October 25, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Marketplace Mixer — the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce's business tradeshow — welcomed more than 250 attendees last week to the Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion. The high-energy evening gave our members valuable exposure to potential new customers. See photos here.

Bank of Canada hits pause as interest rate likely at its peak

Some good news this morning for businesses and households feeling the pinch of higher borrowing costs.

The Bank of Canada kept its target for the overnight rate at 5%, signalling that earlier efforts to cool inflation by slowing the economy are working.

Interest rates climbed faster than expected as inflation spiked after a series of global crises. The war in Ukraine, climate events in agricultural areas and disrupted supply chains have been cited for increasing input costs.

The central bank said today that it might still raise interest rates further, though some experts say the message is likely more bark than bite.

The Conference Board of Canada said that fears of a recession could become a "self-fulfilling prophecy."

The Bank of Canada’s recent Survey of Consumer Expectations found that 55% of respondents expect a recession is coming.

"It is likely these recession fears are encouraging households to scale back their spending, a finding backed by trends seen in our Index of Consumer Spending and Index of Consumer Confidence," the Conference Board said in its report. "This additional pull-back could give the final nudge to materialize a recession within Canada."

Read the latest Monetary Policy Report

Upcoming Events

Navigating Volatility: What Your Business Should Look Out For - only a few spots left!

2023 Chamber Auction

Membership 101

Emerge Connector @ Coastal Community Credit Union

November Business Mixer with BCLC

2024 Business Awards Nomination & Application Webinar

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall - 10 tickets left!

Chair's Holiday Reception

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Chamber Chat Look back: We (still) need to talk about the 'i' words

This week's Chamber Chat with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams
Chamber Chats

We're re-publishing this Chamber Chat from May in light of today's Bank of Canada news:

The “i” words are in everyone’s thoughts. Inflation and Interest rates. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams chats with three finance and business professionals about how we can best manage the challenges created by i&i.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

Recognizing international credentials a win/win

Chamber members have been calling for a better way to recognize certification gained outside BC. New legislation introduced this week is a step forward, recognizing 29 professions overseen by 18 regulatory authorities.

If the international credentials recognition act passes, the province could have a new superintendent by next summer in charge of fair credential recognition.

"We know the stories of highly trained professionals who come to Canada and are only able to find work washing dishes or driving cabs," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "International standards often correspond with provincial standards, so it makes perfect sense to let people who choose to come here continue their careers here. Employers in our region have positions going unfilled and workers are underemployed. Simply put, recognizing international certification will improve this disconnect."

The 29 occupations are:

  • registered music teacher
  • professional engineer
  • professional teaching certificate holder
  • land surveyor
  • early childhood educator
  • landscape architect
  • early childhood educator assistant
  • applied science technologist
  • conditional teaching certificate holder
  • certified technician
  • social worker
  • veterinarian
  • registered clinical social worker
  • lawyer
  • professional biologist
  • architect
  • applied biology technician
  • notary public
  • registered biology technologist
  • emergency medical assistant, including paramedics
  • professional geoscientist
  • chartered professional accountant
  • registered professional forester
  • associate real estate broker
  • registered forest technologist
  • managing real estate broker
  • professional agrologist
  • real estate representative
  • technical agrologist

Supportive housing gives youth in need a new chance

An investment in supportive housing for youth is something everyone everyone can get behind. We all want safe communities and healthy outcomes for our next generation.

Beacon Community Services has been announced as the operator of a six-storey building at 1075 Meares St. that will provide safe homes for 48 young adults. The residents will be youth between 19 and 27 years old who are at risk of homelessness and who require help to stay housed. On-site support will be available 24/7 and offer access to education, employment and opportunities to build self-sufficiency.

Beacon Community Services: Member since 2009

Calls for CEBA extension resonate with fed minister

Advocacy efforts to extend the CEBA repayment deadline appear to be working. The Chamber and our national network along with many other business organizations are calling on the federal government to give businesses more time to repay without losing the forgivable portion of their CEBA loans.

Chamber Chair Kris Wirk said in a September media release that “The reality facing many small businesses — especially those in hospitality, tourism and retail — is that they have a viable path to making a full recovery but it’s going to take longer than expected.”

This week, federal Small Business Minister Rechie Valdez told BNN Bloomberg that she's heard the message and seen the struggles facing businesses firsthand. She promised to go back to government to do more.

Under the Canada Emergency Benefits Account, businesses that needed help during the pandemic were offered loans of up to $60,000. Part of the appeal was that one third of the loan would be forgiven if paid by the deadline, which was extended from Dec. 31 to Jan. 18. And while 2024 seemed like a long way off in the depths of the pandemic, unforeseen challenges with inflation and interest rates has kept many businesses from fully recovering.

Chamber member Megan Johns, owner of The Green Kiss explained the situation succinctly to CBC, noting that she was on schedule with her CEBA loan until operating costs began to soar faster than her business could grow.

"Margins are getting smaller and smaller and smaller due to the rising costs across the board," Johns said. "Every aspect of the business has become more challenging and it is more challenging now than it was in 2020 so far."

The Green Kiss: Member since 2021

Greater Victoria Business Awards 2024

Nominate a deserving business today!

Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

The Outstanding Customer Service Award honours a business of any size that:

  • is a leader in providing exceptional customer service;
  • serves as a role model, mentor or example of excellence to other businesses;
  • and exhibits a commitment to the community.

Nominees must be able to provide up to 10 testimonials from customers dated within the last two years.

Sponsored by:

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected]

Nominate Today
Award Categories

Need some inspiration?

Check out the videos of the 2023 Outstanding Customer Service finalists. Thanks to Innov8 Digital Solutions Inc.. who is once again our sponsor for this award in 2024.

Winner: Chateau Victoria


Beehive Wool Shop

Frightening fun this weekend ahead of Halloween

Kids will fill the streets hunting for sugary treats on Tuesday to celebrate Halloween night, but there is plenty of themed fun to be had be this weekend.


Greater Victoria is known as one of the most haunted places in Canada, and this spooky season is the perfect time to experience something new — if you dare!

Visit a local pub or nightclub to show off your great costume skills, or have a Halloween meal at a great restaurant before handing out handfuls of candy to trick-or-treaters.


Check out Destination Greater Victoria's list of Top 10 Haunted Places in Victoria and Eerie-sistable Halloween Activities in Victoria if you’re dying to see a ghost, and explore famously haunted sites. Spooky stories await at Craigdarroch Castle, Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University, the Fairmont Empress, Rogers’ Chocolates, and many more.


If you’re looking to burn off that extra sugar from Halloween treats, check out a local fitness facility, and be sure to recycle your pumpkin at Pumpkin Smash 2023 in the City of Langford on Nov. 4.


Whatever you may be up too this Halloween, The Chamber hopes you have a fun (and frightening) time!

Upcoming Events

Chamber Auction runs Nov. 5-12

Registration is now open for the 2023 Chamber auction, taking place online from Nov. 5-12! Soon you’ll be able to bid on everything from one-of-a-kind getaways, to unique experiences, to discussions with community leaders, and everything in between! Early-bird opens on Oct. 29, so register now to be one of the first to make your bid!

Wilson’s Group (Private Suite at Royals Game) 

Enjoy a live hockey game with 11 of your closest friends from your own private box! Watch a Victoria Royals home game in the The Wilson's Group luxury suite.

Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel

With this stay-cation, you and a guest will enjoy one night in a one-bedroom waterfront suite at the Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel, an exclusive downtown water-front property offering luxury condominium-styled suites looking over Victoria's Inner Harbour.

Times Colonist

Get massive exposure for you and your business by having your story on and in-print! Your featured content will receive up to 25,000 local display impressions with this advertising package courtesy of the Times Colonist.

FRS Clipper

Enjoy round-trip travel between Victoria and Seattle for you and a guest with this gift certificate courtesy of FRS Clipper! You'll even get to travel in-style with seats in the Victoria Clipper's Comfort VIP Class.

Want to see more of the great items featured in this year’s auction? Register today to get a sneak peak! Any questions? Please call 250 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Register Today!

Sponsored by:

Member News @VictoriaChamber

Click the image to read and share the Member News story on Instagram

University of Victoria:

Member since 1976

TD Canada Trust:

Member since 1913

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit Member since 2023

Douglas Magazine:

Member since 2004

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 

Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected].

Chamber Job Board 

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – Berwick Retirement Communities

Instructor – Camosun College

Investment Advisor – TD Canada Trust

Project Manager – Regroove Solutions

Project Coordinator – Urban Systems

Member to Member Discounts

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit - Save 35% on UPLIFT Summit

Joni - 10% Off Your First Order

Resthouse Sleep - 10% off all regularly priced items at Resthouse

Moe's Home Victoria - 20% Off Regular Priced Items

Monk Office + Art - 15% Off Monk Office & Art Supplies

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

Canadian Coast Guard,

Western Region

EB Consulting

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube