Tomorrow, June 22 from 5-7 pm join us for the June Business Mixer with the Victoria HarbourCats. If you come to the Mixer, you can stay for the game! Tell your co-workers to sign up here.
NAFTA: Chambers Power-Up

The national chambers of commerce for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico launched the North American Economic Alliance, a platform for the three private sector organizations to speak with one voice to the US, Canadian, and Mexican governments about the most effective way to enhance the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"NAFTA has become the cornerstone of our three countries' economic partnership. We are grateful to be able to count on the support of the US Chamber of Commerce and Consejo Coordinador Empresarial as we continue our efforts to modernize the agreement," said Canadian Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO Perrin Beatty in this news release.
"It'll also be essential to work at making a new NAFTA more inclusive, so that everyone can see, and feel, the benefits." 

Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Single-Use Bag Ban/Levy    

The City of Victoria's is working towards a ban or levy on single-use bags. Info on this initiative can be found in the March 9 City Staff Report here .
The Chamber and the Retail Council of BC are holding a joint round-table for local retailers on Wed., July 12 from 8 to 9:30 am at The Bay Centre . Anticipated areas of discussion are:
  • Enforcement/compliance/fairness: how a ban/levy affects the region's varied retailers (brick and mortar, online, independent, franchise, niche, etc.)
  • Implementation window: costs to business, including costs from leftover plastic bags stock if they ban bags without adequate notice.
  • Public awareness/outreach: the need for visitors to be aware of the change so as to not detract from the Victoria experience. 
"We want to ensure that we bring the informed voice of Greater Victoria retailers to the City of Victoria," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "Although the roundtable itself is open to Victoria-area retailers only, we will be asking Greater Victoria retailers for their input by email or phone later this month."

Natasha Richardson
General Manager, Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa 
What project is your business proudest of? We are most proud of developing The Emergent Leaders Program and bringing it to our staff and the community. What is your company's greatest strength? The culture of our organization. How is your business innovative? We have one of the most progressive human resources and talent management programs in North America. The purpose of our human resources initiatives is to contribute to the development of more self-aware and open individuals with greater self-esteem. We often feel like we are laying a new path in human resources-it is very rewarding. What is new with your business? We have just launched a new website ( to promote our Wellness Centre workshops and treatments. Where can we find you on the weekend? The Comox Valley.  My home is in Courtenay, my work is in Victoria. Could you manage without your cell phone? Yes! I try to spend one day per week without my cell phone.

More about Natasha - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found inside the May Business Matters.   

Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa: member since 2010
Celebrate the beginning of summer at the Fort Common, a one-of-a-kind venue in the heart of downtown Victoria! Mix and mingle with friends while listening to music spun by a local DJ and enjoying a delicious BBQ dinner paired with a custom cocktail or cold glass of local craft beer.

Your ticket includes appetizers and a gourmet dinner prepared by Food for Thought Catering. Drink tickets will be on sale at the event.
Thurs, July 6 | 6 -8:30 pm     
Fort Common
814 Broughton St.
For a limited time purchase tickets to all three Summer Social Series events for one low price of $200!    
CRD in Mediation with Municipalities   

As announced June 14, The Capital Regional District board approved a non-binding mediation process for the regional-growth strategy, a provincially mandated master plan designed to chart the region's growth.

The seven municipalities who did not accept the strategy - Central Saanich, Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, North Saanich, Saanich and View Royal - have also approved the mediation process.

"The apparent impossibility of 13 municipalities agreeing to a regional plan is another costly example why the provincial government needs to modernize regional districts ," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "Without effective regional governance and service delivery, businesses experience increased costs - in terms of dollars, time and energy - to operate in more than one municipality, and services are duplicated and inefficient or not provided at all."

The policy, Supporting BC's Growth and Economy: Modernization of Regional Districts , was drafted by the Greater Victoria Chamber and endorsed by the BC Chamber and its member chambers/boards of trade at the 2017 BC Chamber AGM.
"The BC business community is united in the concern that the current regional district model does not work for all BC municipalities, particularly in growing urban centres such as Greater Victoria," added Catherine Holt.

A Beehive of Activity
Harbour Air Seaplanes has introduced a colony  of honey bees and 50 solar panels on the one-acre green roof of the Victoria Harbour Airport. Four large beehives - containing an initial 10,000 honey bees that will grow to more than 200,000 - are designed to help Victoria's urban ecosystem combat the decline in wild bee populations around North America. In some areas, bee populations have declined by over one third, making urban bee colonies essential to ensuring there are enough bees to help plants pollinate.

"I think this will be the world's first floating beehive," said Bill Fosdick, the president of the Capital Region Beekeepers Association, who is overseeing the introduction of the bee colony. "I think it's going to be a great educational tool that will get a lot of attention. And the bees are already producing honey. It's delicious."

The bees and the solar panels mark Harbour Air's 10th anniversary as North America's first carbon-neutral airline, as well as the 1st anniversary of its custom-built Victoria seaplane terminal.

Harbour Air Seaplanes / Westcoast Air / Whistler Air: member since 1993
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular and affordable employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Road Trip and Win
Where are your travel plans
See The Chamber's sample post on our Facebook page.
taking you this summer?

In celebration of Canada's 150th, share your experiences locally and across Canada on your company's Facebook page for a chance to win! Wherever you are, use the hashtag #EssoRoadTrip in your photos and you could win $300 towards your Chamber membership or 1 of 5 $50 Esso gas gift cards. We'd love to see you relaxing at Willows Beach, enjoying a festival, the view from the patio or a snap from the Rockies. Click here for more contest details.

Esso is also one of our member benefit partners - saving our members and their employees 3.5 cents a litre. To learn more about this program and other member benefits, visit our member benefits page. Happy road tripping everyone! 

New Catamaran for Prince of Whales
Prince of Whales Whale Watching has introduced the Salish Sea Dream, a $3.5 million 95-passenger catamaran, to their fleet. The nimble nature of the 78 foot vessel allows it to get off the main routes between the Island and the mainland and explore areas around the Gulf Islands and follow the wildlife.

"We live in such an amazing part of the world and this gives people a front-row seat to see and learn more about the animals that live in and travel through our waters," says Prince of Whales Whale Watching owner Alan McGillivray.

The Salish Sea Dream will depart Vancouver each morning, taking guests on a whale-watching tour en route to Victoria. Passengers will be shuttled out to Butchart Gardens and picked up by the Salish Sea Dream and taken back to Vancouver.

Prince of Whales Whale Watching: member since 2002

Board Election Information Session
Interested in running for the Board of Directors of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce? Find out everything you need to know at this information session facilitated by Chamber Chair Al Hasham.

Tue, July 11 | 12 noon to 1 pm

The Chamber, 100-852 Fort St.

Click here for info on key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Additional questions can be directed to Peggy Kulmala, Manager of Policy and Public Affairs by email or phone: 250-360-3476.
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 
Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.

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