October 26, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Thank you to everyone who attended our October Business Mixer, proudly sponsored by the Pendray Inn & Tea House. Guests were welcomed into the iconic venue for an opportunity to connect with business leaders from across Greater Victoria — with plenty of seasonal treats to go around! See event photos here.
Premier-in-waiting promises '100 days of action'
David Eby will be the next Premier after being formally named leader of the BC NDP. The transition from Premier John Horgan is expected to take place mid-November, and Eby has already said he intends to bring in a budget that will allow quick action on housing affordability, the climate and healthcare.

The Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with the provincial government on key issues affecting Greater Victoria. We're also calling on the province for better budget transparency, especially if new spending is planned. Last month, BC's Auditor General Michael Pickup raised concerns about the province's accounting methods.

“Each year, my office is mandated to report whether government’s financial statements are fairly stated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles,” Pickup is reported to have said. “My job is to report what I see (and) give the opinion that I believe. So I think these things should be corrected.”

Chamber members have an opportunity to hear directly from BC's AG next month. Details below.
Business Leaders Luncheon:
A Conversation with BC's Auditor General
We live in an era of information overload, with many people getting their news from outlets that tell people what they want to hear rather than how it is.

Who is the independent voice that is mandated to provide information to B.C.'s elected members and to report on government finances and program performance? It's the Auditor General of B.C.

Join us as we speak with Michael Pickup and share your questions, concerns, and business priorities to help inform and shape the future work of the Office of the Auditor General.

At this luncheon you will learn about how this vital office is adapting to our changing world and embracing flexible, hybrid approaches to work, as they contribute to greater government effectiveness and accountability.
Thurs., Nov. 10 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.
Sponsored by:
Chamber facilitates discussion on health solutions
Recent media reports about break-ins that seem to be targeting specific types of business are renewing calls for solutions to downtown crime.

"Businesses, of course, want to feel safe," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told Global News. "They want to know that they themselves and their employees are safe when they come and go from work."

Of course, the situation is complex. The toxic drug crisis continues to cause damage throughout society, and, particularly, with people involved in street life who are at risk of homelessness. Addictions, as well as mental health challenges, are often at the root of criminal behaviour that makes the news. Any solutions need to intersect with the healthcare system, which is why organizations such as Island Health are critical to have onboard.

On Tuesday, The Chamber and Island Health hosted a gathering of about 40 people at the University Club at the University of Victoria. The discussion focused on how businesses and non-profit organizations can wok with Island Health to develop innovative solutions to complex problems around mental health and addiction. Other topics included work being done to attract and retain more doctors, support workplace mental health and streamline health care delivery.

It was a good opportunity to combine the nimbleness and creativity of the private sector with the resources and gravitas of the public health authority. The spirited discussion resulted in a number of ideas that The Chamber and our members will continue to follow up on in the months ahead.
Island Health: Member since 2020
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, fourth from left, stands next to Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and members of chambers from across Canada.
Gathering of business voices at national AGM
There is tremendous power in a coalition of organizations from every corner of the country that have an active role in connecting businesses with all levels of government. This was in full display earlier this month as the national chamber network gathered in Ottawa for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's AGM.

"It really was remarkable to be among the voices of business communities from across Canada and hear how many of our concerns and challenges are shared," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said of being a delegate at the meeting. "We were able to meet directly with a number of federal ministers and senior staff, who were quite keen to better understand what policies are needed to help businesses build resiliency."

Williams also introduced a policy resolution at the AGM, highlighting the need for federal support of child care to enable parents to stay in the workforce and continue their careers. The resolution was adopted, along with a number of others supported by The Chamber that further our Advocacy Priorities.
Watch the 2022 Business Hall of Fame Broadcast

We enjoyed a fabulous evening of celebration, inspiration and connection at the inaugural Business Hall of Fame on Oct. 5. 

If you were not able to join us for the 2022 Business Hall of Fame Gala or would like to re-live the joy and triumph, you can view the Business Hall of Fame Broadcast on our website.

The evening was recently broadcast on CHEK TV, where it attracted a viewing audience of 49,000!
2023 Business Awards nominations are now open!
Each week, The Chamber will profile two of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The New Business Award honours a new business (3 years or less) that has:

  • achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time;
  • demonstrates exceptional promise for continued growth;
  • serves as an inspiration for other new businesses;
  • and displays a commitment to the community.
Nominations close: January 18, 2023
Need some inspiration?
Check out the videos of the 2022 New Business finalists below. Thanks to Futurpreneur who is our sponsor for this award in 2023.
Legal sales of regulated cannabis industry on rise
The legal sale of cannabis in BC continues to grow, potentially reducing the size of the black market. Statistics Canada's figures show that British Columbians spent $57.3 million on legal cannabis in July — the highest month yet recorded.

Since cannabis was legalized four years ago, statistics show one in five people report using the product over the past year. The Chamber supports fair rules for all businesses, and we believe that the community benefits from an industry operating with legal regulations that protect the public and provide certainty to businesses.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Small Business Month: Challenges and Opportunities 
As we celebrate Small Business Month, it’s time to take a look at how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted small business. What has changed, what are the opportunities, and what does the future hold? 

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Kyman Chan of Grant Thornton LLP and Small Business BC CEO Tom Conway.
Grant Thornton LLP: Member since 1973
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Registration is now open!
2022 Chamber Auction set for Nov. 6-13
As we prepare for bidding to start on Nov. 6, we'll be featuring incredible items that will be up for grabs in our auction, including the following items:
Experience an insider tour of the BC Legislature including lunch in the Legislature Dining Room with veteran political reporters Keith Baldry of Global BC and Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun. The stories you will hear, the insight you will learn will be, like this item, invaluable and priceless.
With this Rogers Media Advertising Campaign, your commercial can reach your potential audience and promote your business. Run anytime between now and June 30, 2023 between 5 am and 1 am, on a Monday through Sunday schedule.
The Pinnacle by Origen Air is the plant-based air purification system that brings nature's healing powers indoors. With 8000 cubic feet of air cleaned every hour, improve the air quality of your office and decrease your carbon footprint with your very own Pinnacle unit for three months.
Enjoy one-night accommodation in a one-bedroom penthouse suite at the Chateau Victoria. Make your stay complete with a $100 Gift Certificate to Vista 18 or Clive's Classic Lounge.
Register today to be notified when items become available,
and to get a sneak peek at Early Bird bidding!
Sponsored by:
Media Partner:
Have a fright this Halloween night!
On Monday night, kids will fill the streets on the hunt for sugary treats.

Greater Victoria is known as one of the most haunted places in Canada, and this spooky season is the perfect time to experience something new — if you dare!
Visit a local pub or nightclub to show off your great costume skills, or have a Halloween meal at a great restaurant before handing out handfuls of candy to trick-or-treaters.

Check out Destination Greater Victoria's list of 20 eerie-sistable Halloween activities if you’re dying to see a ghost, and explore famously haunted sites such as Craigdarroch Castle, Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University, the Fairmont Empress, Rogers’ Chocolates, and many more.

If you’re looking to burn off that extra sugar from Halloween treats, check out a local fitness facility, and be sure to recycle your pumpkin at Pumpkin Smash 2022 in the City of Langford on Nov. 5.

Whatever you may be up too this Halloween, The Chamber hopes you have a fun (and frightening) time!
Hunting for your next best employee
Hiring new staff members can be a frightening experience. Thankfully, with The Chamber’s job board, we can help you unmask the best candidates for your team.

As an exclusive Chamber member benefit, you can post a free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Use the code INTRO2022 at checkout to use this offer today.

Finding the right fit for your organization is sweeter than any candy! Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job posting, please email
Member News
CRD unveils new trails for mountain biking, hiking

The Capital Regional District (CRD) has created 12 kilometers of trails for mountain biking surrounding Thetis Lake. The multi-use trails are designed for bikers, walkers, hikers and trail runners, with courses varying in difficulty.

Capital Regional District (CRD): Member since 1993
Kinetic Construction celebrating 38 years

Kinetic Construction is celebrating their 38th anniversary! The first Kinetic office opened in Victoria on Oct. 4, 1984. The company’s first projects included institutional buildings, renovations, seismic upgrades and marine projects on southern Vancouver Island. Today, the company employs close to 200 people and has offices in Victoria, Courtenay, and Vancouver.

Kinetic Construction: Member since 2018
SD61 adds electric buses

The Greater Victoria School District SD61 has added four new all-electric buses to their fleet. The buses will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and cost 93% less to operate than traditional buses.
Greater Victoria School District SD61: Member since 1976
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
YYJ helping biodiversity with pollinator garden

The Victoria International Airport has created a new pollinator garden to increase biodiversity in the area. More than 2,000 local plants and shrubs are being added. The project is getting guidance from the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council and will incorporate SENĆOŦEN language and traditional plants into the garden.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
BC Transit earns Salmon Safe certification

BC Transit’s new handyDART centre in the Town of View Royal has been certified as Vancouver Island’s first Salmon Safe site. Set to open in 2024, the handyDART centre demonstrates exemplary water management practices, improves the ecology of the area, and enhances the stream that runs through the site.
Town of View Royal: Member since 2020
BC Transit: Member since 1999
Grocers uniting to raise funds for cancer research

Grocers from across Vancouver Island are teaming up to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Thrifty Foods and Red Barn Market are among the grocers contributing to t Innovation Research Fund to help accelerate world-class cancer research on the Island. Thrifty Foods will be matching donations up to $50,000 during the campaign, which runs until Nov. 11.
BC Cancer Foundation: Member since 1997

Red Barn Market: Member since 2019
Thrifty Foods: Member since 1981
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
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