Tomorrow, Sept. 19 join us for the third annual 5 Chamber Business Mixer with the Saanich Peninsula, WestShore, Sooke Region and Esquimalt Chambers! This is an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to establish or renew valuable business relationships region-wide. Register today!
2020-21 Chamber Board Elections - Please Vote!

Each fall, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for its Board of Directors.

Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates. This year we are asking you to elect four board members.

For a list of nominees click here.

Election ballots were emailed to the main contact of your organization on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 10 am.

The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your business's number of employees. Voting will close at noon, Thursday, Oct. 3.

If you are The Chamber's main contact for your business and did not receive your ballot on Sept. 12, please contact us at 250 383-7191.


Chamber News
Events
Women Business Owners' Roundtable
5 Chamber Business Mixer
Prodigy Group October Mingle
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events
Saanich looks to future of major hub 
Saanich is asking for public feedback on a plan that will shape the future of one of the busiest corridors on Vancouver Island.
 
The Uptown-Douglas Corridor stretches from the north side of Saanich's municipal hall to Tolmie Avenue at the City of Victoria border in the south. More than 10,000 people work in this area, while 4,400 call the neighborhood home. The population has been growing by 4.35% percent per year.
 
Saanich is planning on 4,000 additional residents over the next 20 years and hopes to redesign the neighbourhood to make it more walkable while expanding its value as an industrial hub and focal point for transit.
 
A series of open houses are planned at the Uptown Shopping Centre, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 5 to 9 pm. For more information and a complete list of open houses, go to Saanich.ca.

District of Saanich : member since 2019
SMALL BUSINESS MONTH:
 
How do businesses successfully attract and retain workers?
 
The number one issue we hear across all sectors is the challenge of finding staff and keeping them. Employers are looking for solutions today to this ever-growing problem of almost zero unemployment.
 
Join our panel of experts as we look at successful strategies, trends for the future and the changing culture of employment in this region.
Sponsored by:  
Thu, Oct 10 | 11:30 am-1 pm  
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.    
                
 
Chamber community shares sorrow 
Words can't begin to express the grief we are feeling over the deaths of two students after an incident that took place last Friday on a gravel logging road during a trip to Bamfield.
 
The loss of life underscores the need for better roads to education facilities and First Nations in our region in order to avoid unnecessary tragedies such as this in the future. We were inspired by the efforts of the local residents from the Huu-ay-aht Nation, first responders, Island military and those individuals on the bus who demonstrated bravery and community working together to rescue passengers. Our thoughts are with those affected by this accident.
Climate Change: Innovation led by business
Keeping the Inner Harbour clean
On Sept. 13, the Victoria Police Department officers, members of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), staff from local businesses and more than 50 volunteers came together to clean debris, glass and garbage along the Inner Harbour for the 2019 edition of Clean-up the Shores. Volunteers picked up more than 140 kg of waste from the Inner Harbour shoreline. This total is down from last year, which is a good thing!

Victoria Police Department: member since 2008

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: member since 2003
Global Climate Strike Week
From September 20-27, it is Global Climate Strike Week, a student-led movement with Dogwood BC helping organize the Victoria event. There are currently over 3,300 events taking place worldwide, as millions of people join together, and even take to the streets, to demand climate action. The Chamber encourages you to share your business' strategies for environmental sustainability on social media to inspire others and demonstrate the volume of climate change initiatives led by business. #climatestrike  #FridaysforFuture and tag @ChamberVictoria.  
 
 Dogwood BC: member since 2003 
CleanBC Plastics Survey
Help the provincial government implement strategies to reduce single-use plastics by taking the CleanBC Plastic Action Plan SurveyCleanBC is the provincial government's plan to reduce carbon emissions and use the changes to create BC-based expertise, economic opportunities and jobs. The bulk of reductions will come from innovative approaches that clean up heavy industry.

The Chamber's new team member!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome back Thomas Zeran as our new Membership and Marketing Coordinator. He was previously the Events Assistant during the summer of 2018 and has now been brought on as a full-time staff member.
 
Thomas has recently graduated from the University of Victoria's Peter B. Gustavson School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce degree specialized in International Business. Thomas has a passion for traveling to unique destinations, and he has recently returned from an adventure in North Korea. Yes, that's right North Korea.
 
"I believe that exploring different places and interacting with new cultures is one of the best ways to expand your global outlook, and this trip was really an eye-opening experience for me," says Thomas. "Please feel free to ask me about it at the 5 Chamber Business Mixer tomorrow night!" 
 
Thomas is excited to be back at the Chamber, and he looks forward to working closely with Chamber members. Connect with Thomas at the next Chamber event, on LinkedIn, by email or phone at 250-360-3478 to discuss membership benefits.  
Shippers facing cost uncertainty as US deadline looms
There are concerns that part of the fallout of the ongoing trade war between the US and China could make it more expensive to ship goods to the United States.

The US government announced last October that it would be pulling out of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the Swiss-based agency that has coordinated the world's mail services since 1874. The US says the system is unfair as it classifies China as a developing nation, which qualifies it for discounted rates. If the US follows through on its plan to withdraw from the UPU, foreign postal services including Canada Post could be faced with arbitrary increases to the cost of shipping over the border.
 
FedEx announces rate hike
It's going to be more expensive to ship via FedEx starting Jan. 6, 2020. The US company is hiking rates by an average of 4.9% for domestic, export and import services. Shipments between the US and Canada or within the US will increase in cost by an average of 5.9%.
 
Member benefits
With rising costs, don't forget Chamber members get 40% off shipping services with UPS. You can also count on great value and excellent service from Chamber members Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics and National Courier Service.
 
This black-tie evening includes cocktails, chef stations, a silent and live auction and entertainment, including dancing and an interactive photo booth.

Sat, Nov 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.


  
Here's a sneak peek at a few auction items:
  • Explore the unique scenery of Whitehorse, Yukon with round-trip flights for you and a guest from Air North, Yukon's Airline. Enjoy a three-night stay, see the northern lights and explore the MacBride Museum of Yukon History.
  • Enjoy a vintage-clothing shopping spree with a gift certificate to WIN Resale Shops.
  • Relax and unwind with 6 drop-in yoga classes at MokSana Yoga. With a variety of levels and style, you'll be able to explore mind, body, spirit and breath.
  • Indulge yourself in some delectable pints of Cold Comfort Ice Cream. Share them around, or keep them to yourself (we promise not to tell!)
Interested in having your item showcased at our auction? Contact Sarah at specialevents@victoriachamber.ca or fill out our 2019 Auction Donation Form.
 
 
Sponsored by
CEO Column: Making sure government works for business
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt  
This article originally appeared in the September Business Examiner. The online edition is now exclusively available to Chamber members 
 
We know what federal parties want from us - our votes - but what do people in Greater Victoria need from our elected representatives? To make sure our regional candidates know how they can best help our region, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the City of Victoria, Destination Greater Victoria and the Downtown Victoria Business Association to host a Listening Session on Sept. 11.

The event was well attended by the public as well as candidates from every riding. Unlike typical all-candidates meetings, a listening session flips the script. Rather than an opportunity for candidates to repeat partisan promises, we told them, in very practical terms, what we want them to do if elected.
 
Read Chamber CEO Catherine Holt's column here.  
BC compensation demands remain as US opioid-maker files for bankruptcy
The provincial government's ongoing lawsuit against the maker of addictive opioid Oxycontin will continue if BC is not included in an attempt by Purdue Pharma to reach a settlement with thousands of jurisdictions in the US.
 
"To date there has been no effort on the part of Purdue entities and Sackler, the family that owns the company, to involve Canadian jurisdictions in the discussions that have led to the rumoured settlement in the US," BC Attorney General David Eby said.

The Chamber advocates for safe communities as the foundation all of us rely on in order to function in our daily lives and businesses. The opioid crisis is directly responsible for increased disruption in our region, especially downtown.

New trade agreements and a competitive Canadian dollar make it an ideal time to extend your company's reach through the export of goods and services online. Discover online marketing strategies to best achieve your international e-commerce sales goals.

Next week!
Wed, Sept 25 | 7:30 am-3 pm
Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas St.


Members Around Town
 
Shining a light on orcas
The Royal BC Museum will soon be welcoming a new exhibit highlighting the dire circumstances of the region's southern resident orca population. The exhibit, showcasing three life-sized replica orcas, will open to the public next summer and be at the museum until the end of 2020. The $1.6 million exhibit will focus on both scientific understanding of orcas, as well as indigenous knowledge through interactive elements, digital media, fossils, and indigenous artwork.
Royal BC Museum: member since 1994
10 years of independence
After 10 successful years of local employee-ownership,   CHEK News is celebrating across Vancouver Island this month. CHEK will be broadcasting their flagship newscasts live in Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, West Shore, Esquimalt Navy Base, Saanich, and in Victoria's Inner Harbour. To mark this special occasion, Spinnakers Brewpub and Guesthouses has created a CHEK Pilsner which will be available for a limited time, with proceeds going to Jeneece Place.
 
CHEK News: member since 1971
Spinnakers Brewpub and Guesthouses: member since 1990 
CFAX celebrates 60 years 
One of BC's longest running talk radio stations celebrated 60 years on the air last week. CFAX made its debut on Sept. 12, 1959, as a music station. As part of the festivities, the station invited voices and personalities from the past to join the party. Congratulations CFAX, and here's to another 60 years!
 
CFAX: member since 1995
Nominate Now for the 2020 Business Awards
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
 
The  Non-Profit of the Year award recognizes a non-profit organization or association that:
  • Is incorporated as a non-profit organization;
  • Provides outstanding contributions to the community;
  • Demonstrates how their service provides benefits to others and how they differentiate themselves;
  • Show quantitative and qualitative results.
Know a business person who deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2019 Non-Profit of the Year finalists below. Thanks to Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island for sponsoring this award.
Winner: Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative
Finalist: Broadmead Care
Indoor Activities
 
With the end of summer quickly approaching, days at the beach will soon be replaced by spending time indoors with loved ones. Although Greater Victoria is known for having amazing weather, rainy days will become more frequent. Thankfully, Greater Victoria offers a wide variety of fun indoor activities to enjoy.

Whether you want to relax and watch a movie or be enthralled by a live performance, Victoria has numerous theatres you can enjoy with family and friends.

Take a step back in time to see beautiful art and historical artifacts at our art galleries and museums, or visit a local attraction to see what helps make the city special.

Get together with some friends and get your blood pumping with recreational activities. From axe throwing to escape rooms, there is always something new and exciting to do!

Don't let the cold weather keep you at home this winter, take the opportunity to try something new!
Welcome to our newest members!
 
 



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