Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 21, 2021
Starting Aug, 9, Canada will no longer require a quarantine period for recreational travellers from the US. On Sept, 7, the border will open to fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries.

The move comes late in the season for many tourism businesses that rely on summer revenue, but allows the industry to begin working on bookings for 2022.

Meanwhile, the US announced today that it won't be following suit and will keep its land border closed to Canadian travellers until at least Aug. 21.

Canada has recently surpassed the US in the percentage of our population who are fully vaccinated, leading experts to state it is now a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."

In BC, 81.1% of adults have now had at least one dose, and 59% are fully vaccinated.
TELUS investing $63 million in Greater Victoria
TELUS is investing $63 million across Greater Victoria in 2021. It's part of a $13-billion infrastructure and operations upgrade across the province over the next three years.

“TELUS is proud to make this generational investment in Greater Victoria, providing the technology to connect citizens to loved ones, as well as vital resources and information as we continue to navigate the global pandemic,” TELUS President and CEO Darren Entwistle says.

The investment will enable TELUS to provide 5G network speeds in our region, and allow the company to meet increasing demand for its services.

“The enhanced connectivity being undertaken by TELUS aligns with the priority The Chamber has in place to advocate for strong and equitable access to technology for all member businesses to keep them competitive,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says.

Construction is underway on TELUS’s new Greater Victoria headquarters, TELUS Ocean, which will be a key economic hub in our region’s growing tech and innovation ecosystem. TELUS Ocean is on track to open in 2024.
TELUS Business: Member since 1962
TELUS BUSINESS: Chamber Champion since 2020
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than 10 minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value?

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet. by completing the survey. Early bird prize, get your answers in by July 26th and you could win free membership & 150 free driving minutes from EVO Car Share.
Addressing workforce shortage key to recovery
Greater Victoria employers continue to struggle finding and keeping workers, and The Chamber continues to advocate for help. With limited immigration during the pandemic, Canada experienced its slowest population growth since 1916. That is expected to change this year, as the federal government has increased immigration targets for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Greater Victoria employers will also get some relief with the return of post-secondary students to our region this fall.

"Finding and keeping workers was an advocacy priority before the pandemic and will be even more so as we emerge from restrictions and the economy recovers," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, who recently spoke to CBC and CFAX about this issue.

Many employers in Greater Victoria already pay above minimum wage but will continue to face challenges as our region also deals with a limited supply of affordable housing and child care.

"We're working with our partners and government to address the housing shortage and challenges with child care," Williams said.
Cruise industry can plan return to Canadian waters
We asked for quick action and the government responded.

Last week, Transport Canada announced that, effective Nov. 1, it was ending the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters. In the weeks before, The Chamber joined the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and a number of community and business organizations calling on the government to set a re-open date. A firm date is necessary for the industry to begin planning for a return to Canadian ports.

“We needed government to make it clear that cruise ships are welcome in Canada, and we needed a date so that industry can plan to return as soon as possible. I’m happy that the federal government heard us and understands the importance of this industry to our region as well as to Canada’s economy,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told Douglas Magazine. “The GVHA has done tremendous work making Greater Victoria a great port, and a lot of businesses will be thrilled to see the ships back with their passengers and crew enjoying our city. There is so much potential for this industry and we look forward to continuing to advocate for the investments and projects that will help make the cruise industry an important and sustainable economic driver for many years to come.”

The GVHA says cruise adds $130 million to our region's economy and creates more than 800 jobs. Revenue from cruise tariffs allows the authority to support popular spaces such as the Ogden Point Breakwater and the Inner Harbour Lower Causeway.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Feds clarify new tax rules around family businesses
The federal government has clarified rules around intergenerational transfers of shares in a small business. The clarification came after push back from business organizations, including the national chamber network.

The change will help businesses with succession planning, and make it easier for children and grandchildren to carry on with the company. Bill C-208 was passed earlier this week to "support family-run Canadian small business, protect the tax system and ensure everyone pays their fair share," states the federal government's news release.
Nominations closing soon!
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, four (4) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.
Our influential board works with decision-makers at all levels of government to support our region’s businesses and maximize the value of membership with The Chamber.

Click here for key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Download your application, including a request for a bio and photo for the election ballot — as well as a form to gather your nomination supporters. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 29 at noon.
August Business Mixer (Online)
This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet virtually, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships. Join us for an opportunity to connect with the Greater Victoria business community.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Aug. 19 | 5 - 6 PM
The Prodigy Group presents Bite-Size Connections

Get re-acquainted with emerging and established members of Greater Victoria's business community at the Prodigy Group's first in-person event this year.

Attendees will be able to sit in groups of six and mingle over personal appetizers. Registration is limited.
Safety protocols will be in place and we will be following Provincial Public Health Guidelines for events.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 5 - 6:30 PM
Maple Room - Strathcona Hotel, 919 Douglas St.
Victoria, BC
Create an online strategy to drive global sales 
Discover, learn, and create an integrated online strategy to drive your global sales.

100% of ICE graduates stated that they are better equipped for e-commerce following the workshop and would recommend ICE to other SME's.

Join us for this two-day interactive workshop:
  • September 7, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • September 8, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Full Bursaries available to Members who use the code WTCCOMP at checkout.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: A Quiet Giant of Industry and Business
This is part one of a two-part Chamber Chat looking at one of the region's quiet giants of industry and business. A 26-acre worksite in the middle of the region, the Seaspan Victoria Shipyards employs as many as 1,400 people. We go inside the gates with Vice President and General Manager, Joe O'Rourke.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since December 2020
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Ensure your job opening is seen by the right candidates with The Chamber’s job board!

For an extra $45 USD per job posting, shoot your listing to the top of the job board and increase the amount of job-seekers that view your job offer. Your job will also have a highlighted “FEATURED” badge and will be published to the Google Jobs Network.

You can also upgrade your previously-posted positions to ensure your job opening gets the most views over time.

Learn more about how to post on the job board and utilize featured posting here. ​

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job, please email [email protected]
2021 Virtual Chamber Auction
Showcase your product or service at the 2021 Virtual Chamber Auction!

We are thrilled to announce the return of our Virtual Auction, taking place Nov. 7 – 14.

This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received nearly 8,000 visitors to our auction platform for a week of bidding on fabulous gifts.

Do you want your products and services featured in the auction? From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach thousands of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.

Have any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email Alex at [email protected]
Member News
Mike Geric acquires James Bay property

Mike Geric Construction Ltd. has purchased a 36,000-square-foot lot in James Bay that’s bordered by Quebec, Montreal and Kingston Streets. The high-profile site is currently a parking lot. The plan is to create a mixed-use development that will add housing diversity, community amenities, and other improvements to the neighborhood.
Mike Geric Construction Ltd: Member since 2017
Mike Geric Construction Ltd: Chamber Champion since 2020
Blockchain courses at Camosun

Are you interested in learning about blockchain and cryptocurrencies? Camosun College is now offering free virtual information sessions about this expanding technology. Register on July 28 or Aug. 25 to learn more about blockchain architecture, machine learning, and more.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Archie Browning Sports Centre turns 60

The Archie Browning Sports Centre in the Township of Esquimalt is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Home to several clubs and community sports leagues, the facility has hosted comedians, bands and sports teams from around the world. More recently, the centre has been operating as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
Supporting those in need with Our Place

Our Place Society’s Portrait of Caring fundraiser continues until July 30, featuring 28 paintings of influential youth in Greater Victoria by Elfrida Schragen. The funds will support people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable members of our community. Businesses and other groups are also invited to sponsor and serve a meal at Our Place, offering a chance to provide breakfast, lunch or dinner to people in need.

Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Entrepreneurial spirit of Spinnakers

You can't bottle entrepreneurial spirit, but, if you could, Paul Hadfield has a ready supply. The founder of Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses, has been featured in Douglas Magazine talking about his determination and grit when facing recent challenges including a global pandemic and an accidental fire in 2016. Always innovating, Hadfield was instrumental in the craft brewery movement, and recently launched a line of mineral waters and sodas. Never content to rest on his laurels, he also implemented a living wage for his staff well beyond the mandated minimum wage.
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Member since 1990
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Chamber Champion since 2021
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Visit Vancouver Island’s newest attraction

The Malahat Skywalk has officially opened for guests. Offering panoramic views of the Saanich Peninsula, the 600-metre TreeWalk also features a slide for thrill seekers. The attraction is built on Malahat Nation land, and offers interpretive stations where guests can learn about the nature, culture and social customs of the area.
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Oak Bay Marine Group selected for Turkey Head redevelopment

The Oak Bay Marine Group has been chosen to redevelop the Turkey Head marina in the District of Oak Bay. Talks have begun to finalize a third 30-year lease for the marina property, which opened in 1962. The site is expected to offer more public amenities in the coming years.
Oak Bay Marine Group: Member since 1969
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021 
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