Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
June 9, 2021
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Hotel & Spa c/o Destination Greater Victoria
Feds announce end to hotel quarantine requirement
Immunization is the key to ending the pandemic, and Canadians are eager to open the door to a summer with fewer restrictions. The vaccine rollout across the country is working, and, today, the federal government announced fully vaccinated Canadians will no longer be required to quarantine in hotels.

"We've been working with our national chamber network to help Greater Victoria tourism businesses," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "There is light ahead, and we're feeling much more hopeful after today's news, but we still have work to make sure all of our members can be part of the economic recovery."

One of the initiatives underway is a digital vaccine certification that will be key to safely travelling over international borders. The Chamber urges the federal government to act quickly on this initiative, and to offer a strategy with clear metrics so the tourism sector can plan for a safe re-opening.

On Tuesday, the Canadian Chamber partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations on a letter calling for the border to re-open for fully vaccinated travellers.
Win great prizes by participating in the #PicnicsPatiosVicBC contest until July 5
The Greater Victoria Picnics & Patios contest has officially launched! Comment on any Picnics & Patios social media post by The Chamber or our partners (listed below) to enter to win great prizes! Tag your favourite restaurant and two friends for a chance to win a catered picnic lunch for two at Government House, along with other weekly prizes.

Share a photo of your summertime snack and use the hashtag #PicnicsPatiosVicBC for five additional entries.

The Chamber is proud to work with our partners — BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, City of Victoria, Destination Greater Victoria, Downtown Victoria Business Association — as we continue to show support for the hospitality industry as we enjoy delicious food and drinks across the region.
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association (BCRFA): Member since 1996
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
Government House: member since 2020
Tutti: member since 2018
Lucky to Go: member since 2020
Media coverage of Picnics and Patios initiative
Everyone loves a good story, and the Picnics and Patios initiative launched this week has been well-received by Greater Victoria media.

Here's a look at some of the coverage so far:
We look forward to seeing you out there enjoying a patio. You never know, maybe we'll even pick up the cheque!
Province adds funds to business recovery grants
The provincial government says it expects to provide $560 million in relief to businesses under the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant and the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant.

On June 4, an extra $140 million was announced for the recovery grant. Grants have gone to 10,000 businesses so far and the government expects to help more than 20,000 BC businesses with 260,000 employees. About 40% of grants already approved are for businesses that serve the tourism sector.

Between $10,000 and $30,000 is available, with an additional $5,000 to $15,000 for tourism-related businesses.

The funds provide a boost to businesses making their way along the Recovery Runway as we wait for the economy to take off. However, The Chamber would like to see all relief extended to the vital non-profit sector. According to the Victoria Foundation, non-profits account for 63,000 full-time jobs and pay more than $300 million in taxes to our region’s municipalities.

“A lot of non-profits are in serious trouble and their services will be going away if they don’t get some support,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist.

The pandemic has increased demand on many non-profits providing critical services to the community. Many organizations are struggling to raise funds and having challenges finding and keeping staff.

Tourism and restaurants need support

The Chamber CEO also spoke to the Times Colonist about the ongoing challenges facing the hospitality and tourism sector.

“Everybody’s down obviously … some have been able to rebound and make up with take-out and delivery but a lot of them just haven’t been able to do that,” Williams said, noting that without office workers downtown, many restaurants and retailers have lost customers. Residents need to continue to support downtown by going there to to shop and eat.

The Chamber has also been actively advocating for the federal government to continue wage and rent relief for the tourism and hospitality sector into next spring.
Victoria Foundation: Member since 2004
New acts bring BC closer to universal child care
The provincial government is a little closer to offering universal child care after introducing new legislation yesterday to make it easier for parents to access child care, and for providers to find much-needed workers.

The proposed early learning and child care act would require government to report every year on progress towards universal child care, as well as on Indigenous-led child care. The early childhood educators act would make the certification process more efficient for child care workers who have been trained in other countries.

The Chamber advocates for accessible and affordable child care as an important investment that enables more parents to remain in the workforce.
Upcoming events
Business Restart Series:
Hon. Murray Rankin
Hear how British Columbia is working to promote Indigenous-led economic development opportunities by strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities and gaining insight from Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.
Sponsored by:
BC's plan to help Island businesses bounce forward
Join us for a virtual chat with the Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Hon. Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, as we discuss opportunities ahead as well as ongoing support to help all British Columbians live healthy and productive lives.
This event is free of charge to all Vancouver Island Chamber members.
Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment & Climate Change
Hon. Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Giving your business a scorecard rating
If you were to use a scorecard to analyze your business, how would you fare? Are you taking full advantage of technology being made available to support you?

Elizabeth Vannan and Steve Wellburn with MNP (a Chamber Champion!) join Chamber CEO Bruce Williams to talk about this timely topic.
MNP: Member since 2013
MNP: Chamber Champion since 2020
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Mayfair purchased by owner of Woodgrove Centre
A new owner has long-term plans for Mayfair Shopping Centre. The mall was purchased by Central Walk from Ivanhoe Cambridge, with the deal closing June 1.

Central Walk, which also purchased Nanaimo's Woodgrove Centre in 2020, is headed by Island resident Weihing Liu.

Liu says she hopes to enhance Mayfair's sense of place as a social and commercial hub.
Mayfair Shopping Centre: Member since 1963
Bay Centre offers oasis under a 'Canopy in Bloom'
Need a break from the hustle and bustle? Step into The Bay Centre and stop to see the flowers under a Canopy in Bloom at centre court. The immersive experience opened June 1 and will be in place until Sept. 20.

"We invite you to take a moment to immerse yourself under our floral canopy. A place to let go, become grounded and more at peace," says The Bay Centre's description of the exhibit. "We hope your visit to the Canopy in Bloom experience will provide a moment of comforting escape while raising awareness and funds for mental health services available to you, your loved ones and our community."
The Bay Centre: Member since 1990
Greater Victoria 7th-best place to visit in Canada
Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island have been named the seventh best place to visit in Canada, according to

The site says our region is a "world away" from bustling Vancouver, despite being a 90-minute ferry ride. USNews praised Victoria for retaining its roots to its British heritage, such as afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress, as well as the Inner Harbour.

Banff topped the list, while Quebec City placed sixth and PEI came in at No. 8.
Fairmont Empress: Member since 1962
Let The Chamber assist your summer staffing
Make sure you’re well-staffed for the Summer season with The Chamber’s job board!

This June, make sure you utilize your free annual job posting and find great new talent. With the help of The Chamber, get your seasonal positions featured on our website and in our weekly newsletter BizNews. Chamber members receive also one free 30 day job posting. Enter the code INTRO2021 at checkout.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job, please email [email protected]
Online Directory Listing Check-Up

Ensure you and your brand are showcased properly through your Chamber directory listing! With our advanced search engine optimization strategy, hundreds of unique users are visiting our member directory every month.
Here is a checklist to keep your listing updated and noticeable:
Online Directory Listing Checklist
☐ Your logo, pictures and YouTube video are all up-to-date
☐ All your social media channels are listed
☐ Your listing description reflects your brand
☐ All relevant keywords are added
To make changes to your listing, simply login here.
To update your logo, photo or video, select the Media Update button listed at the top of the page. To update your listing description, keywords and social media channels, select the Profile Edit button.
You can always email us with your requested changes, and we would be happy to update your listing for you.
Member News
Big Wheel Burger Battle

Big Wheel Burger is hosting a Burger Battle this June, giving participants a chance to create the next best burger. From June 11-15, the public will be able to vote on six delicious burger creations, and the two best rated burgers will be available at all Big Wheel Burger locations until the end of June.

Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
10 to Watch winners

Douglas Magazine has announced their 10 to Watch winners, highlighting a few of the best new businesses across Vancouver Island. From organizations that print living human cells to companies that produce fresh authentic tortillas, the winners were selected by a panel of judges represented by the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University. See who won in Douglas Magazine.
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996

Volunteer Victoria’s Sneakers4Good Project has provided more than 100 pairs of shoes to people in need. The project is a youth-led and managed fundraiser that aims to create continual positive impacts in local communities. This Monday, Our Place Society received a large shipment of shoes to benefit people experiencing homelessness.

Volunteer Victoria: Member since 2019
Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Clipper tours to San Juan Islands

After a 14-month hiatus, Clipper Navigation Ltd. Is back in service to the San Juan Islands. Tourists from Seattle can now embark on whale watching tours to the islands with either full day or half-day packages.
Clipper Navigation Ltd: Member since 1995
CIBC donates $50k for residential school survivors

CIBC has donated $50,000 to support residential school survivors. As part of the $1.8 million CIBC contributes to Indigenous communities across Canada, the $50,000 was donated in memory of the 215 children found buried at the former Kamloops Residential School.
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Member since 1962
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Chamber Champion since 2020
Roaring for some great food

Hotel Zed has launched their new restaurant in Tofino. Created by Mandy Farmer, Roar is designed to be a cozy place where everyone in Tofino is welcome. Featuring delicious food such as fire-charred smoked citrus soy wings, 1% from each bill is given directly to the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation for restoration initiatives. Accent Inns | Hotel Zed received the Community Builder Award at the 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards.
Accent Inns | Hotel Zed: Member since 1992
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