June 1, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
“Last year’s Picnics and Patios Campaign was a great promotion at a very difficult time for many small businesses in our community," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "It was such a success that we heard many of these same businesses wanted to bring it back again this year. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is a strong supporter of restaurants, pubs and bars and the jobs they generate in our community. Picnics and Patios is a fun way to showcase these establishments and encourage visitors and residents to support our local entrepreneurs.”
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Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value?
Minimum wage itself doesn't address affordability
The minimum wage in BC increased June 1 from $15.20 to $15.65 per hour. The increase is based on the average annual inflation rate of 2.1% in 2021.

"According to the province, the increase helps workers but if governments really want to tackle affordability concerns they need to address the fundamental reasons affecting the cost of living," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. " We need more housing, which requires a concerted effort to allow builders to build — less red tape and more help attracting workers and getting materials to our region."

The Chamber continues to advocate for real solutions that add to Greater Victoria's workforce housing and reduce costs of other major expenses, such as child care and transportation.

"Raising minimum wage can hurt the economy by making it harder for some of our major employers to get high school and college students into the workforce," Williams said. "We'll keep working with our partner organizations to make sure employers have a say on any future increases to minimum wage — especially with atypical factors affecting inflation right now. Government needs to understand that increasing the cost of doing business affects affordability for everyone."
Bank of Canada signals more rate hikes likely
The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate by half a point Wednesday morning, after higher than expected inflation in April. The move was expected as global economies continue to face challenges. In simplest terms, the economy continues to struggle with supply challenges and is not able to meet demand for goods and services. The result has been rampant inflation, making the cost of living less affordable.

"With the economy in excess demand, and inflation persisting well above target and expected to move higher in the near term, the Governing Council continues to judge that interest rates will need to rise further," the Bank of Canada said in a June 1 media release. "The pace of further increases in the policy rate will be guided by the Bank’s ongoing assessment of the economy and inflation, and the Governing Council is prepared to act more forcefully if needed to meet its commitment to achieve the 2% inflation target."

The increase by the bank will mean higher costs for borrowing and will affect the housing market and some business's ability to make investments in their operations.
Leveraging wage subsidies to hire co-op students
Interested in hiring a Camosun or UVic co-op student, but not sure where to start? Come learn about timing, mentorship and funding options to hire a student for Fall 2022.

Engaging a student is a cost-effective way to tackle ebbs and flows in the workplace— no matter the economic temperature, and particularly now as we move into recovery from the pandemic.

Students are available from a wide variety of programs from technology and sciences to business and communications and everything in between! 
Can't make the webinar?
Register to receive the post-event recording to watch.
Sponsored by:
Prodigy Group June Mingle @ United Way
The Prodigy Group is excited to welcome you to the June Mingle at United Way Southern Vancouver Island!
Join us for a drink and appies in this comfortable space that will foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals.
Sponsored by:
Thursday, June 16 | 5-7 PM
United Way Southern Vancouver Island
June Business Mixer with Victoria HarbourCats
Come for the Mixer, Stay for the Game!

Enjoy a complimentary HarbourCats ticket with your registration and cheer on our home team as they battle the Wenatchee Applesox.
This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships.

Join us for hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and an opportunity to connect with the Greater Victoria business community. Remember to bring your business cards.
Co-Sponsored by:
Thursday, June 23 | 5-7 PM
Wilson's Group Stadium - Royal Athletic Park
Class actions settled on credit card surcharges
A class action settlement against certain credit card surcharges means businesses that accepted credit card payments between March 23, 2001 and Sept. 2, 2021 could be entitled to rebates of up to $5,000.

The class action opposed certain rules regarding fees paid by merchants and collected by banks for Visa and MasterCard transactions. The deadline for eligible businesses to submit a claim in order to participate in the settlement is Sept. 30.
New workforce housing in James Bay breaks ground
A new housing project in James Bay is a good example of how all levels of government can work to address affordability concerns in our region. The Michigan Square project will create almost 100 homes for people with moderate and low incomes. The majority of units will provide housing that helps much needed workers afford to live in our community.

The new buildings at 330-336 Michigan St. will provide 97 new units and replace three aging buildings rendered uninhabitable by water damage. The project includes 24 units at the provincial shelter rate as well as 22 units with rent geared to income and 51 units aimed at moderate income earners and rented at market rates.

The Capital Region Housing Corporation will own and operate the new buildings, with the Capital Regional District contributing $1.1 million and the City of Victoria providing $620,000. BC Housing is providing $11.7 million in low-cost financing through the HousingHub and $4.6 million through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. A further $4.5 million is being funded through a partnership between CRHC, the province and the federal government.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Capital Regional District: Member since 1993
BC Housing: Member since 2021
Feds help fund transformation of city's arts district
The plan to transform a City of Victoria neighbourhood into an Arts and Innovation District received a $750,000 boost from the federal government.

The funds will help pay for protected bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, traffic signals, public seating, art and landscaping along Government Street from Pandora Avenue to Gorge Road.

“We so appreciate the federal government’s investment, through PacifiCan, in the City’s Arts and Innovation District," Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in the news release. "This project has transformed Government Street, delivered significant road safety, asset renewal and placemaking improvements all of which strengthen our economy and increase our resiliency as a capital city.”
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Exploring the Seas with Ocean Networks Canada (Part 1)
70% of Planet Earth’s surface is covered with water. One of the world's leading Marine Observatories is Ocean Networks Canada, an affiliate organization of the University of Victoria.

In this Chamber Chat, we hear fascinating information about our oceans from Ocean Networks Canada CEO Dr. Kate Moran.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019
How are you #ChamberLocalVicBC?
Our #ChamberLocalVicBC campaign aims to help individuals understand what local means on a social, economic, and community level — and we want to hear from you.

Being a local business can mean many things, and we would like to invite our members to showcase their thoughts on what it means to be a local business.

Let us know how your organization defines local and we'll feature you in our campaign. Contact Thomas at [email protected] to share your story.

Check out our previous #ChamberLocalVicBC participants to read stories about great local Chamber members.

From buying gift cards to leaving reviews of your favourite local businesses online, we can continue to support our friends, family, and our #ChamberLocalVicBC community.
Chamber celebrates National AccessAbility Week
From May 29 to June 4, join us in celebrating National AccessAbility Week — a week dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility in Canada. Join the conversation and ask yourself: how can I champion disability inclusion in my everyday life?

During National AccessAbility Week, recognize an individual or an organization that improves accessibility in your community. Visit The Chamber’s Member Directory for a list of our members that strive to promote inclusivity in Greater Victoria.

Through The Chamber’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement (IDEA) Committee, our engaged committee members offer advice and guidance to The Chamber to create a more inclusive and welcoming business community that truly represents the diversity of the Greater Victoria.

Watch our Chamber Chat ​featuring Joanne Neubauer of the Action Committee for Persons with Disabilities, and IDEA Committee member Wendy Cox of the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn more about how the pandemic has highlighted the need for accessibility and inclusion.
Victoria Disability Resource Centre: Member since 2022
Chamber Champions
Work with a Chamber Champion
When you’re searching for your next employer, look no further than a Chamber Champion!

Featured on The Chamber’s job board, Chamber Champions are offering great career opportunities for talented individuals across Greater Victoria.

From a Senior News Producer at CHEK to a Payroll Team Lead at BC Ferries, Chamber Champions are ready to offer you your next great career move.

Visit The Chamber’s job board and find new opportunities today.

If you have any questions about The Chamber’s job board, please contact [email protected]
Member News
New electric fleet of buses coming to the region

BC Transit is adding 10 electric buses to Greater Victoria routes next summer. With the company’s goal of creating a fully electric fleet by 2040, the new buses produce nearly zero emissions and are quieter, more efficient and have lower operating costs.
BC Transit: Member since 1999
GVHA celebrates 20 years of marine stewardship

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. For two decades, the GVHA has worked to manage deep water, marina and upland holdings throughout Victoria's harbour. To celebrate the milestone, the organization has unveiled a new logo which includes the Lekwungen word hiləkʷnəuəl, meaning “being happy with each other.”
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Starlight Stadium hosting inaugural Canada Day event

The City of Langford has announced their first Canada Day celebration at Starlight Stadium. From 10 am to 10 pm on July 1, residents are invited to enjoy a pancake breakfast, live music, a movie under the stars, and more exciting activities. The event also coincides with Langford’s 30th anniversary.

City of Langford: Member since 2019
Victoria Press Building rebuild approved by city

The former Times Colonist building at 2621 Douglas St. will soon be renovated to feature a brewery, distillery, pub and commissary kitchen. The Victoria Press Building project, managed by Merchant House Capital Inc, will re-imagine the 130,000 square foot building into a cultural hub at an estimated cost of $26.6 million.
Times Colonist: Member since 1961
Merchant House Capital Inc: Member since 2021
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
World Partnership Walk helps alleviate poverty

The Victoria World Partnership Walk is back for 2022, contributing to poverty reduction and the development of social initiatives in Africa and Asia. Hosted by the University of Victoria and Heart Pharmacy Group, everyone is invited to stop by UVic on June 19 to enjoy multicultural activities, a 5K walk, and opportunities to support Ukrainian Refugee Aid.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976 (Champ since 2020)
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Heart Pharmacy Group: Member since 2001
Tea and tie-dye in Oak Bay

The District of Oak Bay’s Tea Party is returning this year for its 60th anniversary. Back for the first time since 2019, the event runs June 3 -5 at Willows Beach. Featuring a parade, fireworks and tie-dye attire, the event is celebrating its anniversary by promoting a 1960’s theme.
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Saanich hosting Voices in Nature

Pacific Opera Victoria and the District of Saanich are hosting interactive experiences across parks in the municipality. Throughout June, Voices in Nature features musical performances, poetry readings and Indigenous cultural activities in a variety of public spaces.
Pacific Opera Victoria: Member since 2007
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
JazzFest returning to Victoria venues

The Victoria Jazz Society will be bringing live jazz music back to Greater Victoria during the TD Victoria International JazzFest. Returning from June 24 – July 3, the event will feature internationally renowned performances at the Royal and McPherson Theatres, Hermann’s Jazz Club, Hotel Grand Pacific, and other exciting venues.
Hotel Grand Pacific: Member since 1966
Royal and McPherson Theatres Society: Member since 1976
Victoria Jazz Society: Member since 2009
Hermann’s Jazz Club: Member since 2020
Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!