February 5, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Good business requires good government, too
Times Colonist column by Chamber CEO Catherine Holt

If you follow Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — those icons of American capitalism — you might have been startled recently, as I was, by their adamant view that they, and other members of the one per cent, need to pay way more taxes.

This goes against what has been considered gospel — that the private sector does not support handing over hard-earned money to government.

We want our politicians to enable the private sector so it can thrive and create jobs and a strong economy. But when it comes to the public sector, there is often an attitude that government is wasteful and a financial burden that needs to get out of the way.

Read the entire column by Chamber CEO Catherine Holt.
Saanich adopts 2020 Climate Plan
Saanich adopted its 2020 Climate Plan last week, calling on residents and businesses as well as neighbouring municipalities and senior levels of government to use 100% renewable energy.

To help people understand ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Saanich created an online carbon calculator.

The Chamber supports innovation led by business as the best way to find solutions to our changing climate. Saanich's 2020 Climate Plan is a good initiative to help with the transition to a low carbon economy.
District of Saanich: Member since 2018
Promote your job across Canada
Desperately seeking a larger talent pool? The Chamber, with the help of HotHouse Marketing, will be connecting workers from the rest of Canada with jobs in Greater Victoria during February and March. Make sure your job posts are online to showcase why we really are the best place in the country to live, work and play.

Every Chamber member receives one free job post annually. Learn more here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

“An organization that is fun and flexible attracts and retains its talent. Great co-workers establish strong friendships and those relationships keep people together. We are all equal in our desire for balancing our personal needs with career goals and a culture that embraces individuality is a great place to work. People don't leave great places to work!”

Mary Lou Newbold, CEO at Mayfair Optometric Clinic
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits for your team, including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans.

Contact us for details.
Citizens' Assembly process back on track
The ball is now in the province's court as Saanich and Victoria have signed off on a Terms of Reference to create a Citizens' Assembly. The terms call for 75 people who mirror as closely as possible the demographics of the two municipalities. The budget for the process is $750,000 evenly split between Saanich, Victoria and the province.

Saanich and Victoria deserve credit for moving the process forward, and The Chamber applauds both municipalities for taking a practical approach to the composition of the assembly. An initial term that could have limited the participation of Chamber members due to our organization's longstanding advocacy efforts was removed from the final document.

“We think the citizens’ assembly can be launched in the summer, run through the fall [and] deliver its results in 2021 first quarter,” Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes told the Times Colonist.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Business gets chance to vote in Victoria by-election
The City of Victoria by-election is a rare opportunity for people who have businesses in the municipality but live outside its borders.

Typically during civic elections, voters will cast their ballot in the municipality in which they reside. But doing so disqualifies them from also voting in a different municipality where they own commercial property.

With the April 4 by-election only happening in Victoria, there's a lot of interest from people who have a business in the city but live outside its borders.

For information on who is eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector, here’s a link to the details. A few notable requirements include:

  • You must be a registered owner of the real property and are not holding the property in trust for a corporation or another trust. There is no corporate vote in BC.

  •  If there is more than one registered owner, you’ll need written consent of the majority and only one of you can cast a vote as the non-resident property elector.

Call Legislative Services at 250-361-0571, or check out for 2020 Information for Voters, including what documents you need to register as a non-resident property elector.

It’s a great opportunity for business owners to ensure their voice is represented on Victoria council.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Just announced!
Provincial Finance Minister Luncheon
Hear from B.C. Finance Minister Carole James at her first public event in Victoria following the tabling of the provincial government's 2020 Budget.

The presentation will provide an overview of the recently unveiled budget and details on province-wide changes that could impact our community and your bottom line.
Thurs., Feb. 27 | 11:15 am - 1 pm
The Fairmont Empress
721 Government St.
Sponsored by:
Wed., Mar. 4| 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Tue., Mar. 24 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd.
Sponsored by:
Most In-Demand Skills for 2020
With a constantly evolving labour market, it is essential to develop your soft skill set. Soft skills pertain to how someone approaches the task (through collaboration, for example) rather than the ability to use applied knowledge. LinkedIn has recently posted a list of the most in-demand soft skills for 2020.

Top 5 Soft Skills:
  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional Intelligence
Although different skills are needed for certain industries, it is important to continually learn and adapt in new situations. Learn new skills this year by attending a Small Business BC webinar (email us for a discount code) or take a class/workshop through an education provider.
Hosting a Valentine's day event?
We want to hear from you

Submit your event to [email protected]
to have it added to our Community Events calendar.
*Members only*
Members Around Town
Seaspan christens new vessel

In January, more than 2,800 Seaspan ULC employees welcomed federal Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Vice-Admiral Art McDonald to a ceremonial keel laying event to christen the Royal Canadian Navy’s new vessel, HMCS Protecteur. A freshly minted coin was placed near the keel of the ship to bring good luck to the vessel. It will remain on the keel for the ship’s entire operational life.  CFB Esquimalt has served the Royal Canadian Navy since its inception in 1910 and is the home of the Pacific Naval Fleet.
Seaspan ULC: member since 1972
CFB Esquimalt: member since 1979
Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

On Jan. 31, the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards, hosted by the Business Examiner, showcased numerous successful and innovative businesses from around the Island. Four Chamber members won in their respective categories, including Fatso in the food and food production category, Abeego Inc in the technology category, Victoria Comfort Keepers in the healthcare category, and Oui Jewellery in the retail category. 
Business Examiner: member since 2009
Victoria Comfort Keepers: member since 2016
The following members are also Business Awards winners:
Fasto: member since 2019
Abeego Inc: member since 2014
Oui Jewellery: member since 2017
Sherri Bell appointed Chair for BC Colleges

Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College , has been appointed as Board Chair for BC Colleges . BC Colleges represents 10 colleges across the province, and focuses on accessible, affordable, and applied education for everyone in BC. Bell is also the Board Chair for the BC Council for International Education. 
Camosun College: member since 1981
BC Colleges: member since 2018
Women of the Year Awards
Congratulations to both Tessa McLoughlin, founder and CEO of KWENCH and Toni Desrosiers, founder and CEO of Abeego for being nominated as finalists in the BCBusiness Women of the Year Awards ! Tessa is a finalist in the Community Builder category, while Toni is a finalist in the Innovator category.

The award ceremony will be hosted on April 2 nd and will be judged by influential women including Laurel Douglas, CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre.
KWENCH Enterprises Inc: member since 2019
Abeego Inc: member since 2014
Women’s Enterprise Centre: member since 2015
Open for Business Awards
The District of Saanich has been named a finalist in the “ Open For Business Awards” hosted by Small Business BC. Saanich, which received a letter of support from The Chamber, is competing in the large category (25,000+ residents) along with Campbell River and Coquitlam. The winner will be announced on Feb. 21.
District of Saanich: member since 2019
The Coldest Night of The Year
On Feb. 22, Our Place Society ’s annual event, The Coldest Night of the Year , will once again raise money and support for those who are homeless in Greater Victoria. This family-friendly walk at dusk aims to bring awareness to the challenge faced by those experiencing homelessness during the cold winter months. 
Our Place Society: member since 2010
Welcome to our newest members!
Member to Member discounts
Costco Wholesale Langford
Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites
Regroove Solutions Inc.
Signature Merchant Services
Victoria Bullion Exchange
Looking to add a Member to Member deal to your online business listing?
Contact [email protected] for more information.
Need to get one of our snazzy Chamber name tags?