July 6, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2022 Picnics & Patios Campaign! We were able to spread joy to diners such as Caitlyn, William, Riah and Karen — visitors from from New Zealand enjoying a meal at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. Read the media release and see below for more details on the campaign, and make sure to sign up for our August Business Mixer at Sea Cider!
AG responds to Chamber's call for red tape reforms
The Chamber has been effective in our work to keep lines of communication clear between government and the business community. BC's Attorney General David Eby responded to a letter by The Chamber, co-signed by the Surrey Board of Trade and the Alberni Valley and Campbell River and District chambers of commerce.

"We were clear that the Lobbyists Transparency Act as implemented is missing its intended mark," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We support open and transparent government but this is red tape that is casting a chill on many small chambers due to its heavy handed reporting requirements. Threats of fines and public shaming aimed at preventing conflicts of interest are causing collateral damage to non-profits working for the benefit of communities. This flies in the face of the work that chambers do to build connections that enable informed decisions and successful policies."

The Chamber will continue to work with the AG to refine the LTA to better achieve its intended outcomes.
Chamber working on solutions to doctor shortage
The provincial government's latest attempt to attract new family doctors to BC is a good start, but more innovations are needed to make a real difference.

Many regions in BC, including Greater Victoria, are experiencing a challenge finding and keeping general practitioners. The province has offered a $25,000 bonus to any new family medicine residents but, so far, none have taken the bait.

"We've met with recruiters who tell us there needs to be a change in the administrative burden that doctors are expected to take on," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "People become doctors to help others — not to deal with the extensive paperwork and burden of operating a highly regulated business. There are some truly innovative concepts being proposed that will help, but they need to be supported by government."

The Chamber will continue to advocate for improvements to healthcare delivery, especially making sure families have access to doctors and appropriate care in Greater Victoria.
Rising interest rates 'normalize' housing market
Concerns over inflation and the resulting increase in interest rates sparked by the Bank of Canada have worked to cool down housing sales in our region. The Victoria Real Estate Board's latest statistical analysis shows 35% fewer homes were sold in June compared to the same month last year. There are more listings on the market allowing it to settle into a more typical pace than the frenzied conditions experienced during the pandemic.

However, the benchmark value for homes continued to increase to $1,464,400 in June from $1,446,400 in May.

"It may seem counterintuitive to continue to talk about the need for supply at a time when inventory is rising," VREB President Dinnie-Smyth said in a news release. "We must keep the conversation alive, and we urge all levels of government to continue to aggressively address the housing supply situation. We need more supply of all types of housing."

A lack of housing supply is a major factor in the challenge many employers face finding and keeping workers.

“We are always advocating for more affordable housing and housing supply, as well as security and sustainability in supply chains to get the needed materials in place to create housing,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist.
Victoria Real Estate Board: Member since 1969
Huge affordable housing project begins in Saanich
Housing supply is foundational to a strong economy, and The Chamber applauds progress being made on the largest housing supply project ever on Vancouver Island. The $250 million Nigel Valley development in the District of Saanich will add 800 homes to the region, including 440 non-market rental units and 255 market homes. The other units include social housing with supports.

“It's amazing what can happen when multiple stakeholders, including our local community associations, take a collaborative and proactive approach to challenges like housing," Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said in a news release. "This project caters to a wide range of housing needs in Saanich and I look forward to seeing how it will enhance our community over the years to come.”

BC Housing is contributing more than $50 million, and Broadmead Care and Island Health are each providing more more than $5 million.

The Nigel Valley redevelopment, near Saanich's municipal hall, is being done in three phases over the next 10 years.
BC Housing: Member since 2021
Island Health: Member since 2020
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Broadmead Care: Member since 2017
Picnics & Patios raises $1,000+ for Mustard Seed
The second year of our Picnics & Patios Campaign was another great success encouraging people to dine out - or take out - and by doing so support the many incredible food and beverage suppliers in our region. During the campaign, we picked up nearly 80 restaurant tabs and had fun with a social media campaign encouraging people to share their favs.

Although the #PicnicsPatiosVicBC Campaign may be over, we hope to see you out enjoying many picnics and patios across the region this summer supporting our food and beverage members! It was important to the community partners that we also help those who cannot afford to dine out. In this spirit, we are pleased to donate over $1,000 to The Mustard Seed.

The Greater Victoria Picnics & Patios Campaign wouldn’t have been possible without support from our sponsors and partners:
Campaign Sponsor:
Community Partners & Sponsors:
Just announced!
Building Mental Health in the Workplace
Join Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division's Jonathan Morris to learn about CMHA's work and building better mental health.
Whether you are managing a mental illness, supporting someone you care about, managing a team at work, or looking to build your own overall health, CMHA has valuable resources to build skills and resilience to help.
Backyard Bash @ The Fort Common
Tickets are now sold out for the Brown Bros. Backyard Bash! If you'd like to be added to the waitlist, please register here.
Join The Chamber and the Prodigy Group at the gorgeous Fort Common for an evening of connections, food, drinks, and fun!
At the heart of the city you will find The Fort Common, a revitalized brick carriage courtyard and the backyard to many businesses in the area. This hidden gem is a seasonal, publicly accessible urban oasis open during the summer months for all to enjoy. 
Hosted by:
Venue Provided by:
August Business Mixer @ Sea Cider
Join us for our August Business Mixer at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. With a beautiful new space to showcase you won't want to miss this event!

Our vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships.
Join us for a great summer evening full of fabulous food, delectable drinks, and outstanding business connections.
Thursday, August 11 | 5-7 PM
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse
2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd.
Saanichton, BC
Co-Sponsored by:
Enjoying summer, but keeping an eye on COVID
The unseasonable weather has been the major theme of casual conversations this summer. And while it's been a welcome break from the prevalence of pandemic chatter, we can't close the door on COVID yet. Last Thursday, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam reported that "it is reasonable to expect we could see an increase in case numbers in the coming weeks."

The next wave comes during the heart of summer so its impact will be mitigated by the warm weather and the opportunities for gathering outdoors. Immunization, including boosters, is also key to help protect our community. The Chamber is monitoring the situation and will strive to provide Greater Victoria's business community with evidence-based information from reputable sources. We all have the resilience and experience to keep our economy and community moving forward.
Stay protected while traveling
Looking to make sure you’re covered for your next vacation? With Teladoc Telemedicine Services, an exclusive benefit of Chambers Plan Group Insurance, you can talk with a doctor by phone or video conference from anywhere in Canada or the U.S.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation, and even prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependants. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.

Whether you’re visiting family in Canada or starting a trek around the world, Chambers Plan also provides comprehensive voyage assistance to ensure you and your dependants are safe while starting your next adventure. Benefits include trip interruption protection, telephone interpretation services, and thorough medical & legal assistance. 

Looking for more information on how to take advantage of these benefits? For more than 25 years, RDF Group Ltd has helped Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members design a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan reflecting the size and requirements of their businesses. For more information, contact Ryan at RDF Group.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Sustainable Innovation with Unbuilders and BinBreeze
Two companies doing innovative, sustainable and creative work are our guests for this Chamber Chat. 

Unbuilders do as their name suggests while BinBreeze enhances the compost experience and eliminates the fruitfly problem!
Unbuilders Deconstruction Inc: Member since 2022
BinBreeze: Member since 2021
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find great workers with the Chamber’s job board
As Greater Victoria faces an unprecedented labour shortage, Scotiabank would like to remind employers that workers in their 50s and 60s represent a critical demographic of underutilized staff members. By increasing their participation in the workforce, businesses across Canada could see a rapid decrease in vacant positions.

When posting your next job on The Chamber’s job board, remember to make your listing as accessible as possible to ensure applicants of all age groups can apply.

If you need assistance or advice in making your job accessible and engaging, email and we would be happy to help.
Member News
Celebrating great food in Greater Victoria

YAM Magazine, published by Page One Publishing, has announced the 2022 Best Restaurant Award Winners. Highlighting great culinary experiences across Greater Victoria, Big Wheel Burger won the People’s Choice Award for Best Takeout, and The Courtney Room in the Magnolia Hotel & Spa won the Best West Coast: Contemporary Award.
Page One Publishing: Member since 2004
Magnolia Hotel & Spa: Member since 1998
Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
Uptown Multicultural Festival

Uptown is hosting a Multicultural Festival to recognize the cultural diversity and inclusive community of the District of Saanich this Saturday.

Featuring multicultural cuisine, exhibits, and traditional entertainment, all are welcome to celebrate diversity.

District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Shape Property Management – Uptown: Member since 1983
Art Gallery Paint-In returns

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is hosting the 33rd annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In on July 16. Enjoy local art, live music, and a family-friendly beer garden at the gallery with drinks from Lighthouse Brewing Company and Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. Learn more about the arts community and share a picture of yourself in the AGGV Giant Frame.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse: Member since 2022
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Member since 2007
Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc.: Member since 2005
RBC says 'Game on!'

RBC has announced a new program to empower young Canadians to pursue careers in gaming. The RBC Gaming Grant will provide mentorship opportunities within the videogame industry, and $75,000 in grants to help individuals advance their gaming careers.
RBC: Member since 1962
RBC: Chamber Champion since 2020
Music on the Lawn

Looking for a fun way to enjoy the sunshine this summer? Government House is hosting evenings of live music throughout the month of July. Featuring food trucks, self-guided tours, and a variety of performances, check out Music on the Lawn on July 12 and 19.

Government House: Member since 2020
New mentorship opportunity for women entrepreneurs

WeBC has launched a new mentorship program for women with tech-focused and tech-enabled businesses. Discovery Foundation’s EM3 Program, presented by WeBC, connects women entrepreneurs across BC to women tech leaders. The program is designed to solve real business problems in real time to help participants grow their business.

WeBC: Member since 2015
Valet service now offered for bikes

The City of Victoria, in conjunction with Capital Bike, is offering residents a free valet bike service this summer. Bring your e-bikes, cargo bikes, strollers, skateboards and more to the bike valet at City Hall, and this pilot service will safely secure your ride seven days a week.

Capital Bike: Member since 2022
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
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. As a member, this is where you can post your own events
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