L to R: Al Hasham of Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics, Geoff Wilmshurst of Camosun College, Catherine Holt of The Chamber, Tom Sigurdson of BC Building Trades , Sherri Bell of Camosun College
Members hear from BC Building Trades Council
The provincial government has a plan to get more women and indigenous people involved in the trades, as well as establishing thousands of new positions for apprentices. That was the message from Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades Council, as he addressed The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon yesterday sponsored by Camosun College. See the photos here.  
Sigurdson explained his organization's involvement with the province's new Crown Corporation, BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc., and the concept of how Community Benefits Agreements can help address the demand for skilled labour.
After the presentation, John Knappet, from Knappet Projects, took the opportunity to directly question Sigurdson about how the province's plan will impact contracting firms such as his own. One of the most contentious issues has been the requirement for all workers on infrastructure projects to join a government authorized union within 30 days. Knappet noted that his firm has worked hard to build a trusted team. Those workers provide him with better certainty on projects than he says he would have if forced to use a labour pool supplied by the province. The concern was echoed by others at the luncheon.
Sigurdson acknowledged what he called the elephant in the room. But he believes the provincial government's approach will effectively address the shortage of apprentices, women and indigenous workers in the trades.
Other comments included how to help more students choose a career in the trades, and utilizing post-secondary schools such as Camosun College to provide training.
 Knappett Projects Inc.: member since 1987 
 Camosun College: member since 1981 
Chamber News
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Small Business Month
Business Leaders Luncheons
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

First World War rededication set for Saturday
Don't forget that this Saturday is the rededication of memorial trees planted in honour of soldiers from Greater Victoria who died in the First World War.
Saanich resident Ray Travers has worked tirelessly to make sure the public doesn't forget the importance of the stand of London Plane trees lining Shelbourne Street near Mount Doug Park.  
In the last few weeks, the District of Saanich has been installing new street signs marking the stretch of road as Memorial Avenue. Saanich is also installing interpretive panels to mark the historic significance of the area.  
The trees were planted 100 years ago as part of a project spearheaded by The Chamber, with the business community pitching in to create the first Road of Remembrance in Canada.
On Saturday, September 29, the public is invited to a Rededication Ceremony on north Shelbourne, near Elnido Road and San Juan Avenue. The ceremony officially begins at 10:30 am with presentations starting at 11 am.
A pipe band will start the ceremony at Mount Doug Park and proceed south to the nearby General's Memorial. Lieut.-Gov. Janet Austin will then preside over the event, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War One.
Get a piece of the pie. Find out how your business can take advantage of upcoming  opportunities with the Province of BC through its streamlined procurement process and new BC Bid site.
Sponsored by:
Limited seating
Tues, Oct 16 | 7:30 am-9 am  
Union Club of BC 
805 Gordon St.
Meet The Chamber Board: Rahim K hudabux
Position: Owner and General Manager of Max Furniture, Chamber board member and Chair of the Ambassador Committee.

Tell us about your business. Locally owned and operated since 2008, Max Furniture provides Canadian made and good quality furniture for your home or office. What is your company's greatest strength? I would say our customer service and ability to cater the style and size of any piece of furniture to fit our client's needs. What project is your business proudest of? Though our store is primarily residential furniture, we have worked with many large hotels and completed lots of rooms for them with our custom furniture. When we put 350 pieces into a hotel it feels great! What's your favourite Chamber event? I love attending the Greater Victoria Business Awards ( nominations for the 2019 awards are now open!). Who is your role model or has had the biggest influence on your life? Al Hasham has mentored me and continues to do so. He has helped put my life on a path that I never thought I would be on. What's something people don't know about you? In Grade 6, I broke both my wrists at the same time rollerblading - I looked really cool with two casts. Where can we find you on the weekend? At the store - I'm a retailer!

Each week in BizNews, The Chamber will feature a Chamber board member to help our membership get to know our current Board of Directors.

Nominees for the 2019-2020 board can be found here and voting has been very active so far. If you are the main contact of your organization and haven't received an email with how to cast your ballot, please call The Chamber at 250 383-7191. If you are interested in being part of our influential board, nominations begin each summer.

Objections to government approved rent increase
A group of MLAs tasked with improving conditions for tenants and landlords has succeeded in getting the provincial government to step back from a recently announced rent increase.  
The BC Residential Tenancy Branch had set the maximum allowable rent increase for 2019 at 4.5%. Landlords are legally allowed to raise rents once per year, with the provincial government setting the rate at 2% more than inflation.
However, that changed after the government heard from an MLA task force writing a major report on the state of rental housing in BC. The revised rate now only reflects inflation, currently pegged at 2.5%.  
While owning or operating a rental property requires a return on investment, Greater Victoria employers are also struggling to attract and retain workers in large part because of the high cost of housing. The Chamber continues to advocate that government support for non-market housing is one of the keys to finding a solution.

Members Around Town
Saanich's "emerging core" gets green light 
Saanich council unanimously approved the Nigel Valley comprehensive development at a public hearing on Tuesday night. A major redevelopment of Saanich's "emerging core," the Nigel Valley development would bring about five to six years of construction and create 796 units of social housing units in place of the 186 in the area now. B.C. Housing is leading the project on behalf of non-profit groups, including Broadmead Care Society, Island Community Health, Garth Homer Society and Greater Victoria Housing Society.
Garth Homer Society: member since 2000    
Broadmead Care Society: member since 2017 
Greater Victoria Housing Society: member since 2012
Classical music has gone digital  
Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) has opened a state-of-the-art music technology lab at its downtown location. In what was formerly a traditional theory/composition classroom, computer workstations and audio equipment will allow students to learn on industry-standard professional software. Students can also learn about performing live with electronic and virtual instruments, including polyphonic synthesizers, sequencing, Ableton Live PUSH, electric 4 and 5-string violins, and much more.
 Victoria Conservatory of Music: member since 2000 
Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day is a grassroots event that encourages Canadians to learn about and acknowledge the harm that the residential school system had on generations of Indigenous families and their communities. The Victoria event, Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, takes place Sunday, September 30 from noon - 4 pm in Centennial Square and is organized by residential school survivor Eddy Charlie and friend Kristin Spray. If you don't already have an orange shirt, Orange Shirt Day T-shirts are available for $20 at Big Wheel Burger's three locations. This is the second year they are partnering with the City of Victoria to mark the City's commitment to reconciliation. 
City of Victoria: member since 1962  
Big Wheel Burger: member since 2013 
Fastest Growing Companies 
Canadian Business has released the 2018 Growth 500 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies and Chamber members MD Charlton Company Ltd. and StarFish Medical made the cut! The list measures businesses by their revenue growth over the last five years. Congratulations on the exceptional performance.  
MD Charlton Company Ltd.: member since 2003
StarFish Medical: member since 2009 
Learn more about the regulation of the sale of cannabis, what this emerging industry means for businesses in Victoria and global opportunities. See the speakers here.

Wed, Oct 10 | 11:30 am-1 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.

View Royal facility one solution to address chronic homelessness
Greater Victoria's problem with chronic homelessness continues to give the region unwanted publicity. Last week, campers who had been occupying a "tent city" in a Saanich park relocated to Goldstream Provincial Park. The move has raised safety concerns in the neighbourhood around the camp, and promoted calls for more affordable housing. However, housing alone is not the answer as many people in the tent city community are also suffering with addictions and mental health issues.
As a vocal advocate for Safe Communities, The Chamber supports proven solutions such as the new Therapeutic Recovery Community opening next month in View Royal. The concept has worked in other jurisdictions by challenging criminal thinking, providing education on addiction and having peer groups hold their members accountable for their actions.
Chamber members interested in learning more about Our Place Society's Therapeutic Recovery Community can attend an open house on Saturday, October 13 at the facility in View Royal. The open house runs from 1 to 4 pm at 94 Talcott Rd.
Chamber CEO Catherine also spoke to this issue on CFAX last week. Listen to the segment here.
Our Place Society: member since 2010 
Do you want to be on a Chamber committee?
The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. A key reason for the success of our board committees is the involvement of our Chamber members as volunteer committee members.  
Each year, there are a few openings on our committees for new members. We are recruiting now for members who will be available starting on January 1, 2019 for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:
  • The Ambassador Committee
  • The Finance and Audit Committee
  • The Prodigy Group
  • The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open from September 14 to October 5, 2018. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will review your application. You will be contacted by email or phone.
Vancouver Island designated as Foreign Trade Zone
Vancouver Island has been officially designated as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) by the federal government.  
"Vancouver Island is strategically positioned for export trade with Asia and the Americas," said George Hanson, President and CEO of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. "The Island has a significant inventory of under-utilized industrial land supported by transportation infrastructure with plenty of capacity to handle increased export volumes and attract investment."
VIEA will serve as the resource for international trade on Vancouver Island, promoting the network of trading centres and multiple deep-water ports and airports. The Island has the capacity to handle 10 times current volumes, serving North America, Latin America and Asia, VIEA says.

Nominate Now for the 2019 Business Awards
Each week The Chamber will be profiling a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

New Business of the Year honours a new business (3 years or less from the date of incorporation) that:
  • Has achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time
  • Demonstrates exceptional promise of continued growth
  • Serves as an inspiration for other new businesses and
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community.
Know a business that deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2018 Business Leadership finalists below. Thanks to Peninsula Co-op for sponsoring this award.

Winner: angela COTE Consulting Inc.
Finalist: Horizons Holistic Health Clinic
SBBC Webinars and INSPIRE     
Did you know that with your Chamber membership,  you receive an exclusive discount on Small Business BC webinars? Build up your business toolkit with topics from Optimizing Your Landing Page to Operations for Small Business and more without having to leave the convenience of your home or office.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

A fresh new look - Chamber Name Tags
In response to members' requests, The Chamber has redesigned the name tags Chamber members can purchase. We increased the prominence of your business name while keeping your name clearly visible.

Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.