisy & Adam - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found inside the January Business Matters.  

  The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer: member since 2011

Improved Resources  to Help Public Safety
The City of Victoria is funding two Victoria police officers to join an integrated mental-health team. 

Victoria Council asked that police work with service providers and those with mental-health issues, addiction, and homelessness to develop the criteria to assess the pilot project. The first year is being paid for from the city's 2016 budget surplus.

Some of the homeless population can exhibit anti-social behaviours. Others require early, focused, and intensive intervention to prevent them from falling further into crisis. These behaviours may affect the public's perception of safety that, in turn, can affect local businesses.
"With or without a home, we all need to feel safe and part of the community" said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "Police are already a critical front-line service-provider in helping the street-entrenched population. Having additional officers who specialize in mental illness will make this effort more effective." 
The City of Victoria has a disproportionately higher population of homeless compared to other Greater Victoria municipalities. Further, 90% of services for this population are concentrated in Victoria. The City of Victoria does what it can to address this issue with a tax base of 80,000 residents. As with many other regional issues, a plan for funding and services shared throughout the region would be a healthier way to address the problem.
Get to Know the Business Community
The Chamber is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated person to get out and about in the Greater Victoria business world as an Account Representative. This position is responsible for new member sales and working with existing Chamber Members .

  The successful candidate will work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with considerable scope to achieve Chamber membership objectives. The role demands an above average understanding of the needs of small business, the pressures that businesses experience and how best The Chamber can assist and help businesses grow.  Click here for more information or to apply

Welcome to Our Newest Members! 

Loomo Marketing Media

Rather Be Plumbing Ltd

Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.

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