Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
BizNews
November 11, 2020
Together apart, let's share a moment of silence
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has a long history of honouring the memory of soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

After the First World War, The Chamber was instrumental in helping create the Memorial Avenue that still runs along Shelbourne Street. New signage was added in 2018.

Shelbourne was chosen as it offered enough space to commemorate every soldier from the city who died in the war. Chamber members helped plan the project, and business owners rolled up their sleeves to dig holes for the trees.

This year, the Royal Canadian Legion is urging all Canadians to share a collective moment of silence tomorrow from the safety of our own homes. Due to COVID-19, spectators are being asked not to attend local Remembrance Day ceremonies in person but to participate from home.

CHEK News is providing live-coverage from the BC legislature at 11 am, and CFB Esquimalt and the Canadian Navy will hold a Sail Past that will also be live streamed in the afternoon.
 
  • Sidney: 10:45
  • Island View Beach Park: 11:15
  • Cordova Beach: 11:35
  • Oak Bay/Baynes: 12:15
  • Clover Point: 12:55
  • Ogden Point: 13:10
  • Esquimalt Lagoon: 13:20
 
The Royal Canadian Air Force will also be conducting flybys at various times across the country. In Greater Victoria, a CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter is scheduled to fly over Sidney.

The Chamber will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Chamber Champions welcome new member
With the addition of Kinetic Construction, our new Chamber Champions initiative is now up to eight founding members!

The Champions are a new, highly engaged echelon of membership in The Chamber. In the months ahead, the Champions will work with The Chamber and each other to add resiliency to Greater Victoria's economy and ensure a full recovery as get back to good business and great community.

The Chamber Champions are:

Many more will be announced in the weeks and months ahead, and there's still time to be part of the first generation of Chamber Champions. Email ceo@victoriachamber.ca to sign up.
Island status quo as Lower Mainland locked down
There's a reason the word "uncertainty" rivals "unprecedented" as the most used term of the pandemic. There was no playbook for dealing with COVID-19 when we first learned, back in the spring, how dangerous the virus was. But we have a precedent now. We know what to do to flatten the curve and re-open society safely, and it's the playbook we continue to follow on Vancouver Island.

On Saturday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new geographic restrictions targeting larger population centres on the Lower Mainland. The area-specific rules are needed to try to tamp down a concerning flareup of new cases.

"We aren't facing new restrictions in Greater Victoria because we have done the right things and our low case counts reflect that. We need to carry on, while also continuing to support local businesses that are going above and beyond just to stay open," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "Please make sure of the information you're consuming and sharing. Our situation is not the same as Vancouver or Toronto or other large media centres. Support local news and make good choices for you and your family and our community. The Island can be a beacon of hope for so many places wondering what they can do to slow this pandemic. We will get through this together."

With the rise in case counts in BC and many other jurisdictions, Dr. Bonnie Henry is also suggesting it's prudent for businesses to review their existing plans for keeping customers and staff safe from COVID-19.
How businesses can vote in Victoria by-election
The Chamber has reached out to all 11 candidates registered for the City of Victoria's by-election on Dec. 12. We want to know where candidates stand on issues that are priorities for our members and the region's business community. We'll share the responses next week. We're also hosting a candidate discussion on Nov. 25 at noon.

This by-election is a rare opportunity for people who have businesses or income properties 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 Dec. 12 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 Victoria.ca 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
No rent increases until next summer, province says
The provincial government is freezing rent increases until July 10, 2021. The move extends the measure implemented in March through the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 related Measures Act.

The rent freeze helps people who have lost income during the pandemic and are struggling to cover basic costs. However, it potentially burdens landlords who are facing rising costs because of inflation, maintenance or insurance increases.

Commercial Rent Relief
Businesses struggling to pay commercial rent can access the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). It replaces the poorly implemented Canada Emergency Rent Assistance (CECRA) program that was rolled out in the early stages of the pandemic.

The new program covers up to 65% of rent until Dec. 19, 2020 and, unlike CECRA, does not place liability and 25% of the program costs on landlords.
Welcome to our newest members!