Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
June 24, 2020
Premier encourages travel around the province
Premier John Horgan did his best today to reassure British Columbians that we are ready to open up more of our economy — thanks to our proven track record of keeping COVID-19 at bay.

This is welcome news for businesses barely holding on after their customer base was vastly reduced. The tourism sector, specifically, has been given a lifeline as the Premier and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are now encouraging people to travel.

Under Phase 3, hotels and resorts as well as the film industry and entertainment venues can return to operation with conditions.

Dr. Henry said she is confidant we are ready for Phase 3. In fact, Dr. Henry said it's healthy for British Columbians to focus on increasing social interaction and taking steps to get the economy moving as well as making time to travel and holiday. Of course, all of this must be done with the lessons we've learned over the last several months to ensure we protect ourselves and each other.

Travellers from outside of BC — who were never banned from coming here — should be welcomed. It will be up to all of us to educate those visitors on the behaviours that have gotten BC to such a good place.

The Chamber is thankful for the leadership shown by the province and our Provincial Health Officer, and for their efforts to use hopeful language and encourage British Columbians to get out and support businesses.

BC's approach to public health has been a model of success, and we now need to continue doing all the right things to rebuild confidence. BC is safe, and it is the right time to rebuild our economy and get more of us back to work.
Film industry gets boost as BC moves to Phase 3
Premier John Horgan spoke about how moving to Phase 3 creates an opportunity for BC's film industry, which is currently the third largest in North America.

With official approval in place, film productions can now begin scheduling shoots in the province — something they can't do in Hollywood or New York.

The Chamber is encouraged by the province's support for the film industry. Getting back to work in BC is an opportunity, and showcases the importance of investing in film studios in Greater Victoria.

Yesterday, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and Board Chair John Wilson sent a letter to the federal government asking for $10 million to help realize a proposal from Camosun College and the District of Saanich for film studios at Interurban Campus.

The plan calls for a new program that would train students to work on film crews, while providing the infrastructure needed to attract major productions to our region.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Nominations open for 2021-22 Chamber Board
Now more than ever leadership matters.

We’d like to invite you to be a part of the history of the region and serve on The Chamber Board.

Each fall the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates. This year, six (6) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.

Our influential board works with decision-makers at all levels of government to support our region’s businesses and maximize the value of membership with The Chamber.

Click here for key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure.

Download a nomination form here. Please also include your bio and photo for the election ballot. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 30 at noon.
Thurs., July 9 |12-1pm
Online or or on-site
Getting you back to business
Business Restart Series

As part of The Chamber's commitment to restarting our local economy, we are hosting a virtual series of experts and government officials discussing the challenges and opportunities related to our province's restart plan for business.

This is your opportunity to get answers on pressing issues and the information you need to manage through these unprecedented times. The first event in the series, which will take place on July 8, will be focused on the Tourism industry:

Do you have an industry, sector, or business you would like to hear more from? Email with your suggestion.
Restart your tourism experience as three local leaders share their challenges and successes
Indu Brar
Randy Wright
Join our CEO Bruce Williams and a panel of tourism leaders as they talk about how the pandemic continues to affect our tourism industry, what's needed and a look to the path forward to recovery.
Thurs., July 16 |5-6pm
BC Ferries adds sailings to help boost summer travel
To encourage British Columbians to travel more, BC Ferries is increasing the number of sailings this summer.

The increase will add an extra 120 sailings per month. Traffic remains significantly lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with major routes currently carrying about 50 per cent of what would be expected in a typical year. BC Ferries says it is forecasting lower volumes for up to three years.

As well, ferry service between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay resumed today. It had been suspended in April for public health concerns.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
New overpass will make Pat Bay safer for travellers
More than $16.7 million in federal infrastructure money has been committed to build an overpass at Keating Cross Road. The project will make travelling the Pat Bay Highway safer and more efficient for commuters and commercial drivers.
Funding boost keeps affordable housing on target
The Capital Regional District is back on track to build 400 affordable homes, with cost of rent tied to the provincial income assistance shelter rate ($375 per month).

The CRD's Regional Housing First program had been facing soaring costs that threatened to reduce the number of homes it could deliver. However, thanks to a $30 million funding boost from the provincial and federal governments, the program will be better able to deliver on its goal of building 2,000 affordable homes in the region by 2022.

"The Regional Housing First Program enables us to create the right mix of affordable housing opportunities that will provide safe, secure homes for a wide range of people in our communities with the right support services in place to help them succeed,” CRD Chair Colin Plant said in a news release.

The lack of affordable workforce housing in Greater Victoria has typically been one of the biggest hurdles for employers in our region.
Capital Regional District: Member since 1993
Proposal a good step to help youth with addictions
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to overshadow our other provincial health emergency — the opioid crisis. Overdose deaths have increased dramatically, with 382 in BC so far this year and more than 6,000 since 2015.

Yesterday, the province moved to help youth who are dealing with dangerous addictions. The government has proposed legislation that would allow hospitals to keep youth in care for up to a week after being treated for an overdose. The move represents a good start, but any long-term solution requires accessible treatment options to be available in the moment they are needed.

Everyone needs to feel safe at work and at home for our economy to function well. Addressing opioid addiction is fundamental to ensuring we have safe communities.
Open for Business — Chamber directory style
To help locals looking to support businesses in the region, we want to make it easier to find businesses that are open and ready to provide products or services.

You'll see on our Chamber  online business directory  that we've added an Open icon for businesses. Details on how the business has adapted and/or new hours will appear in Products and Services at the bottom of the listing. We've also enhanced the SEO keywords on these listings to get you noticed.

Do you have updated business hours or services? Contact us   for your Open Icon and enhanced directory listing.
Job Board exclusive member benefit
The job board has returned to being an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

The Chamber is proud to have featured more than 500 jobs on our  job board  , including 250 since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We opened up this member benefit to help our community meet the demand for essential service jobs. We are now seeing a return to job postings that reflect the restart of our economy.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Members Around Town
Passive House achievement

Waymark Architecture has won the National Green Building Award for their development of the first potential Passive House commercial office building in Western Canada. The project highlights the energy performance possible in a well-designed building that also provides an inviting work environment.   Waymark Architecture
won the Sustainable Business Practices award at the 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards.

Waymark Architecture: member since 2018
Raise a glass to Q

The top 100 bars in Canada has been announced, and The Empress’s Q bar is on the list. Q features, signature cocktails and local craft beers on tap. It reopens to the public this Friday.
The Empress: member since 1962
Double your generosity

Victoria Cool Aid Society has launched its $50,000 matching challenge. From now until June 28, all donations will be doubled up to $50,000. Your donation helps provide critical programs offering health, dental, support and food services for vulnerable people in Greater Victoria.
Victoria Cool Aid Society: member since 2006
Giddy Up!

Tally-Ho Carriage Tours is set to resume operations this weekend , and will feature socially distant tours for up to six people from 12:30 – 5:30 pm on weekends. The Chamber has worked hard to defend our well-run horse-carriage industry , and to ensure this iconic tourism business remains a highlight of the downtown core.
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours: member since 1980
Heart Flag over Victoria

Looking to show your Canadian pride? The Times Colonist is creating a Living-Heart Flag for a socially distant way to celebrate Canada Day. You can also win a real heart flag from The Flag Shop for your submission. Upload your photos here by June 25 at 10 am.
Times Colonist: member since 1961
Flag Shop: member since 1993
Direct to your plate

Sysco Victoria is now offering grocery delivery to residential households. Fresh and frozen food, including bakery items, veggies, seafood and meat, as well as prepared meals can be ordered. Household goods such as sanitizer, face masks, and garbage bags are also available for purchase. See the full list of products here.
Sysco Victoria, Inc: member since 1979
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