Affordability Top of Mind
On Mon, Oct. 1 Provincial Finance Minister Carole James presented the Budget 2017 Update to Chamber members at the Union Club of BC.

One of the key priorities of the budget is affordability across BC. The plan is to do that through increasing the minimum wage and social assistance rates, investing in housing initiatives, reducing commuting costs and reducing MSP premiums by 50%.

James noted some of the risks to BC's fiscal plan are wildfires, the financial sustainability of ICBC, increasing interest rates, global economic uncertainty, the softwood lumber and NAFTA trade agreements with the US and a new round of government negotiations in 2019.

Thank you to Coastal Community Credit Union for sponsoring the luncheon. Click here to see the photos.

Chamber News
Small Business Month
Auction Tickets
2018 Business Awards Info Session
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

Tax Reforms Should Be More Than Political Theatre  

Although last week was the final week of federal government consultations on small businesses tax reform, it's still top of mind in Greater Victoria's business community.
Chamber CEO Catherine Holt in partnership with Downtown Victoria Business Association Executive Director Kerri Milton and City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps addressed their issues with the proposed tax reform in this opinion piece for the Times Colonist. They stated, "tax reforms should be more than political theatre. The federal government is doing a disservice to real middle-class Canadians who own a business by characterizing them in ways that have inflamed emotions." 
Langford Mayor and owner of the Alpine Group of Companies Stewart Young wrote letters to Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau highlighting his concerns.

In a Huffpost article Tim Paziuk, one of the top financial planners in Canada, looked at one of the government's own examples (pg 13) in comparing an employee earning $220,000 a year vs a business owner earning $220,000 a year and came out with dramatically different results.

The government says the employee would wind-up paying $35,000 more in taxes than the business owner. However, in Tim's comparison the business owner has many more risks and would not have access to over $90,000 in benefits that the government employee would have. 

You can still sign the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's online petition to stop unfair tax changes.
Get ready to raise your paddles! This black tie evening includes cocktails, dinner as well as a silent and live auction. Bid on hundreds of items including travel and entertainment packages, electronics, beauty and fitness services, jewellery, and much more.  

Fri, Nov 24 | 6-10 pm     
The Union Club of British Columbia
805 Gordon St.
Giving Thanks

Fall has officially taken over Greater Victoria! Thanksgiving is this weekend and if you're in charge of cooking dinner why not do your grocery shopping with a Chamber member?

Not into cooking? Join your fellow Chambers members in celebrating by enjoying a bite out, a night away from home, or plan an action-packed weekend at these local treasures. This time of year is a perfect time support one of Greater Victoria's local charities.

In the spirit of giving Dodd's Furniture and Mattress will be hosting their 19th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Our Place Society Oct. 7. They are expecting to serve dinner 1200 people!

The Chamber will be closed Mon, Oct 9 for Thanksgiving.

Dodd's Furniture and Mattress: member since 2002
Our Place Society: member since 2010

Issues that Matter to Victorians
Victoria's Vital Signs report , the annual community report card produced by the Victoria Foundation and supported by signature sponsor Coast Capital Savings was released yesterday, Oct. 3. Unique to the region, it combines public opinion survey results with statistics and relevant facts to provide a snapshot of regional livability and wellbeing.  

The report showed housing, cost of living and mental illness remain the top three issues in Greater Victoria, but addictions has jumped from number eight to the number four spot. Meanwhile, child care rose to number nine from the sixteenth spot last year.  
The Chamber is currently advocating on behalf of all these issues and featured the lack of affordable child care in the September Business Matters

The Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
Coast Capital Savings: member since 2011

Fabulous Four - Final Chance to Vote   

Each fall, The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two year term with staggered renewal dates - this year we are asking you to elect four board members.

Scrambling to vote in the final minutes? Do a search for the subject line: Final Chance to Vote - 2018-2019 Board of Directors Election. If you are The Chamber's main contact for your business and didn't receive your ballot, please contact us at 250-383-7191 or email us.

Your vote matters when there are eight great candidates and only four Chamber board vacancies.

Voting closes tomorrow, Oct 5 at noon.
I Belong Downtown
I Belong Downtown, is a campaign designed to celebrate our Canadian downtowns as vibrant, welcoming places that embrace diversity of all kinds - and how this makes our communities, cities and country thrive. Through a partnership with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, City of Victoria was selected as one of five Canadian cities to participate and is looking for stories from people of all ages and backgrounds who live, visit and work downtown.

People who submit stories are eligible to win $500 and it would be great to share perspectives like yours about our downtown. Click here to see a sample story.  
The campaign was created by Canadian Urban Institute and funded in part by the Government of Canada as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.  

Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007
City of Victoria: member since 1962

Made on Vancouver Island
Three major players in the grocery business on Vancouver Island - Quality Foods, Country Grocer and Thrifty Foods - have joined together to collaborate on the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance's pilot project to increase awareness and demand for Island food products.

This pilot project explores the potential for highlighting 'Made on Vancouver Island' both on the products and at point of purchase to heighten awareness and increase sales of Vancouver Island goods at grocery stores.

While the 'Made on Vancouver Island' brand could also be applied to a broad range of products including furniture and robotics, the initial focus of this project is agri-food and seafood.

Learn more about the stages of this pilot project and become a part of the conversation at this Summit workshop session featuring the pilot participants and moderated by Dan Dagg, President of Hot House Marketing.

Thrifty Foods: member since 1981

Quality Foods: member since 2015

Hot House Marketing: member since 2005

Nominate Now for The Chamber's 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards
Each week The Chamber will be profiling a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

Business of the Year (1-10 Employees) honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates continual business excellence through positive business growth;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community;
  • Exemplifies superior customer service; and
  • Embraces an outstanding commitment to quality.
Know a business that deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2017 Business of the Year finalists below. Thanks to City of Victoria for sponsoring this award.

Winner: Balance Home Cleaning
Finalist: BC Hazmat Management
Addressing the Overdose Crisis
The BC government is launching a community crisis fund and scaling up rapid access to addiction treatment as part of a province-wide plan to stem the overdose emergency and help save lives, Premier John Horgan has announced.

"Today we are taking important steps to save lives, end stigma, get communities and people the help they need, and stop addiction before it starts," Horgan said. "People are losing their loved ones. Families, communities and front-line workers are carrying an enormous load and it's time to give them the support they need."

BC's overdose crisis was declared a public health emergency in 2016. On average, 4 people a day are dying from overdoses and contaminated drugs. To combat this crisis, the provincial government is taking a cross-government approach, led by the new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, to create a dedicated team whose first priority is to save lives.

The new actions focus on harm reduction, outreach and help for people who need it the most, as part of a government-wide effort to combat the crisis that was allocated $322 million in new funding in the recent budget update.

Welcome to Our Newest Members! 

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

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