Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 1, 2020
Commercial rent relief extended another month
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a one-month extension to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. The program, which initially was scheduled to end in June, offers loans to commercial property owners with the intent that they use the money to help tenants struggling to pay rent.

To be successful, the program requires cooperation between landlords and their tenants. The Chamber is encouraged by the many property owners who are working with their customers to ensure they make it through this crisis. We will all be in better shape if we can quickly restart businesses and get our economy back up to speed as soon as possible.

June 30 also marks the end of the deferral period for GST payments, announced on March 27. If not paid, interest will begin accruing as of July 1.
'New NAFTA' officially kicks in Canada Day
Canada Day also marks the official start of the Canada US Mexico Agreement on trilateral trade. The deal has been welcomed for providing long-term stability that will allow businesses to plan for a predictable future. However, there are also questions about the deal in light of the rapid pace of change that has occurred over the last several months.

“With trade between NAFTA members valued at nearly $1.5 trillion in 2018, we can't overstate how vital it is to maintain free and fair trade between our three countries,"  said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 29.

Nominations open for 2021-22 Chamber Board
Now more than ever leadership matters.

We’d like to invite you to be a part of the history of the region and serve on The Chamber Board.

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, six (6) 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 a nomination form here. Please also include your bio and photo for the election ballot. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 30 at noon.
Thurs., July 9 |12-1pm
Online & in-person
Happy Canada Day!

Whether you’re celebrating Canada's 153rd birthday virtually or with a small group of friends, be sure to wear your best plaid and add some extra maple syrup to your pancakes.

Although this Canada Day may look different from others, there are still may ways to have fun. This includes:

The Chamber will be closed Wednesday, July 1.
Getting you back to business
Last chance to register
Join our CEO Bruce Williams and a panel of tourism leaders as they talk about how the pandemic continues to affect our tourism industry, what's needed and a look to the path forward to recovery.
Restart your tourism experience as three local leaders share their challenges and successes
Indu Brar
Randy Wright
Thurs., July 16 |5-6pm
Langford campaign tells story of business recovery
The City of Langford is launching a new campaign to support local businesses.

The municipality created to share photos and stories of business people who are finding ways to adapt and carry on during these uncertain times.

Starting this week, Langford Mayor Stew Young or a member of his council will be visiting businesses in the community to commit random acts of kindness. These include picking up the cheque for customers at a restaurant, covering the cost of a haircut or helping out with the bill at a business. The campaign was paid for by donations from the development community.
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Break for cab and limo services as province cuts fees
The provincial government has reduced licensing costs for taxi and limo operators to help the sector through the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

On June 22, the annual licence renewal fee was reduced for commercial operators who hold a Passenger Directed Vehicle Authorization, which includes taxi and limousine operators. In the past, these licensees paid an annual fee of $100 per vehicle with no overall fee cap. It has been reduced to $50 per vehicle with a licence fee cap of $5,000.
New business registry for all of western Canada
A new system launched this week designed to make registering a business more efficient in Western Canada. The federal government — along with governments in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — implemented the online Multi-jurisdictional Registry Access Service, a hub that allows corporate information sharing between the provinces, making extraprovincial registration faster and easier.

“People using this new service will find it easier to register their business in multiple provinces and efficiently complete necessary paperwork through one central hub,” said Anne Kang, B.C.’s Minister of Citizens’ Services. “This joint effort under the New West Partnership Agreement streamlines trade between our provinces and opens up the possibility of including other provinces and territories in the future.”
Co-op with a COVID Focus: UVic intern program
For as little as $2,500, you can access a strategic edge for your business as you pivot to adapt to this new post-COVID business world.
Students in the Business Strategy Internship program will be able to spend three months with your business focused on an area where you need new thoughts and an extra set of hands including: marketing, operations, finance, HR, supply chain or communications. This investment in your business's future would not be possible without the partnership of the Gustavson School of Business and Mitac, who will cover $7,500 of the wages.
For more details or to post your position, contact the co-op department at the University of Victoria .
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
Open for Business — Chamber directory style
To help locals looking to support businesses in the region, we want to make it easier to find businesses that are open and ready to provide products or services.

You'll see on our Chamber  online business directory  that we've added an Open icon for businesses. Details on how the business has adapted and/or new hours will appear in Products and Services at the bottom of the listing. We've also enhanced the SEO keywords on these listings to get you noticed.

Do you have updated business hours or services? Contact us   for your Open Icon and enhanced directory listing.
Job Board exclusive member benefit
The job board has returned to being an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

The Chamber is proud to have featured more than 500 jobs on our  job board  , including 250 since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We opened up this member benefit to help our community meet the demand for essential service jobs. We are now seeing a return to job postings that reflect the restart of our economy.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Members Around Town
Ferry around town

Ralmax Group of Companies has purchased a controlling stake in the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company. As a result of this acquisition, the fleet of 17 ferries will continue to operate throughout the summer, and will be looking into innovative transport solutions.

Ralmax Group of Companies: member since 2011
Ready, Set, Go!

Looking for your next adventure? Departures Travel has launched Mystery Departures, a fun and surprising way to discover something new. After you complete a short survey, a trip will be planned for you based on your interests that you receive details on the day it begins. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a fun family trip, or a local day trip, plan to get surprised with a Mystery Departure.

Departures Travel and Niche Travel Inc: members since 2013
Penny for your thoughts?

The Royal BC Museum’s annual Canada Day Penny Carnival will be returning virtually this year. Learn how to build and play simple games using assorted household goods such as cardboard, buttons, and other seemingly random items. Join the webinar here.
Royal BC Museum: member since 1994
Canadian Chamber grants

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce provided $10,000 grants to 62 small businesses across Canada, including the Royal Theatre. Successful applicants can use the $10,000 prize to help purchase protective equipment, pay salaries, or cover costs of other recovery efforts.
Royal and McPherson Theatres Society: member since 1976
Essential support through Telemedicine

Thanks to the Rapid Relief Fund, the Victoria Cool Aid Society has been able to implement telemedicine services to people living in emergency shelters or temporary housing as well as to homeless requiring palliative care. The kiosks will provide hundreds of people the ability to meet privately and confidently with their doctor without leaving home.
Victoria Cool Aid Society: member since 2006
W Venture for women entrepreneurs

VIATEC has released W Venture , a new program to assist women entrepreneurs in Greater Victoria and the Okanagan. Participants are able to connect with a community of peers from across the province while receiving personalized, hands-on support from mentors and experts. Applications for this three month program are open from now until July 31, with the program beginning in early September.
VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council): member since 1991
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