January 12, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Grants available for businesses ordered closed
The province announced today that applications are now being accepted for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant. The program is for businesses that were ordered to close on Dec. 22 by the Provincial Health Officer. Gyms, fitness studios and event venues along with bars and lounges that don't serve meals are not allowed to operate under current restrictions. The available grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 and can be used for rent, wages, insurance, maintenance and utilities.
Roll up your sleeve to be a ChamberChangemaker
Chamber members continue to show leadership as we build resilience in our economy and community.

One of the best things each of us can do is make sure we register for our booster shots.

Greater Victoria has one of the highest rates of fully vaccinated people, thanks in a small part to efforts such as our #ChamberChangemaker campaign.

Show your leadership by rolling up your sleeve and sharing your commitment to getting a booster shot. Make sure to tag The Chamber and we will help you spread the word!

#ChamberChangemaker Booster edition!
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams received his booster shot over the holidays.
Capital City Centre proposal will add needed homes
It's clear that housing supply will be key to address affordability issues that are making it difficult for people to start families and grow their careers. Employers in Greater Victoria and across Canada have been calling for solutions to address a skills shortage keeping many organizations from realizing their potential.

On that note, The Chamber applauds recent news that Chard Development is working with BC Housing on a project that will add more than 400 units of affordable housing to the City of Victoria.

The proposal to redevelop the site of the former White Spot and Capital City Centre Hotel on Douglas Street is a great example of innovation led by business. If approved, the project will help people who work in the city afford to live there. It will also include day care — vital for helping parents stay in the workforce — and 90 units of supportive housing to help people overcome challenges that put them at risk of homelessness. Other amenities include a 9,000 square foot plaza, retail and office space and a grocery store.
BC Housing: Member since 2021
Chard Development Ltd: Member since 2008
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Your chance to win a 2022 Chamber Business Award ends January 24!
Don't you deserve some good news?

Nominating a business you love, own, or work for is fast and easy. From innovation to sustainability to being an outstanding workplace — nominate a deserving local business for the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards!

Finalists receive almost $10,000 worth of promotional value including a professional video that tells your story to the world. Last year's awards broadcast was viewed by nearly 80,000 people!

Find details on how to nominate a deserving local business here.
Follow The Chamber on social media as we highlight last year's winners and categories worth recognizing!
January Virtual
Business Mixer
Join Chamber Member businesses focused on health and wellness to share best practices and tips for staying healthy through current restrictions. We want to take this time to chat about how we can take care of ourselves first, to be stronger leaders and colleagues. 

Health and wellness members will host breakout rooms to facilitate conversations around nutrition, exercise, and mental health. Hear great ideas for staying healthy, share your tips, tricks, recipes, and more.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Jan. 20| 5 - 6 PM | Zoom
Maximize your membership
Join us at our upcoming Virtual Membership 101 info session and realize the potential of your membership!

We will be showcasing information on our member benefits and perks; including:
  • Resources to grow your business, 
  • Business exposure and developing connections,
  • Honing our online directory listing, 
  • Utilizing discounts and savings,
and much more!

This session is open to both employees and business owners. Register now as there are a limited number of spots available. 
Mon., Jan. 24 |12-1 PM | Zoom
Workplace COVID-19 safety plans a requirement
Last Friday, BC's Provincial Health Officer ordered all employers to have COVID-19 safety plans. Unless you're a new business, you can re-enact the plan you had before the requirement was scaled back in July 2021 to a communicable disease prevention plan.

If you need to create a new plan, WorkSafeBC offers a six-step process to help you develop one.
Charts show economic trends heading into 2022
Who doesn't love a good chart, especially when they remind us that there's a lot to be optimistic about despite our current uncertainty. Stephen Tapp, chief economist with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, put together his insights on Canada's labour force. Data shows that employment recovery exceeded expectations in 2021, though the Omicron wave will undoubtedly drag down the numbers for the next reporting period. "Even before these restrictions, many small businesses were
struggling with rising input costs, labour difficulties and supply chain disruptions," Tapp says.

Once you're done perusing Tapp's charts, you might want to check out Maclean's Chart Week 2022. The national magazine offers a handful of charts showing how Canada's economy is faring in a number of areas.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Taking flight with Geoff Dickson, CEO of YYJ Airport Authority
The pandemic grounded flights across the world and now planes are gradually returning to service. Victoria International Airport is one of only two airports in Canada to not have any financial debt.

In this Chamber Chat, we speak with Victoria Airport Authority CEO Geoff Dickson about how the airport has functioned throughout the pandemic.

This Chamber Chat was recorded prior to the announcement of increased restrictions caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Google Reviews and you: how to keep it positive
Positive Google reviews for your business are a great way to attract new customers and set yourself apart from the competition.

Whether you’re looking to gain more reviews or if looking to use an online review as a testimonial in your Business Awards nomination package, ensuring your reviews reflect your business properly is an integral part of your digital footprint.

Unfortunately, it is very common for businesses that have a Google My Business page to experience an inappropriate review. Depending on the content of the review, you may be able to get it removed.
Google uses an algorithm to determine if any reviews violate its policies. But that is far from perfect.

Check out the following tips from James Gatsi, Chamber Board Member and CEO of CL Web Developers:

If the review is not removed after three days, you can contact Google directly about the issue via their help form.

The first thing you should do is check Google's Prohibited and Restricted Content Policies and see if the content falls under any listed classification. Often businesses experience "Fake" or "Off-topic" reviews, and those reviews would be considered prohibited. By doing the research first to align the review to one of Google's existing policies, before reporting/flagging the review as inappropriate, you've improved the probability of Google removing the content.

Remember your best defense is a good offense. Don't hesitate to ask your good customers to add positive reviews after they've experienced Outstanding Customer Service courtesy of you and your team.
Celebrating our Chamber Champions
Showcase your industry in 2022

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 your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types are 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, email [email protected]
Member News
Seaspan pioneering fuel conversions on heavy ships

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards is undertaking the first LNG conversion of a heavy ship on the west coast of North America. By converting traditional ships from oil to liquid natural gas, carbon emissions are significantly reduced over the lifespan of the vessel. The project will last for approximately two months and will employ 600 skilled workers. 
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since 2020
New shuttle services for ferries and airport 

Lucky to Go is launching shuttle services to the Victoria International Airport and the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay. Passengers have the option of being picked up in downtown Victoria or the City of Langford, with the shuttle running between 8 am and 7 pm. Customers also have the option of being picked up in a ride-hailing vehicle offered by the company if a selected shuttle does not have capacity to run. 
Lucky to Go: Member since 2020
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
BC Ferry Services Inc: Member since 1983
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Black Press Career Event

Looking to get a leg up in your career? Black Press is hosting a Virtual Career & Post-Secondary Education Event this January. With more than 30 employers and educational institutions featured, participants are encouraged to learn about new and unique opportunities in Greater Victoria. 
Black Press: Member since 1987
Music by the Sea

The Victoria International Marina’s Music by the Sea festival is back for one week only. From now until Jan. 16, you can hear a world-class string quartet and one of Canada’s most loved jazz singer/pianists as well as many more incredible jazz and classical performances. 

Victoria International Marina: Member since 2018
Conestoga huts for those in need
A group of Greater Victoria changemakers has created the Community Alliance for Sheltering Alternatives, an initiative to help build accommodation for the unhoused. Calen McNeil, co-owner of Big Wheel Burger, and Rob Reid, owner of Frontrunners Footwear, have helped raise more than $7,500 to date for prototype housing. The accommodation, known as Conestoga huts, provide individual housing for people in need. 

Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
Frontrunners Footwear: Member since 2002
Resilient Langford tops business magazine poll

The City of Langford has been ranked as the #1 Most Resilient city and Best Place for Work in BC for the second consecutive year. BC Business Magazine recognized Langford for its economic diversity and population growth, as well as how residents rated their sense of belonging.

City of Langford: Member since 2019
CIBC invests $100 million in sustainability funds

CIBC has committed to accelerate climate action through $100 million in funding across North America.
Investments focused on key climate tech and energy transition funds are being made to drive growth in new areas of the economy while ensuring long-term sustainability.
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Member since 1962
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Chamber Champion since 2020
Monk Office purchases Island Blue's stores

Monk Office has acquired two stores operated by Island Blue Print Co. Ltd.

Island Blue has served Greater Victoria since 1912, and its Victoria and Sidney locations will remain open for now.

Monk Office has a 70-year history in Greater Victoria and plans to keep the Island Blue brand as a "store within the stores." 
Monk Office: Member since 1976
Island Blue Print Co. Ltd: Member since 1961
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!