September 27, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Last week's 5 Chamber Mixer brought together businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, Sooke Region and WestShore Chambers. The event was held at the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College's Interurban Campus and delivered a great evening of connection with members from all 5 Chambers in our region.

Taking action to support Truth and Reconciliation

With Sept. 30 marking National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, The Chamber continues to work to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and First Nations.

"The more we listen and learn, the more we understand how much we can benefit from embracing Indigenous knowledge about the lands we live on," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We have acknowledged the role we played in the suppression of Indigenous culture and commerce. Now we need to keep taking action to support the inclusion of Indigenous people and First Nations in our broader business community."

Bruce and Chamber member Jamin Zuroski recently spoke with CBC Radio's Gregor Craigie about what The Chamber is doing to support reconciliation.

Check out our member news below for stories about local events happening for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

This week's exciting list of Chamber Auction items features some of our great Indigenous businesses.

The Chamber office will be closed Monday, Oct. 2 in recognition of National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Indigenous Business Directory

Upcoming Events

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

International Student & Local Business Virtual Emerge Connector

Marketplace Mixer

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast - Waitlist

Navigating Volatility with Grant Thornton

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall - New Date

Check our Events Calendar for updates. 

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Housing targets released for Greater Victoria

The targets are now official for three Greater Victoria municipalities deemed to be among the top 10 BC communities with the most pressing housing needs.

The Housing Supply Act requires the following number of new homes within five years:

The three Island communities were among 10 deemed by the province in May to have the greatest need for more housing. The province is also stipulating the size of the new units, rental versus owned units, below-market rental units and units with on-site supports.

“These targets are a step toward creating more homes to meet the diverse housing needs of Saanich residents,” Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock said in the province's news release. “We are committed to working together with the Province on housing solutions, and welcome their support to help us achieve our goals.”

After six months, and every year thereafter, municipalities will be evaluated on their progress.

A second cohort of eight to 10 municipalities will be selected by the end of the year.

City of Victoria: Member since 1863

District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021

District of Saanich: Member since 2019

Fund helps speed up municipal development process

An adequate housing supply directly supports a robust workforce, which is critical for employers' efforts to find and keep staff. Reducing red tape at the municipal level is one of the keys. Investing in efficiencies is another, which is why The Chamber supports last week's news that funding will help local governments improve their development-approval processes.

The province has $61-million in capacity funding to be distributed over three years.

As season changes, good reminder to plan ahead 

The Chamber's CEO column in the Business Examiner's September edition

September marks the official shift from summer into fall.  

For many businesses, it’s a time to shift gears on their annual strategies. A lot of organizations slow down in July and August as staff and clients spend time on holidays, before ramping back up in September to finish their year with a productive fourth quarter. Other businesses make hay while the days are long, catering to visitors and the summer crowds that keep our hospitality sector healthy. For them, the start of school and slower nights can add to the challenge of finding and keeping staff. And, for some, the slower season is their chance to take a break before planning for the year ahead.  

Any time your business experiences a shift, it’s important to be prepared for the change. I’m thinking specifically about two areas that are becoming more important than ever and deserve a good roadmap.  

Read the Full Column

Chamber contributes to national policy resolutions

Each year, more than 400 chambers across Canada prepare policies on issues of national importance for the Canadian Chamber AGM. At the conference, days of debate ensue on the best actions needed to support our businesses and the select policies that the advocacy team at the Canadian Chamber will champion on Parliament Hill with federal officials.

Here's a look at the proposed policy resolutions formally supported by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. All resolutions will be voted on at the Canadian Chamber AGM, Oct. 12-14 in Calgary.

  • #19 - Strengthening Post Secondary Education and Increasing Funding for Research
  • #27 - Addressing the National Labour Shortage with a National Workforce Strategy
  • #32 - The Upskilling and Reskilling of Women into High-growth Sectors amid Technological and Climate Changes
  • #33 - Advancing Indigenous Procurement in Canada
  • #42 - Connecting Incentives to Vehicle Battery Recycling Programs
  • #49 - Creating a National Strategy Regarding Healthcare Credentials
  • #63 - Working Together to Create a Canadian Supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

"Many of the policy resolutions are worthy of support but we selected these because they align with initiatives that matter to our members and we were happy to lend our expertise and voice to get these advocacy action items moving ahead," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said.

Index of Consumer Confidence reflects nation's mood

Unless you're stuck under the proverbial rock, you know that economies around the world are facing some serious doldrums. The latest report from the Conference Board of Canada adds to the dreary outlook. Headlined, "Consumer confidence falls to Its second lowest point to date," the index of Consumer Confidence shows that Canadians are feeling bummed about their finances.

"We had hoped to be through the rough patch by now but it's proving persistent," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said, noting that the fight against inflation and the re-balancing of global supply chains continues to take a toll. "We will get through this, as we have countless times in the past, by supporting each other. So much work has gone into building a resilient economy for Greater Victoria, and, as a result, we are in a better place than many other regions."

The Index of Consumer Confidence was 59.6 in September, compared to 61.2 in August. The Conference Board said wildfires likely contributed to the pessimistic outlook in BC.

Read how The Chamber has helped businesses through historic cycles in the economy

Stats show borrowing costs reducing investment

The effect of high interest-rates is measurable, with Statistics Canada's latest Survey on Business Conditions showing many businesses are challenged by increasing costs and reduced customer spending.

The Canadian Chamber's Business Data Lab explores the stories behind the numbers, including an analysis by Chief Economist Stephen Tapp.

"Continuing cost pressures explain why firms’ pricing behaviour still hasn’t normalized yet, even though headline inflation has slowed," Tapp said. "Thankfully, the labour market is loosening up, although there are still significant challenges in sectors such as health care, accommodation and food services, manufacturing and construction. Supply chains are also recovering from their peak difficulties of last year, but they too remain problematic for affected companies."

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Tech business cohort composes our region's largest economic sector

Powering our province's future with BC Hydro

Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council: Member since 1988

Chamber Chats

Our reliance on technology has been advancing rapidly over the past few decades. And our adoption of new technology accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Greater Victoria, the technology industry is the largest sector in our economy. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Dan Gunn, CEO of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneur Council (VIATEC) about our region's vibrant technology cohort.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

2024 Business Awards nominations are now open!

From start-ups to local legends, the 2024 Greater Victoria 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. 


There's a lot of value in nominating your business, or a business you love. It provides outstanding local exposure with your peers in the business community and the public. Showcase your outstanding team. Create awareness around an innovative product or process. Demonstrate your commitment to community. Recognize an inspiring leader and more through the 2024 Business Awards!

Nominate Today
Award Categories

If you have questions about the platform or the awards process, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected].

Deadline to join a Chamber committee approaching

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

The Chamber Auction - November 5-12

Showcase your product or service

It's back! We are excited to announce the return of our Annual Auction, taking place Nov. 5 - 12.


With the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, The Chamber is focusing this week's auction spotlight on Indigenous businesses and artists who are so vital to our region.

Malahat Skywalk

The Malahat Skywalk, with a generous donation of an Annual Family Pass for two adults and two youth. Reach new heights and enjoy the ultimate Island experience of breathtaking views and adventure high among the trees!

The Flag Shop Victoria

An Indigenous Canadian Flag, created by Kwakwaka'wakw Artist Curtis Wilson, which features traditional designs of salmon and the head of a killer whale. The flag was created with the vision of all Canadians coming together in the future — kindly donated by The Flag Shop.

Indigenous Perspectives Society

Cultural Perspectives Training courtesy of the Indigenous Perspectives Society. IPS offers Cultural Perspectives Training to help deepen understanding, increase cultural competence and develop actionable ideas to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?


From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach hundreds of potential customers by donating a prize today.

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!
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.

Films offer insight into Indigenous perspectives

In anticipation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, The Vic Theatre is screening two incredible movies that participated in the last Victoria Film Festival: Bones of Crows and Stellar.


Directed by Marie Clements, a Canadian Métis playwright, Bones of Crows is the story of "Cree code talker Aline Spears, who triumphs over the haunting past of Canada's residential school system as she continues her family's resilient fight against systemic hunger, discrimination, and sexual abuse."


Stellar, is the story of a meteorite impact that reshapes the world, and a love story begins. Directed by Darlene Naponse, born and raised in the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, northern Ontario, this movie is sure to impress.

Member News @VictoriaChamber

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Songhees Nation: Member since 2017

City of Victoria: Member since 1863

Robin Hood Inn & Suites:

Member since 2014

Edwards Heritage Consulting: Member since 2008

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce: Proudly serving business for 160 years.

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Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

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 

Administrative Coordinator – Scotiabank 

Associate Portfolio Manager – RBC 

OFA 2 Attendant – Knappett Projects 

Board of Directors – Royal & McPherson Theatre Society

Companions/Caregivers – Care & Company

Client Service Supervisor – PISE

Member to Member Discounts

Pendray Inn & Tea House - 5% OFF our Holiday Events Package

Resthouse Sleep - 10% off all regularly priced items at Resthouse

Rogers Media - Jack 103.1 & Ocean 98.5 - Special Ad Rates for On-Air or Digital Advertising!

Scale Collaborative - Get 50% off Thriving Non-Profits Training!

TELUS Business Solutions - Unlock amazing offers from TELUS Business

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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