January 8, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
SPCA endorses Victoria's horse and carriage industry
Victoria’s horse carriage industry has received the blessing of the BC SPCA. After careful consideration, the animal welfare agency has essentially endorsed existing practices.

“We share the public’s interest in protecting and enhancing the horses’ quality of life, and in never compromising on animal or human safety. It is not an exaggeration to say this is what motivates us every day,” wrote Tom Walker, general manager of Victoria Carriage Tours, in a letter thanking Chamber CEO Catherine Holt.
Last May, Victoria City Council, led by Coun. Ben Isitt, tried to undermine local, long-standing businesses using arguments that played to activist emotions. Those arguments have been soundly countered by facts.

At the time, The Chamber stood up for all legitimate businesses that were potential targets of populist attacks.

A public rally at city hall drew thousands of people in support of business, good governance and the horse carriage industry. The outpour convinced council to back away from the initial motion to phase out horse-drawn carriages in favour of electric powered ones.

However, Coun. Isitt continued to create confusion by citing out-of-context comments made by the SPCA. This led council to ask the BC SPCA to clarify its opinion on three possible amendments to regulations around horse-drawn carriage operations in Victoria.

The response from the SPCA, confirming support for Victoria's operators, was sent to Victoria council in November.
BC SPCA: Member since 2017
Business Matters out now
Check out The Chamber's latest edition of Business Matters magazine. Our last issue is a handy, hard-copy reference for members to consult detailing our advocacy priorities in 2020, bios of our new board, schedule of events and listing of new members. We also have a feature story about what Greater Victoria businesses are doing to find and keep workers, as well as two new stories about members who Met@TheChamber.
Action needed to keep our vibrant downtown safe
For as long as there have been people living on the streets of our community, business people have been at the forefront of efforts trying to help. Every year, Greater Victoria businesses donate time and money to help fund programs and agencies that try to care for our region’s homeless.

Unfortunately, our downtown is experiencing a growing problem caused by a small group of people breaking down social cohesion. We need to address this escalating issue immediately before it further damages Greater Victoria’s reputation as a livable, vibrant hub — or causes potential visitors to second guess our region as a destination.

Gayle Robinson, owner of longtime Victoria business Robinson’s Outdoor Store, has experienced an increase in criminal activity in the Old Town District. In a letter to the editor published in the Times Colonist, Robinson urges the city to reinvigorate her neighbourhood by approving Chard Development 's proposal for a new hotel on the block. She also calls for adequate police resources to ensure safety for shopkeepers, citizens and the street-involved population that is vulnerable to predation.

Darlene Hollstein, general manager of The Bay Centre, told The Chamber she has been trying to work with the city to ensure shoppers, workers and pedestrians feel safe on the sidewalks around the iconic downtown mall. One solution is to ensure resources are available for police as well as city bylaw enforcement officers so they can respond quickly to concerns.

These are only two of the many businesses expressing their concern about keeping downtown safe and fun to visit. Safe communities require good businesses as well as good policing.

The Chamber will continue to advocate for safe communities in 2020.

We need more businesses to add their voices to ensure a majority of Victoria city council understands the urgency of these issues. You can email Victoria council directly at , or send your comments to The Chamber at .
Robinson's Outdoor Store: Member since 2005
Chard Development: Member since 2008
The Bay Centre: Member since 1990
What business impressed you in 2019?
Start the year off right. Don't delay, nominate your favourite Greater Victoria business today. Yes, you can nominate your own!

From start-ups to local legends, the awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 12 categories worth celebrating. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent community leaders who serve as judges.

See categories and judging criteria for details at
Thank you to our 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards Sponsors:
Province funds 260 new child-care spaces in region
The New Year opened with some good news for working parents of young kids. The province announced funding for an additional 260 child-care spaces in Greater Victoria. More than 770 spaces have been created since 2018, providing an affordable option for parents who want to participate in the workforce.

The Chamber continues to hear from our members that their No.1 concern is Finding and Keeping Workers. To help alleviate this economic issue, The Chamber has called for better funding of child care — the largest expense after housing for working families.
Federal tax measures support local journalism
New technologies have created platforms that have effectively overwhelmed us with content designed to capture our attention. However, the glut of information has made it harder to discern what is based on fact and sound research. The Chamber is a strong supporter of local journalism and we are encouraged by efforts the federal government has made to introduce tax measures to help organizations that employ professional journalists to do the research and heavy lifting needed to produce original news.

You can find out more about the three income tax changes introduced in 2019, and how the federal government designates “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations” here.

The Canadian Revenue Agency is hosting a stakeholder engagement session about the new tax measures at 8 a.m. on Jan. 14. Register here.
Times Colonist: Member since 1961
CHEK News: Member since 1971
Black Press: Member since 1987
Saanich News: Member since 1987
The Q & the Zone: Member since 1987
CFAX 1070 & 107.3 Virgin Radio: Member since 1995
Page One Publishing/Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Business Examiner: Member since 2009
Narwhal News Society: Member since 2018
Postmedia - Victoria: Member since 2019
Introducing Chamber Board of Directors for 2020
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its 2020 Board of Directors.

Comprised of established and emerging business and community leaders, The Chamber’s board works with The Chamber’s committees and staff to build good business and great community in Greater Victoria.

New to the Board in 2020 are:
  • Judith Ethier, Chief Administrative Officer, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
  • Tom Plumb, President and CEO, Kinetic Construction
  • Rose Arsenault, Branch Manager, Agilus Work Solutions
They will join current Board members:
  • Chair: John Wilson, CEO, Wilson’s Group of Companies and Incoming Chair
  • Vice-Chair: Kris Wirk, Partner, Dusanj and Wirk
  • Past Chair: Dan Dagg, President and CEO of Hothouse Marketing
  • Secretary: Christina Clarke, CEO, Songhees Development Corp.
  • Treasurer: Moira Hauk, Regional Manager South Island, Coastal Community Credit Union
  • Ian Batey, Owner and Principal, IPB Consulting
  • Carmen Charette, Vice President External Relations, University of Victoria
  • Pedro Marquez, Vice President of Global Advancement and Business Development, Royal Roads University
  • Capt. (N) Sam Sader, Base Commander, CFB Esquimalt
  • Paul van Koll, Senior Manager, KPMG
  • Brianna Green, Marketing Specialist, Wilson’s Group; Chair, Prodigy Group (ex-officio)
  • Catherine Holt, CEO, The Chamber (ex-officio)
Saanich to test adding food trucks to parks
The District of Saanich is working on allowing food truck to operate within appropriate Saanich parks.

The goal is “contribute positively to park users’ experiences,” said Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor when he introduced the motion at Saanich’s Dec. 9 council meeting.

Saanich agreed to move forward with a pilot project and hopes to have it up and running by the summer. The initial pilot will be limited to Cadboro-Gyro Park as well as potentially a few others that have yet to be determined.

District of Saanich: Member since 2018
Find your next employee
Does your 2020 resolutions include hiring more staff? The Chamber has a plan to help.

Our recently launched job board is for Chamber members only and proceeds from the job board will be used to encourage people that Greater Victoria isn't just a place for the Royals to visit, it is a great place to live, work and play. Each member receives one free job post annually. Learn more about how to post here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

“Design rewards programs based on what your people tell you. Empower your workforce to take charge of their work while giving them freedom and trust that tasks will be completed. We implemented Unlimited Paid Time Off built upon this mindset and it has been a game changer!”

Tom Benson, CEO of Wildplay Element Parks
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits , for your team including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans. Contact us for details.
Join The Chamber for Lunch
Wed., Jan 22 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.
Members can attend both Business Leaders Luncheons at a  special combo price.
Tues, Jan 28 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Union Club of BC
805 Gordon Street  
Sponsored by:
Thu. Jan. 23 | 4:30-6:30 pm
Future Home of Max Furniture
3460 Quadra Street
Sponsored by:
Are you ready for 2020? Make sure your listing is!
Make sure your business info is up-to-date for the new decade in The Chamber's enhanced online business directory , a powerful tool that helps people find your business while strengthening your online presence. 

  • Is your business name correct? 
  • Is your main contact correct?   
  • Is your address and postal code correct?
  • Is your phone number current?
  • Are there any changes to your website address or social media accounts?
  • Are you still listed in the right category? 

Not sure how to login and update your listing? Email us and we'll be happy to help. Our online directory listing is a phenomenal tool for promoting your business online and we want to make it work for you.

Want to give your business even more exposure? Click here to book your ad in BizNews, Chamber Events or visit our website for more info.
Members Around Town
Store of the Year

Frontrunners Footwear has been recognized as the 2019 Store of the Year by the Canadian Independent Running Retailers of Canada! Owners Rob Reid and Nick Walker received the award due to their involvement in community events, and for supporting hundreds of local charitable organizations.  
Frontrunners Footwear: member since 2002
Alzheimer Awareness Month

This month is Alzheimer Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of BC is hosting numerous open houses across BC to facilitate conversations about Alzheimer's and dementia. Free webinars are also hosted which provide tips on how to reduce the stigma of Alzheimer's disease. 
Alzheimer Society of BC:
member since 2019
BCI: Canada’s top 100 employer

British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) has been selected as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. With an “ A” rating in Physical Workplace and Compensation, as well as an “ A+” rating in Vacation & Personal Time-Off, BCI also offers state-of-the-art fitness facilities.
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI): member Since: 2019
Builders Code Champion Awards

Congratulations to Kinetic Construction and Durwest Construction Management for being named the Workplace Culture Champion and Initiate of the Year respectively at the inaugural Builders Code Champion Awards! Both companies received these awards due to their commitment to hiring and retaining tradeswomen.

Kinetic Construction: member since 2018
Durwest Construction Management: member since 1988
Hopping the pond

Kingsbridge Management has announced they will be entering the UK market in 2020. With a focus on hotels with 100 rooms or less, Kingsbridge is aiming to acquire six hotels across the UK within the next four years.
Kingsbridge Management: member since 2018
New ownership: Chemistry Consulting

On Jan. 6, Chemistry Consulting transferred ownership from Christine Willow and Frank Bourree to Kim Osborne and Sheenagh Beadell. Their new office will be located at 219-645 Fort St., while Willow and Bourree will be focusing more on travelling and spending time with family.
Chemistry Consulting: member since 2006
Young entrepreneur honoured

The Family Business Association of Vancouver Island has named Erin Boggs, owner of Robinson's Outdoor Store, as the recipient of this year's Young Entrepreneur Award.
Robinson's Outdoor Store: member since 2005
Welcome to our newest members!
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