September 6, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Chamber gatherings are always popular so be sure to register early for all of our great Chamber events coming up this fall!

Bank of Canada hits pause on rates as economy slows

The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it was holding its interest rate at 5%, as expected. The next announcement is Oct. 25.

The Bank's Governing Council said there are signs that supply is catching up to demand, and it is still assessing how previous rate hikes are affecting the economy.

"However, Governing Council remains concerned about the persistence of underlying inflationary pressures, and is prepared to increase the policy interest rate further if needed," said the news release issued by the bank.

The pause comes as political pressure increases to stop raising rates, though the Bank has been clear it's committed to restoring price stability for Canadians and does not make decisions based on government requests.

"I know a lot of our members are affected by increasing costs caused by inflation and higher interest rates," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "It's not an easy time, but we're also seeing investments in more efficient operations and a focus on sustainability that will make our community more resilient in the long run."

Upcoming Events


September Emerge Connector at Pacific FC

5 Chamber Mixer at Camosun Interurban

Hire a Co-op Student to Benefit Your Team - Webinar

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall

International Student & Local Business Virtual Emerge Connector

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast

Check our Events Calendar for updates. 

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  

Stats show housing supply down from a decade ago

The latest sales figures show a slight increase in the number of homes for sale, though the demand for housing continues to affect the cost of living in our region.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, there were 2,490 listings at the end of August. That's up 2.9% from the previous month and higher than the 2,137 homes listed in August 2022.

"The focus in our market and by all levels of government needs to be on opening up more supply," VREB chair Graden Sol said in a news release. "Our inventory levels, though up from last year, are still too low to support a well-balanced market. A decade ago, we saw over 5,000 active listings in August."

Sol noted that many listings were for single family homes, which are at the top of the residential market.

"Missing middle homes, such as townhomes and condos represented only 37.1% of listings for sale," Sol said. "Townhomes, which in my experience are what a lot of families hope to purchase, represented only 9.8% of the residential properties for sale. This imbalance in the mix of housing options means there is the potential for more price pressure on these types of properties because demand is concentrated at more attainable price points."

The benchmark value for a single family home in August was $1,323,900. That 's up $5,100 from July but down $3,800 from last summer.

Victoria Real Estate Board: Member since 1969

Healthy staff more productive, study shows

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada's Workplace Mental Health Research Centre found that your organization's policies on absenteeism could directly affect the productivity of employees. The study noted that it's difficult to measure presenteeism — workers pushing through their day despite feeling unwell physically or mentally. A lack of awareness and sense of trust between employer and employees was cited as a common reason for not addressing presenteeism.

“Without formal productivity measures, how can you tell that somebody is showing up and not delivering 100%?" the reports quotes one unnamed employer. "I don’t know that you can.”

Most of the causes for presenteeism were related to symptoms of illness, stress and and trouble sleeping. Stigma around mental health continues to be a major factor for workers punching the clock when feeling unwell. There remains concerns about how disclosing an illness could impact their standing in the workplace.

The report suggests organizations can take active strategies, such as accommodations for caregivers — predominately women — so they can remain on track for career growth and can overcome the many barriers they face.

The conference board established the research centre to increase awareness and understanding of workplace mental health through research, analysis and dialogue.

Public has to Sept 30 for feedback on BC Ferries rates

BC Ferries is waiting to see if it can raise rates, starting next April, to help the organization steer itself through the unsteady waters created by global inflation and the challenges of finding and keeping workers.

There is a shortage of qualified mariners, and new vessels are needed for BC Ferries fleet. The BC Ferries Commission, which is distinct from the provincial government and operations, sets the amount that prices can increase.

The public has until Sept. 30 to contact the commission to provide input to help with its decision. Email [email protected] for more information.

BC Ferries: Chamber Champion | Member since 1983

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

BC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the exceptional

Chamber Chats

The BC Sports Hall of Fame recognizes many familiar names and team, but also includes some lesser known though equally exceptional people. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Hall of Fame representatives about those inductees and an upcoming Hall of Fame event in Victoria.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

TAP into your full export potential

The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) offered through the World Trade Centre Vancouver presents a valuable opportunity for organizations considering or already involved in exporting. This program is free for eligible Chamber members and the application deadline is Oct. 31.


By enrolling in TAP Canada, you can:

  • Navigate complexities of the global trade ecosystem
  • Leverage Canada's deep trade and investment resources
  • Access tailored, face-to-face coaching and advice
  • Learn about international best practices
  • Accelerate export readiness
  • Develop and implement a new market entry plan
  • Expand your global trade footprint and increase revenue

Just six months after graduating the program:

  • On average, export revenue increased by 18%
  • Participants forecast their export sales to grow 47% over the next 5 years


If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] and let them know you are a Greater Victoria Chamber member.

Chamber committee applications now open

The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. Each year, our committees will have a few openings for new members. If you're interested, we are recruiting now for Jan. 1, 2024, for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:

  • Ambassador Committee
  • Finance and Audit Committee
  • Emerge Committee
  • Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advancement Committee
  • Family Business Committee

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open until Oct. 6. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will review your application and you will be contacted by email or phone.

Upcoming Events

To find out more or register for an event, click on the corresponding graphic below.

The Chamber Auction - November 5-12

Showcase your product or service

Take a sneak peek at this incredible item available at The Chamber Auction later this year!

Enjoy a night of timeless luxury at the Pendray Inn & Tea House courtesy of @huntingdonmanorhotel! You’ll receive complimentary breakfast and parking, as well as a West Coast or Traditional afternoon tea for you and a guest.

Experience a relaxing ambience steeped in history and tradition, while sipping on exotic and international teas from around the globe!

Interested in having your products or services showcased at our auction? Email [email protected] or fill out our 2023 Auction Donation Form.

Sponsored by:

As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Donate Today!

Find new staff for fall on Chamber Job Board

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 

Vice-President, Development, Western Canada - Starlight Developments

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - Berwick Retirement Communities

Associate Portfolio Manager - RBC

Administrative Coordinator - Scotiabank

Board of Director - Royal and McPherson Theatres Society

Companions/Caregivers - Care & Company

Member News @VictoriaChamber

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

University of Victoria

Chamber Champion | Member since 1976

Clive's Classic Lounge

Member since 1974

Brown's the Florist

Member since 1981

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

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

Member to Member Discounts

The Irish Times - $9.99 Breakfast before 9am at the Irish Times

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit - 5% off Uplift Women's Business Summit

Victoria Bullion Exchange - 50% off Segregated Vault Storage for bullion

West Shore U-Lock Mini Storage Ltd. - 50% Off 1st Month's Rent

Winkchronicity - Save 10% when you book your first retreat

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

Chamber Member Events
Want to know what events are happening in the community? Check out The Chamber's Community Calendar to stay up to date with plays, seminars, grand openings and more.
Are you a member? Post your own events for free.
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube