January 18, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Today is the last day to nominate a deserving organization or individual for a Greater Victoria Business Awards! See below for details.
2023 Business Awards nominations close tonight!
From start-ups to local legends, the 2023 Business Awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 14 categories worth celebrating.

Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who serve as judges. Nominations close tonight, January 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
Nominate a Greater Victoria business in one or more of the following categories:
Business of the Year (1-10 Employees)
Business of the Year (11-39 Employees)
Business of the Year (40+ Employees)
New Business of the Year
Non-Profit of the Year
Business Person of the Year
Sustainable Business Practices
Outstanding Workplace
Outstanding Customer Service
Community Builder of the Year
Emerging Business Person of the Year
Innovation Award
Housing supply an urgent issue for BC Premier
The provincial government appears to be sharpening their scissors as they look to cut through red tape slowing new homes from being built in BC.

On Monday, Premier David Eby announced a "one-stop-shop" for provincial permitting to make it easier for more housing to be created. The Permitting Strategy for Housing co-ordinates housing-related permits across ministries. This eliminates the need for multiple applications to get permits for "riparian area approvals, water licences, transportation approvals, road rezonings, contaminated sites, and requirements for heritage inspection."

Having fewer bureaucrats shuffling paper on projects is a positive sign that the province is serious about adding urgency to promises to increase housing supply.

"From finding and keeping workers to helping people without homes and making sure Greater Victoria remains attractive for people looking to start their careers and raise families, the biggest challenge is the lack of accessible housing," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We have had great conversations with local governments about adding to our region's housing supply. Speeding up the provincial process is a signal to municipalities that housing is critical, and they need to lead the way to get more homes built to meet demand."
Vic News Powered by Black Press: Member since 1987
$500M to help keep rental buildings affordable
One of the solutions for helping employers find and keep workers in Greater Victoria is to ensure there are homes for all income levels. A proven method to do that is non-market housing that provides homes for the people who help tourism and hospitality businesses operate at their full potential. Affordable rent is key, and helping non-profit organizations manage housing to create homes for workers is a practical way to keep our region's economy resilient and sustainable.

The province's recent creation of a $500 million Rental Protection Fund has the potential to help, by allowing non-profits to acquire affordable housing units facing market pressure to be redeveloped. "According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data, between 1991 and 2021, approximately 97,000 purpose-built rental units in B.C. were either redeveloped or converted to more expensive units." states the province's news release.
Recovery Fund aims to build resilience in non-profits
Non-profits play a significant role in Greater Victoria, providing services and solving problems that help businesses and improve quality of life in our community.

A $400 million federal investment in non-profits is being offered through United Way Southern Vancouver Island, Canadian Red Cross, and the Victoria Foundation to "strengthen internal capacity through one-time projects focused on people, systems and program innovation."

Applications are open for the Community Services Recovery Fund until Feb. 21. Funding ranges from $10,000 to $100,000 for Tier 1 projects, and between $101,000 and $200,000 for Tier 2 projects.
Victoria Foundation: Member since 2004
United Way of Southern Vancouver Island: Member since 1972
Investing in People: Recruit, retain, engage and support staff, volunteers and boards of directors.

Investing in Systems and Processes: The systems and processes of an organization’s overall structure.
Investing in Program and Service Innovation and Redesign: Program and service innovation and redesign using info gained during the pandemic.
Take a walk for safer communities on Coldest Night
Registration is open for Our Place Society's annual Coldest Night fundraising walkathon. Last year, about 800 people took part in the two walks held in Greater Victoria and raised $140,000 to help vulnerable people struggling with profound mental health, addiction and societal challenges.

Greater Victoria businesses are known for the compassion shown to our community, and The Chamber has long advocated for the fundamental importance of safe communities.

“This year we have witnessed a surge of people spending their nights on our cold, damp streets,” Our Place executive director Julian Daly said. “And the community is asking what they can do to help. This walkathon is one of those ways.”

Family-friendly walks will take place on Feb. 25 in downtown Victoria and at City Centre in Langford.
Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Chamber celebrates 160 years serving our region
You're invited to a special celebration to commemorate our 160th year building business in Greater Victoria. Decades upon decades of connecting hard-working entrepreneurs and innovative organizations with each other, while amplifying their voices to all levels of government has only been possible with the strong engagement of our members. Raise a glass with us in a toast as we celebrate our history and look to the future. 
This event will feature opportunities to connect with businesses from across Greater Victoria surrounded by interactive and static exhibits highlighting the Chambers' past, present, and future. Light refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available for this elevated reception experience.
Thurs., Feb. 9 | 4 - 6 PM
Royal BC Museum, Floor 3
675 Belleville Street
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Chamber Week Member Networking Breakfast @ Royal Roads
Come celebrate the power of Chamber businesses with the Chamber Week Member Networking Breakfast presented by Royal Roads University and supported by our media partners 98.5 The Ocean and 103.1 Jack FM.

This breakfast is a must-attend event for Chamber members. After casual networking over breakfast, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator pitch; once everyone has had a chance to connect, it's time to meet an entirely new group of people at a different table!
Only a few spots left!
Wed., Feb. 15 | 8 - 9:30 AM
Royal Roads University, Sequoia Building, Top floor - Centre for Dialogue, 2005 Sooke Rd
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Attracting, Developing & Engaging Talent: The Changing Workforce
Join The Chamber and Royal Roads University on February 16th for a panel discussion on responding to changing workforce realities.

In this session, we will explore trends and developments that are shaping today’s workforce and how businesses can more effectively attract, develop, and engage talent.

Key areas of discussion will include: 
• Changing attitudes and expectations of today’s workforce 
• Attracting and retaining the next generation 
• Developing and upskilling staff – supporting ongoing learning and development 
• Engaging those who are in their ‘post-career’ or ‘second career’ stage
Make sure to register even if you are unable to attend. Everyone registered will receive the recording.
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Hop along to a Happy Lunar New Year
Jan. 22 is Lunar New Year, a chance to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and prosperity ahead!

Based on the lunar calendar, Jan. 22 marks the beginning of the year in the Lunisolar calendar, which combines phases of the moon as well as the earth’s rotation around the sun. Although the Gregorian calendar always celebrates the new year on Jan. 1, Lunar New Year is celebrated annually between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.

Typically celebrated in parts of Asia, Lunar New Year has significant cultural meaning across the world. In Greater Victoria, we wanted to share fun ways to celebrate the occasion while supporting local Chamber members.
We hope you have a fun and exciting Lunar New Year!
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Cultural Significance of Victoria Chinatown Museum
Greater Victoria’s cultural landscape has been enhanced with the opening of the Victoria Chinatown Museum in Fan Tan Alley.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with two of the people involved with the creation of the museum who share some very compelling historical facts about the history of Chinese settlers in Greater Victoria.

Featuring Charlayne Thornton-Joe, facility coordinator for the Victoria Chinatown Museum, and John Adams, a Board Member with Victoria Chinatown Museum.
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find talent within your industry
Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board!

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types is constantly being updated and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Communications positions, you can see all 14 categories here.
If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting, email
Member News
UVic Indigenous Law research receives $1.2M

The University of Victoria’s Indigenous Law Research Unit received a $1.2 million grant to grow their team. The multi-year funding will be used for Indigenous law workshops and educational offerings, as well as to cover cost of articling and much more. Over the next three years, $400,000 will help develop practical resources to tackle challenges facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Francophone Society seeks permanent home

La Société francophone de Victoria is looking to make their current location a permanent home of French culture. With a goal of raising $200,000 to purchase their currently leased property, the society hopes to turn their downtown location into a hub of French services, programs and activities.
La Société francophone de Victoria: Member since 2010
RBCM announces major exhibits

This June, the Royal BC Museum will welcome a gargantuan guest. SUE, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered, goes on display in the area currently occupied by the Living Languages exhibit. Also in June, the museum will unveil its first major travelling exhibit since 2020: Treasures of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.

Chamber 160
Interested in experiencing a gargantuan event at the Museum before June? Make sure to join us to celebrate The Chamber’s 160th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 9!
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
BC Ferries names new CEO

BC Ferries has announced the appointment of their next CEO. Nicolas Jimenez, the current President, and CEO of ICBC, was selected after an international leadership search. With more than 20 years of experience at ICBC, Jimenez was selected for the role due to his commitment to enhancing safety, reliability and affordability.
BC Ferry Services Inc.: Member since 1983
My Great Neighborhood initiative grows

The City of Victoria’s My Great Neighborhood grant program has been expanded, allowing more community groups to receive funds for projects and events. Community resiliency and placemaking grants are increasing from $5,000 to $7,500, and activity grants are increasing from $1,000 to $1,500. Grant applications open to the public later this year.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Sustainable businesses in the local spotlight

Douglas Magazine recently featured a variety of business committed to sustainable practices. The Synergy Foundation was praised for their Project Zero initiative, which focuses on growing the circular economy. The Capital Regional District was also acknowledged for their Solid Waste Management Plan to reduce the amount of waste ending up in the Hartland Landfill. Robinson's Outdoor Store was recognized for their support of a gear repair company, and the Malahat Nation received recognition for their partnership with a company creating biodiesel fuel from used cooking oil.

Synergy Foundation: Member since 2017

Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Robinson's Outdoor Store: Member since 2005
Capital Regional District: Member since 1993
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