Join us at the Business Mixer with Tourism Victoria this Thurs, Jan 18 from 5-7 pm hosted by PARC Retirement Living at the Royal Theatre. This will be a fantastic opportunity to mix and mingle with emerging and established members of Greater Victoria's business community.
Bank of Canada Interest Rate
The power of a quarter is clear as the Bank of Canada has raised prime lending rates for the third time since July 2017. The rate has moved up another quarter percent to 1.25%, up from 1%. Banks such as Royal Bank and TD are closely following that lead, with higher lending rates in affect as of Thursday.

The bank's benchmark rate is now at its highest level since 2009. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz was expected to raise the rate after recent economic data showed gross domestic product growing, the job market healthy and the cost of living ticking higher.

The expected hike in rates will be another blow to  Canadians with variable rate mortgages, who will once again have to look for extra cash to top up their payments.

The quarterly MNP consumer debt index survey revealed that an increasing number of Canadians can't cover their fixed monthly expenses. Four-in-ten respondents say they fear financial trouble if interest rates rise much further and one-in-three agree they're concerned rising rates could move them toward bankruptcy.

While broadly positive about the economy's prospects, the bank cited "uncertainty about the future of NAFTA" as a reason for concern moving forward.

Watch upcoming BizNews for an announcement on a local Bank of Canada connection for our members.
Chamber News
2018 Business Awards Nominations
Peter Legge Luncheon
Marketplace Mixer
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Lifetime Achievement Winner  
Local philanthropist and businessman Eric Charman has been awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement award by The Chamber's Board of Governors. 

"For over 60 years, Eric has made an enormous contribution to our local business community and has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations and charities," said Al Hasham, Chair of the Board of Governors. "Through his philanthropic efforts, he has secured a lasting legacy for many arts and culture organizations who have benefited from his contributions and support."

Since 2002, The Chamber has celebrated the successes of the Greater Victoria business community. Awards will be presented in 13 categories, including the Governors' Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing a wide array of businesses as well as individuals. Finalists will be announced for all other categories in February.

Hear Peter Legge, one of Canada's most inspiring entrepreneurs, on why good is the enemy of great - and how to move you and your company to the next level of success.

Peter Legge is Chairman and CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited, the largest independently owned magazine publishing company in Western Canada controlling a network of over 25 magazines across the country in addition to providing a diverse range of media services and products with over $15 million in sales annually.
Sponsored by: 
Sold out! Call 250-383-7191 to be placed on waitlist  
Wed, Jan 31 | 11:30 am -1 pm      
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina
by APA, 146 Kingston St.

Training for the Future
Minister Melanie Mark
Computer science, engineering, web and information technology programs at University of Victoria and Camosun College just received a positive jolt as the Province committed an additional $400,000 for UVic and $200,000 for Camosun in startup funding - translating to another 165 graduates a year to start.

"Victoria is a great place to thrive in a tech career and by funding a range of engineering, computer science and information technology programs, we are opening doors for people to reach their full potential," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Of the 83,400 job openings in tech-related fields in the next decade, 10,700 will occur in the Vancouver Island/Coast region. The tech sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the BC economy, home to more than 10,200 businesses generating approximately $29 billion in revenue. Tech-sector workers earn weekly average salaries almost 85% higher than the average wage in BC.

University of Victoria: member since 1976
Camosun College: member since 1981

Economic Impact at YYJ
The overall economic importance of the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is significant, approaching $1 billion in total economic output. The below figure summarizes the direct, indirect, induced impacts including total employment, wages earned and overall GDP and economic output contributions attributable to ongoing operations at YYJ.

 YYJ has been one of the fastest growing airports in the country having enjoyed 47 consecutive months of record passenger volumes and is expected to surpass 2 million passengers in 2018 and 3 million by 2030. The recently announced Air Canada direct flights between Victoria and Montreal is a part of the optimism around the double digit growth prediction. These flights launch in June.

Victoria Airport Authority: member since 1981

Air Canada: member since 1962

What Business Impressed You This Year?  
Make someone's day by nominating them personally or their business for a 2018 Greater Victoria Business Award!

Nominating only takes two minutes and you can nominate as many businesses in as many different categories as you want.

The are 12 award categories including Business Person of the Year, Innovation, Sustainable Business Practices, New Business and everything in between! Check out the full list here.

What are you waiting for? Nominate now!
Smart Cities Challenge
The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) has launched the Smart Cities Open Innovation Challenge within the Southern Vancouver Island region. The idea is to seek innovative ways of pairing data and technology together to create "smart" solutions that will help to solve real-world issues in our region and create a more sustainable, prosperous, safe and healthy community. 
SIPP is seeking "smart" pilot project ideas that will improve livability for residents in the following areas:
  • Transportation & Mobility 
  • Housing & Affordability
  • Economic Resiliency & Inclusion
  • Human Health
  • Environmental Health
Top pilot project teams will be invited to pitch their "smart" ideas in front of a live audience and 'Dragon's Den' style panel of judges for a chance to win one of three $15,000 prizes. The deadline to submit your two-page pitch ideas is midnight on January 28.
South Island Prosperity Project: member since 2017 
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
A Big Step Forward on Better Governance
The municipality of Saanich and the City of Victoria have passed the following two motions:
  • remain receptive to any initiatives for the creation of a Regional police force
  • call on the Province of British Columbia to establish and fund a Citizens' Assembly on Amalgamation with interested municipalities
The Chamber is fully supportive of these motions and is very encouraged to see this leadership from our two largest municipalities. A Citizen's Assembly on Amalgamation established by the Province is an appropriate way to evaluate options and recommend how best to improve public services and local governance through fewer governments.

What municipality is next? We urge every municipality in Greater Victoria to take similar action and the Province to act on the request for a Citizen's Assembly and a regional police service immediately.

Victoria's New Bag Bylaw 
On Jan 11, Victoria City Council approved the adoption of the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw. The bylaw is proposed to take effect July 1, 2018, with enforcement starting Jan 2019. The ban applies to plastic checkout bags, which are bags that are used by customers to transport items from a business, or for take-out and delivery food.

There are also minimum fees for supplying a paper bag (15 cents) and a reusable bag ($1). Individuals can be fined $50 a day for failure to first ask a customer whether they need a shopping bag before providing one - and businesses can be fined $100.

Since the ban was first proposed, The Chamber has advocated for a bag reduction rather than a ban, a regional approach and a longer phase-in period. In Oct 2017 Chamber CEO Catherine Holt gave a presentation to the city available here which modified a number of features of the bylaw. 

Ready for 2018?
Make sure your business info is up to date in The Chamber's online business directory, a powerful tool that helps people find your business while strengthening your online presence. 
  • Is your business name correct? 
  • Is your main contact correct?   
  • Is your address and postal code correct?
  • Is your phone number current?
  • Are there any changes to your website address or social media accounts?
  • Are you still in the right category? 
Not sure how to login and update your listing? Email us and we'll be happy to help. Our online directory listing is a phenomenal tool for promoting your business online and we want to make it work for you.

Want to give your business a little more exposure? Click here to book your ad in Biznews, Chamber Events or on
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

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