October 16, 2019
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Get out and vote! Monday, Oct. 21
We know Chamber members care about their community and their country. One of the most fundamental actions you can take is casting a ballot, ensuring you play a role in our ongoing experiment with democracy.
If you’re someone who wonders about the value of one vote, know that you are part of something bigger. Every ballot is a push in the direction you want our nation to go and, together with thousands of others across Canada, you provide the momentum that gives government its mandate.
It's also OK to still be undecided. To learn more about which parties align with your values, check out the excellent coverage of Greater Victoria candidates on the Times Colonist ’s website. If you’re not sure who to vote for, they have profiles of candidates in every riding.
Even if you haven’t registered, it’s not too late to make your mark on Monday. Register now !
Working together to attract and retain workers
The difficulty in attracting and retaining workers continues to be the No.1 concern for employers of all sizes and in all sectors across Greater Victoria. It’s vital that we work together on this issue. The Chamber has been sharing stories and solutions as part of our ongoing advocacy, and, last week, we hosted a very successful Business Leaders Luncheon , sponsored by MNP LLP , to discuss the issue.

Thank you to our expert panel — Dave Cowen from The Butchart Gardens , Dan Kasun with MNP , and Michael Lane from Work BC — for the insightful anecdotes and helpful suggestions.

Let’s hear from you

Are you an employer in Greater Victoria facing this issue? The Chamber wants to know about your specific concerns, as well as any solutions or suggestions you think are needed.

Send your stories and ideas to [email protected] .
MNP LLP: member since 2013
WorkBC/GT Hiring: member since 2006
The Butchart Gardens: member since 1976
In need of a great employee?
Business Leaders' Luncheon
What's ahead for regional transportation?
Getting there from here shouldn't be difficult, but without a comprehensive regional transportation plan no one is getting anywhere fast.

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the future of how we travel and speak to specific projects planned for the region.
Thu, Nov 7 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St .
Sponsored by:
Victoria begins draft budget process
Victoria’s proposed budget calls for a property tax increase of $4.68 million, resulting in a 3.26% increase in business property taxes and 3.32% for homeowners. The city’s Draft 2020 Financial Plan will be introduced for the first time at tomorrow’s council meeting. City staff will present departmental budgets at four Special Council Meetings, starting on Monday, Oct. 21.

A Budget Town Hall is planned for Nov. 21, at 6:30 pm, at City Hall.
CRA guidelines could signal more scrutiny of employee smartphone use
New guidelines from the Canada Revenue Agency could force employers to rethink how they report on the cost of smartphones they supply to their employees. That’s the warning from tax experts interviewed by the Canadian Press.
In April, the CRA issued guidelines that said, in order to qualify for GST/HST credits, companies must show at least 10 per cent of a mobile phone's usage is for commercial purposes.

As well, if audited by the CRA, companies could be asked for documentation proving their employees’ phones were used for commercial purposes as claimed.
However, a CRA spokesperson told The Canadian Press that despite the recent guidelines, "the non-compliance of reporting on the use of cellular phones by employers when necessary is considered an area of low-risk" for the agency.
Win a trip for 2 to Seattle!

This black-tie evening includes cocktails, chef stations, a silent and live auction, dancing and an interactive photo booth.

One lucky attendee will win round trip for two between Seattle, WA and Victoria with a two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Seattle courtesy of Victoria Clipper. The draw to take place the evening of the gala!
Sat, Nov 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Fairmont Empress
721 Government St .
TP the Town Results
The Prodigy Group , a committee of The Chamber, was all hands on deck volunteering for this year's TP the Town, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 5. Nearly 120 volunteers were at 22 grocery stores across Greater Victoria — including Chamber member Thrifty Foods — collecting donations.

More than 105,000 rolls of toilet paper and 324 pounds of feminine hygiene products were picked up Hendra Moving and delivered to The Mustard Seed . These products will be distributed to over 45 different communities across Vancouver Island through the Food Share Network.
Thrifty Foods: member since 1981
The Mustard Seed: member since 1999
HENDRA Moving and Storage: member since 2009
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has issued a detailed emission inventory , highlighting the work the non-profit has done to reduce its operations’ impact on the environment.
The GVHA hired Synergy Enterprises in the spring to produce the report, which was released today — after Victoria City Council announced it will vote on a motion tomorrow calling on the GVHA to hold off on growing its cruise ship business. The motion also wants GVHA to hurry up with plans to provide electricity for ships while they are docked. More than 96% of emissions at the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal are generated by cruise ships operating generators to maintain power while docked.
“While we would love to just flip a switch and supply shore power, the installation of a single plug comes with a series of steps and considerations that range from availability of electricity, cost and funding, and a construction timeline,” GVHA CEO Ian Robertson said in a news release. “We need an approach that aligns everyone behind common goals of mitigating and reducing environmental impacts while ensuring that the 800 indirect and direct jobs and the more than $130 million in economic impact are also prioritized and protected.”
The Chamber supports the GVHA’s request for all levels of government as well as cruise ship operators to provide the support needed to make shore power available. Chamber members are encouraged to attend tomorrow’s council meeting to support the city working with the harbour authority toward a common goal.
GVHA: member since 2003
Synergy Sustainability: member since 2017
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The Business of the Year (11-39 Employees) award recognizes a business that:
  • Demonstrates continual business excellence through positive business growth;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community;
  • Exemplifies superior customer service; and
  • Embraces an outstanding commitment to quality.
Need inspiration? Check out the videos of the Business of the Year (11-39 Employees) finalists below. Thanks to TELUS Communications for sponsoring this award.
Finalist: LIDA Homes
Members Around Town
Ready, Set, Go!
Congratulations to Eric Finan and Andrea Lee for winning the 40 th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon’s men and women’s races, respectively. Finan has his sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while Lee thanked her cross-country skiing career for her performance. The Victoria Marathon Society said there were 8,294 participants registered to run, 300 more than the previous year. This included 1,471 in the full marathon, 3,431 in the half marathon, 2,505 in the 8K, and 887 in the Thrifty Foods kids’ run.
Victoria Marathon Society: member since 1999
GoodLife Fitness: member since 2013
Let There Be Light
This year, the Downtown Victoria Business Association will be showcasing a $500,000 light extravaganza in Centennial Square this holiday season. It will feature installations reflecting Greater Victoria including replicas of the legislature buildings, orcas, and other landmarks. Additionally there will be a large maze, live music and refreshments.
Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007
Us and Them
SeaFirst Insurance is presenting the Homelessness Action Week screening of Us and Them (filmed in Victoria) tomorrow, Oct. 17 at Cinecenta. After the 7 pm showing there will be a discussion with a panel of experts and the filmmaker.

Seafirst Insurance: member since 2012
One Million Trips
The City of Victoria surpassed a huge milestone this week when the first separated bike lane surpassed one million trips. The bike lane, which goes down Pandora Avenue between Cook and Store streets, is used by more than 1,100 cyclists every day. Separated bike lanes can also be found on Fort, Wharf, and Humboldt streets, and provide more safety for everyone on the road. As the network of bike lanes continually grows across Greater Victoria, residents are urged to view the current cycling projects currently underway in the region.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Small Business Month free webinars!
To celebrate Small Business Month, take advantage of free seminars, webinars, and “Talk to an Expert” sessions hosted by Small Business BC.

Small businesses represent 98% of all business in the province, and entrepreneurs and small business owners can access free sessions to grow their businesses from Oct. 21-25.

These sessions focus on essential learning tools such as how to brand your business, how to hire and retain employees, and much more!

Click here to register for free or for more information.
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