The 2019 Chamber Board of Directors at the Business Awards. Absent: Christina Clarke and Danielle Mulligan
Join the people who get things done! Find out everything you need to know about joining The Chamber's Board of Directors on July 9 at the Board Election Information Session.
Has EHT affected your business's growth?
A cloud is darkening an otherwise optimistic business climate in BC. The first installment of the Employer Health Tax was due June 15, and many businesses face a new tax bill that is changing how they think about growing their payroll.
Take The Chamber's quick survey on EHT to aid our advocacy efforts with the BC government. If you have a specific experience with the EHT you want to share, send it to Jim Zeeben. The deadline is end of day tomorrow (June 27), so we can file our submission with the province's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Thank you to everyone who responded to our request for personal stories last week. We heard from employers who reduced their payroll to stay below the threshold and cutback on charitable contributions. We also heard from businesses that employ well-paid healthcare professionals - in one instance, a therapeutic program with a very tight profit margin is facing an extra $25,000 bill because of the EHT. This cost can't be passed on to clients because they have a fixed amount of funding to pay for the service. The result is vulnerable people in need will have less support.
Another employer told us the EHT will cost them $25,000 and force them to curtail plans to offer extra benefits to staff. The frustration is compounded by the fact the company, which provides home care service to seniors, is trying to retain skilled workers in a very difficult labour market. The sense that government is not supportive of entrepreneurs is making this employer question whether they can continue to provide a service that is in critical demand.
Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Prodigy Group July Mingle
July Business Mixer
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events

Airbnb remits $14 million in taxes to BC 
Airbnb has remitted $14 million in Provincial Sales Tax to the BC government. The short-term vacation rental company has also contributed $350,000 to the City of Victoria through the Municipal and Regional District Tax. The taxes were collected between Oct. 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, and reported by Global News.
The PST paid by Airbnb will be used by the province to fund affordable housing, while the MRDT helps fund the promotion of Victoria to potential tourists in key markets.
No other province collects provincial sales tax from Airbnb, which reached an agreement with the province last year.  
"The Chamber supported the agreement between Airbnb and the province because we believe new business models should be on a level playing field with existing businesses in the sector," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt.
Airbnb: member since 2017 
Great Events, Great Choices
Would you prefer our Business Mixers and Prodigy Group Mingles to be held from 4:30-6:30 pm or from 5-7 pm?  
Let us know by taking this quick survey.

Tickets on sale in July! 

Donate today to The Chamber's
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
  • Feature your brand and products as people begin holiday shopping.
  • Reach over 200 potential customers.
  • Back the region's largest and most influential business advocate.
  • Unique & buzz-worthy items will be included in our social media campaign.

Call 250-383-7191 or email us to find out how you can leverage this year's auction to promote your business.
Legion facing extreme tax hike part of larger problem 
The public does not benefit when longstanding businesses or institutions fail because of property tax burdens.
Victoria's only remaining Legion, Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292, is facing a massive and unexpected tax hike that is threatening the viability of the revered Gorge Road establishment. The City of Victoria will consider using money from its contingency fund to soften the bill for this year. There are calls to exempt the Legion from paying taxes, as is done in Langford and many other BC municipalities. The Chamber understands the rationale for treating the Legion as the unique institution it is, but we think a better long-term solution is needed for all non-profits facing similar situations.
The Chamber has spoken out about a problem hurting businesses across the province due to the controversial method used by BC Assessment of determining highest and best use of a property.
Business property taxes need to be kept in check by municipal councils, and BC Assessment needs to improve how it protects communities from losing valuable resources due to developmental pressure.

Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292: member since 2007

Members Around Town

Pacific FC training facility 
Pacific Football Club is building a new $5 million indoor training facility on Kettle Lake Drive, on land leased from the City of Langford . The 55,000-square-foot facility will be the largest indoor field house in BC, and used by Pacific FC for training sessions. It will be available for rental for multiple sports, from national to youth level. 
Pacific Football Club: member since 2019 
PGA tour stop
The Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada made its annual stop in Victoria at the beginning of June. The Bayview Place DCBank Open, presented by the Times Colonist, was won by France's Paul Barjonwhich, earning him a berth in the PGA Tour Canadian Open plus the $36,000 winner's purse. Watch this video highlighting the tournament, and Bayview Place's impact on bringing world-class golf to Victoria.   
Bayview Place: member since 2006  
Times Colonist: member since 1961 
Period Promise  
The City of Victoria is partnering with the United Way of Greater Victoria on its Period Promise campaign. Beginning this year, free menstrual products such as tampons and pads will be available in various civic facilities, including City Hall, Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre, and downtown public washrooms.   
City of Victoria: member since 1962   
United Way Greater Victoria: member since 1972  
Impact for local lives 
United Way of Greater Victoria is looking for feedback on how to improve lives and build strong communities through its Stakeholder Survey. The input received will  the help United Way achieve the greatest impact on improving local lives.
United Way Greater Victoria: member since 1972   
Property meant for sewage treatment bought   
The Capital Regional District has sold one of the two Esquimalt warehouses it purchased in 2014 to house the regional sewage-treatment facility. Spinnakers Brewpub, which has been leasing space in one of the warehouses, has purchased 808 Viewfield Rd. property for $11.25 million. For the last three years, Spinnakers has used the facility, which has a large refrigerated room, to house its bottling and canning lines and for storage.   
Capital Regional District: member since 1993  
Spinnakers Brewpub: member since 1990 
DVBA releases report on state of downtown
It's said perception is reality, but having actual data will go a long way to changing how people feel about downtown Victoria. The first annual report on downtown was released last week by Downtown Victoria Business Association. The survey was completed by 400 businesses and found that 48% give downtown a letter grade of B+ or higher as a place for doing business.
"It dispels the myth that shops are closing or downtown is dying," DVBA executive director Jeff Bray told the Times Colonist. "The data shows the opposite with record low vacancy rates, growth in retail space being snapped up, commercial space being snapped up, growth in residential and businesses reporting they are doing well or better than a year before."
The survey also provides evidence of what issues are concerning businesses. Parking availability and cost of parking were the top two factors negatively impacting businesses.
The Chamber has called on the City of Victoria to present a plan for meeting parking demand given the over 1,800 private parking stalls that have been lost in recent years (Parking: We don't need a miracle, just a plan).

Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007
Yeehaw! Join us for a fun evening of gourmet food, cold drinks, great music and good times. 
Featuring gourmet appetizers, BBQ sliders, mac n' cheese and pie chef stations catered by Food For Thought Catering. Quench your thirst with local BC wine, craft beer and non-alcoholic cocktails. Kick up your boots with some line dancing.
Sponsored by: 
Thu, Sept 5 | 6:30-8:30 pm      
The Roundhouse at Bayview
80 Saghalie Rd.   
The Summer Social Series transports you to a new location where you will enjoy a memorable evening of connecting over great food and local wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic options. Purchase tickets to the series here 
World's first Indigenous law degree
The world's first dual-degree program in Indigenous and non-Indigenous law will soon have a new home at the University of Victoria. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett confirmed Tuesday that the federal government will contribute $9.1 million to build a national centre for Indigenous law on campus. The four-year Indigenous law program, which began last fall with 26 students, will add 25 students a year until it reaches 100.  
Students will graduate in four years with two professional degrees: a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Juris Indigenarum Doctor (JID). They will have a deep understanding of Indigenous law and governance, the academic qualifications to pursue a career in Canadian Common Law, and a strong sense of how to create and manage institutions functioning across both spheres. 
University of Victoria: member since 1976
BC ponders making Daylight Saving permanent
The provincial government is revisiting a move to rid BC of the need to "spring ahead and fall back."
A survey is asking British Columbians how they feel about sticking with later sunsets (and sunrises) that come with the annual switch to Daylight Saving Time.
Premier John Horgan said moving to permanent summer hours would allow BC to keep time with the west coast of the US. Washington and Oregon, which have officially asked the US federal government for permission to keep their clocks in Daylight Saving Time. California is expected to follow suit.
The BC survey can be completed until 4pm July 19.
Canada Day
Happy 152nd Birthday Canada!  This weekend is a time to celebrate all that makes us Canadian. So add some extra maple syrup to your pancakes, make sure to don your plaid, say 'sorry' needlessly and reinforce the walls of your igloo.  
You could also join your fellow Chamber members in celebrating by enjoying a bite out, a night away from home, or plan an action packed weekend at these local treasures .
There is a ton of fun things to do around town this weekend. Check out the Canada Day event schedule here . From being in the living flag on the lawn of the Parliament buildings to rocking out to live music, to watching fireworks in the Inner Harbour, Canada Day has something to offer everyone!
The Chamber will be closed Monday, July 1.
Welcome to our newest member!
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.