November 23, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Thank you to everyone who joined us at our first Indigenous Business Mixer! Proudly sponsored by Porttris Consulting Group, this event brought local Indigenous businesses together at the Songhees Wellness Centre to discuss opportunities for collaboration and grow valuable business connections. See event photos here.
A total of $160,000 will be distributed over a multi-year term to establish entrance awards for post-secondary students, planning to attend the University of Victoria, Camosun College or Royal Roads University. In 2023, 13 students who meet the criteria will receive awards. The criteria includes being a dependent of a Chamber member (dependents of employees are eligible). Other considerations are financial need and whether a student belongs to an under-represented group that has barriers to equity.

For more information on the Greater Victoria Chamber 1863 Impact Award, including how to apply or contribute, go to impact-award.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996
Camosun College: Member since 1981
New measures aim to address housing supply
Access to affordable housing is key to ensuring Greater Victoria employers are able to find and keep workers. Yesterday, the province announced a new ministry would be created to focus solely on housing and, on Monday, BC Premier David Eby unveiled three actions aimed at quickly getting more homes built.

"The Chamber has long been vocal about the need to streamline processes and invest in programs that increase housing supply," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We're happy our new Premier is listening, and we look forward to working with the province to connect the businesses and people who make housing happen with the policy makers who need to support them."

The new Minister of Housing will be named on Dec. 7, when Premier Eby shuffles cabinet. The action plan will see strata rules changed to reduce vacancies and end restrictions against young families. As well, the province will monitor municipalities and step in if local governments are unable to get homes built.

“Housing affordability and availability are among the biggest problems people in Saanich and across the province are facing," District of Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock said in the news release. "We all need to work together to address this issue and deliver the homes people need for sustainable and thriving communities. I’m glad the Province is taking these steps to help ensure municipalities build the housing people in their communities need.”
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Premier promises action to make communities safer
Safe communities are fundamental to business as everyone deserves to feel secure at home and in their workplace as well as on the commute between.

The new Safer Communities Action Plan includes a promise to make it harder for violent repeat criminals to get back on the street after being jailed. The plan also states there will be more help for people suffering a mental health crisis to try and prevent situations from escalating to the point police are needed. As well, the gains of crime will be targeted by a new “unexplained wealth order.”

“Root causes of tragedy, crime and victimization are found in social, economic, cultural and societal systems that create inequities and disadvantages for individuals, families and communities," Police Victim Services of BC executive director Ian Batey said in the province's news release.

Victoria Police Chief Const. Del Manak said police officers deal with the impacts of mental health and addictions daily, including challenges with violent, repeat offenders.

“I support initiatives that enhance social services, connect people to the services they need and prioritize public safety," Chief Manak said. "I look forward to working with government on our shared vision toward community safety and well-being.”
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Police Victim Services of BC Society: Member since 2021
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 Business Person of the Year Award honours a business person who:

is the founder, CEO, President, or Senior Executive of a company who exhibits business leadership and vision;
displays a significant commitment to the success of both their business and the region as a whole;
serves as a positive role model or mentor for other business people;
and exemplifies professional behaviour maintaining an upstanding reputation in the business community and region as a whole.
Nominations close: January 18, 2023
Need some inspiration?
Check out the videos of the 2022 Business Person of the Year finalists below. Thanks to Canadian Tire , who is our sponsor for this award in 2023.
Winner: Jill Doucette, Synergy Foundation
Finalist: Amar Magon, Aroga Lifestyle Medicine
Have questions about our 2023 Business Awards?
Join us as we walk through our new online nomination and award application process and answer all kinds of questions about the 2023 Business Awards to help you put your best foot forward.
We will share tips on determining which category is the best fit for you and how to prepare a strong award application. Finalists receive almost $10,000 worth of promotional value including a professional video that tells your story to the world. Not to mention the exposure finalists receive through the awards gala.
This event is for businesses who have already received a nomination or want to learn more before nominating themselves. During this virtual call we will take a look at the 2023 Business Awards timelineaward categoriesnomination information, and how to submit an award entry. 
Tues., Dec. 13 | 12 - 1 PM
Virtual via Zoom
Call-in details provided upon registration
WorkBC Victoria offering workshop for employers
Even as the fog of the pandemic lifts, employers continue to face uncertain times. Many organizations were forced to make profound changes over the last two years to service their customers and get goods to market. With inflationary pressure on prices and wages, there will likely continue to be difficult decisions in the months ahead.

To help employers better understand their legal rights and responsibilities, WorkBC Victoria is hosting a virtual information session on Nov. 29 at 2 pm. Experts from the Employment Standards Branch of the Ministry of Labour will be on hand to answer questions about:
  • Hiring practices
  • Hours of work and overtime
  • Statutory holiday pay
  • Employee time off
  • Letting go/laying off staff
  • Unique industries.

If this is of interest, register at the link below.
WorkBC Victoria: Member since 2006
Immigration changes are a good step for workforce
A pair of announcements over the last week offered good news for efforts to find and keep workers in Greater Victoria. On Nov. 16, the federal government listed changes to the types of jobs considered high demand. Sectors such as health care, construction and transportation will benefit from having 16 new occupations included under the Express Entry system.

Meanwhile, BC announced today a plan to encourage more skilled immigrants to settle outside of the Lower Mainland. That should help regions such as Greater Victoria. The incentives give candidates in the Provincial Nomination Program a higher priority if they have worked outside of Metro Vancouver. The same priority will be given to recent grads of post-secondary schools outside of the Lower Mainland.
Chair's Holiday Reception
Come enjoy the holiday season, fill a merry motorcoach and celebrate our "last tour" with Chamber Chair John Wilson at the wheel.
This lively year-end event is our opportunity to thank our members, partners, sponsors, committee members, and board members for your dedication, engagement, and support throughout 2022. 
In recognition of Wilson's Groups' commitment to community we are asking for your help to fill a Merry Motorcoach this season in support of Our Place. Donations of winter clothing, towels, and non-perishable food would be much appreciated.
We will send John off with a toast or two as he wraps up his last year as Chamber Chair. Light refreshments will be provided and a cash bar will be available.
Thurs., Dec. 8 | 4 - 6 PM
Strathcona Hotel, Wicket Hall
919 Douglas Street
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Tasty treats and local flavour
Local food producers have faced both challenges and opportunities with staffing, supply chain, and delivery networks throughout the pandemic.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with two operators who create unique and very tasty products that you can enjoy while supporting our local economy. Featuring Dave Best of Vanillablossom Flavours and Rob Curtis of Refire Kitchen.
Refire Kitchen: Member since 2021
Vanillablossom Flavours: Member since 2022
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Giving back to our community
Across Greater Victoria this holiday season, charities and non-profits are seeking to help those in need. With community support, these initiatives can make a positive impact for individuals, families, and the region as a whole.

Next Tuesday is GivingTuesday, a global movement to express generosity and support local groups:

  • The University of Victoria’s GivingTuesday campaign, known as Project Add Sprinkles, has inspired and impacted thousands over the years. Last year, more than 5,018 participants contributed more than $178,673 to priority initiatives at UVic, like student clubs, sustainability programs, and research that changes lives. From sponsorship opportunities to Giving Grams, this year aims to be their most impactful year yet.

Giving Tuesday isn’t the only way to support great local causes:

  • WIN- Victoria Women In Need Community Cooperative has launched their Community Cheer Campaign. With a goal of raising $50,000, the campaign aims to raise funds to support empowerment programs for women, trans, non-binary and two spirit people in Greater Victoria. Monetary donations, gift card donations and new housewares are currently being accepted.

Looking for more ways to give? Give the gift of recognition at the 2023 Greater Victoria Business Awards! Nominate a deserving local business in one of 12 categories worth celebrating. Nominations are open until Jan. 18, 2023.
Celebrating #IndigenousBusinessYYJ
The Chamber is committed to Indigenous reconciliation. We’re proud to feature our new Indigenous members, including Salish Seaside RV Haven!

Salish Seaside RV Haven is Western Canada's premier motor home park. Open year-round and nestled on a private peninsula right in the heart of Victoria's waterfront, it was created when the Esquimalt and Songhees Nation joined together in partnership to create this award-winning park. Complete with all new services, utilities, and facilities, the park is open all year round.

Stay tuned as we highlight more Indigenous Chamber members — #IndigenousBusinessYYJ.

Are you an Indigenous-owned business working in Greater Victoria? Learn more about Chamber membership and opportunities to connect by emailing
Showcase what your industry has to offer
Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board.

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure it can be properly sorted and found by the right candidates. The list of industry types is constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting,
Member News
Santa Claus Parade returns to Greater Victoria

This Saturday, the 40th annual Peninsula Co-op Santa Claus Parade returns! Presented by CHEK News and the Greater Victoria Festival Society, the parade begins at 5pm and will feature a convoy of decorative floats. The parade will take a slightly different route this year – beginning in front of the BC Legislature and ending at the intersection of Fisgard and Douglas.

Greater Victoria Festival Society: Member since 2016
Peninsula Co-op: Member since 2013
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Clean energy upgrades for your home

The Capital Regional District (CRD) has launched a program to help homeowners reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Home Energy Navigator Program provides information on how to retrofit single-family homes with low-carbon solutions, and displays rebates that are available.
Capital Regional District (CRD): Member since 1993
The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, in partnership with the Greater Victoria Housing Society, has signed a lease for a house in the District of Oak Bay to be used as housing for refugees. With vacancies at an all-time low, the housing will assist refugees from varying origins to access safe, secure housing

District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Greater Victoria Housing Society: Member since 2012
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA): Member since 1996
New ride-hailing option available at YYJ

The Victoria Airport Authority has allowed a new ride-hailing service to offer rides to and from the airport. KABU-Ride Inc. now joins Lucky To Go as the second ride-hailing service option at YYJ. KABU-Ride has provided more than two million trips to hundreds of thousands of customers since their creation.

KABU-Ride Inc.: Member since 2022

Lucky To Go: Member since 2020
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Magical designs featured at Gingerbread Showcase

Habitat for Humanity’s Gingerbread Showcase will be filling the atrium once again at the Parkside Hotel & Spa. Bakers were invited to integrate a magical theme into their creations, and guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite gingerbread design in-person starting on Nov. 26.

Habitat for Humanity Victoria: Member since 2021
Parkside Hotel & Spa: Member since 2013
Tree-mendous festival

The Bay Centre is looking extra festive now that the Festival of Trees has arrived. From now until Jan. 3, stroll through 70 decorated trees and support the BC Children's Hospital Foundation’s work in ending juvenile diabetes. We invite you to find all the trees created by Chamber Members!

BC Children's Hospital Foundation: Member since 2016
Bay Centre: Member since 1990
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
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