On Wed, Apr 26 at the next Business Leaders' Luncheon hear from BC Ferries' new CEO, Mark Collins, on his vision for one of the largest ferry operators in the world.
The "Bus" in Business

Efficient, affordable, and reliable public and private transit supports our labour force, helps reduce congestion on our roads and serves key sectors such as tourism.

province is investing $1.63-million this year for 8 new buses, 20,000 extra service hours, additional trips on many routes and expanded service to growing areas of the Greater Victoria region, primarily the Westshore.

"The Chamber and many others have
been actively advocat ing for additional provincial funding sources for public transit in Greater Victoria and that funding was expected in the recent budget ," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. " We are glad to see the Province meet its commitment to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission."
The additional funding is an interim solution to support the expansion of transit services for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.  

Fast forward to 9:33  
Chamber News
Succession Planning for your Business
Social Media Series
2017 Greater Victoria Business Awards
YYJ Eats
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles

BC's Top Employers
Home to one of the most stunning natural environments in the world, British Columbia just makes you want to get outside. So it's understandable that BC's Top Employers - as determined by Canada's Top Employers - have made fitness and a healthier lifestyle integral to their workplaces. In many cases, employees lead the way with forward-thinking initiatives that are fully supported by their organizations. From mountaineering to extreme office sports, this year's winners tackle employee wellness in ways as diverse as the province's beauty.

Chamber member winners: 
BC Children's Hospital Foundation
BC Ferries
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Cactus Club Cafe
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
Connect Hearing
DP World (Canada) Inc.
Great Little Box Company
Industry Training Authority
Raymond James Ltd.
Cruise Support to Local Businesses

British Columbia has many claims to fame - but did you know we are also a major player in the global cruise industry? The ports in Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Victoria, and Vancouver account for over half of all of Canada's cruise passenger traffic, generating over 440,000 hotel night stays and some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Vancouver is at present BC's only home port - generating an estimated $2 million in economic activity with each ship's arrival. Victoria's claim to fame in global cruise stands on its own - it's Canada's busiest cruise ship port of call, generating over $100 million a year. And cruise business in Victoria is going up another 10% this year over last.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) - owner and operator of Ogden Point - has plans for more.  It is taking major steps towards establishing Victoria as a home port by 2020.

"Home porting will bring dedicated cruise business to Greater Victoria with travelers staying longer in the region before and after sailing," said GVHA CEO Ian Robertson in a presentation to The Chamber Board of Directors this week. "Home porting will provide local business opportunities for provisioning, and is estimated to create an additional 350 to 400 jobs in the region."

GVHA: member since 2003 

Checking out of the Food Business
After thirty-five years of building Quality Foods from  a single store in Qualicum Beach to thirteen award-winning Vancouver Island supermarkets, co-founders Ken Schley and John Briuolo are checking out of the food business. Their interests will be transferred to their strategic partner of eight years, Jim Pattison, who has stated clearly that "business will continue as it has." 

"It's been quite a ride," enthuses Ken, who has been the group's president since the very beginning. "And now it's time to pass the baton. We have had the time of our lives, and lived the dream of building something that is larger than the sum of its parts."

An internally developed management team led by Quality Foods co-founder Noel Hayward will take over the day-to-day operations. 
Quality Foods: member since 2016
Accelerating Tech
The BC government and its Crown agency, the BC Innovation Council, recently hosted the second #BCTECH Summit Mar 13 to 15. The event involved more than 5,000 entrepreneurs, companies, academics and students - and helped facilitate networking, business to government meetings, and included a job fair for future tech leaders.

As outlined in this article by #BCTECH attendee, Photonic Public Relations Inc, Premier Christy Clark announced that the provincial government will deliver a series of initiatives to boost the tech sector including a $10 million program to fund five research chairs at universities and colleges.

In addition, she announced an expansion of tax credits that will help support the abundance of virtual reality and augmented reality companies gathering momentum.

Photonic Public Relations Inc: member since 2014
Save 40% on Shipping
In today's ever-changing marketplace, The Chamber understands your need to save time and money. That's why we have leveraged the buying power of our members to deliver even better savings on the shipping products and services that can help move your business forward.
Let the experts at UPS help manage your shipping and supply chain needs so that you can focus on the things that will support growth -things like innovation, sales, and service. Remember, this offer is exclusive to Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members. By enrolling in our UPSĀ® Savings Program you can start saving 40% today - no matter how much you ship, when you ship or where it's going!

Click here to sign up.
Far East Not so Far Out
In September 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau and China Premier Li announced the launch of exploratory discussions to assess the potential of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The first set of face-to-face discussions to explore the potential for a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement took place February 20-24, 2017, in Beijing, China.

China is already our second-largest trading partner and accounts for $6.2 billion worth of commodity exports. This figure is growing fast with exports increasing almost 20% annually from 2005-2014.

The Chamber is pleased to sponsor a session with the federal and provincial government to talk with local businesses currently engaged in doing business with China or hoping to grow there. Public consultations like this will help define the upcoming agreement.

Thur, April 6 | 2-3 pm
The Chamber, 852 Fort St.

Starfish Medical Expands to Toronto
StarFish Medical, Canada's leading full service  medical device development firm, announced today that it has acquired Kangaroo Group, a Toronto-based medical device industrial design and productization organization. The combined national entity, under the Starfish Medical name, will better serve medtech companies throughout North America with easier East coast access, increased resources and experienced medical device talent spanning the design, engineering, regulatory, and manufacturing process.

"With Kangaroo becoming our Toronto office in the east and StarFish in the west, we become a national entity that handily serves all of North America. Existing StarFish clients in the East will find it easy to visit us in Toronto," explains Scott Phillips, StarFish Medical CEO and Founder. "Kangaroo has a core strength in industrial design and StarFish has core strengths in physics, software, electronic design, optics, ultrasound and other core technologies.  I'm excited to see what we can do together."

The company will operate design and manufacturing facilities in Victoria and Toronto, with a regional sales office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Starfish Medical: member since 2009 
Your Chamber in the News!
Around Town: Standing Out in the Mix  (MarketPlace Mixer)
Times Colonist
22-Mar CBC
27-Mar CFAX 1070
27-Mar  CBC 

Experience an exciting variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by some of Victoria's most popular restaurants, breweries and wineries.

Tue, June 13 | 5-7 pm
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site
835 Humboldt Street

Welcome to Our Newest Members! 

Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.


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