Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
August 24, 2020
Safe communities require collaborative approach
It’s time for everyone who believes in the value of safe communities to put our differences aside and work together.

As we learn to live with COVID-19, we need to address the disruptions affecting the ability for all of us to feel safe in the places we work, live and enjoy. We are hearing from many Chamber members about the serious impact on businesses caused by temporary housing solutions. The pandemic forced the closure of shelters and required an emergency response to prevent the virus from spreading through our region’s homeless population and beyond. The City of Victoria stepped up by offering space in parks where tents could be set up with appropriate physical distancing. This moved people away from overcrowded encampments along Pandora Avenue and other areas. However, shuffling this population to different neighbourhoods forces those areas to deal with the accompanying concerns around crime, safety, mental health and addictions.

Real solutions needed for ongoing homeless crisis
How do we get back to feeling safe in our communities?

It’s clear that we have a growing problem with encampments in downtown Victoria and in many parks throughout the region. Crime statistics also show that there has been an increase in property crimes and incidents requiring the police. There are reasons that many people in Victoria report they’re feeling less safe living and working in their community.

The issue is becoming more prominent for many Chamber members, and we are working with decision makers to push for real solutions.

“There are a number of pillars that need to be in place for all of us to feel safe in our day-to-day lives,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. “Housing is the obvious one, and a lot of work has gone into finding long-term homes for people living in camps or on the streets. However, one area that we’re lacking is adequate care for people with mental health issues and addictions. Many people want help, but the nature of their illness makes them defensive of their circumstances and keeps them stuck in a cycle of despair. Unfortunately, this leaves many people vulnerable to predators who sell drugs or deal in stolen goods.”

Williams spoke with VicPD police chief Del Manak this week about how his department is stepping up enforcement, as well as how health professionals can help people whose homelessness is rooted in mental illness. A key component of this will be increasing the capacity of facilities that can provide adequate rehabilitation for addiction.

It’s also important to recognize that Greater Victoria is not alone in dealing with an opioid crisis concurrently with affordable housing concerns and a pandemic. We need to learn from success stories and avoid the policy pitfalls that have plagued other regions.
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Airport arrivals increasing but still well below 2019
After experiencing a dramatic drop in passenger arrivals this spring, the Victoria International Airport is starting to see an increase in the number of domestic passengers.

With no international arrivals since April, the total number of passengers going through the Victoria airport in July was still down 79% from 2019. However, the 34,055 domestic arrivals represents an increase from 13,437 in June.

August is expected to exceed 40,000, airport spokesperson Rod Hunchak told the Times Colonist. That would bring the total number of passengers to about 404,000 for 2020 so far. That compares to a 12-month total of 1.9 million in 2019.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Omicron proposing major development in Colwood
A major new development in the City of Colwood will broaden the municipal tax base, create jobs on the West Shore and potentially ease transportation issues in Greater Victoria.

“One of our solutions to (traffic congestion) is that we need to begin to create more jobs here in the West Shore,” Colwood Mayor Rob Martin told the Times Colonist.

The proposed Allandale District — being developed by Omicron Canada with a Vancouver partneris going through the approval process with Colwood council.

The development would cover 20 acres on four parcels, including a former gravel pit and rock bluffs along Allandale Road and on both sides of Veteran Memorial Parkway.
Omicron Canada: Member since 2015
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
University Heights plan going to public hearing
The plan to redevelop University Heights mall in the District of Saanich is going to public hearing. Saanich council decided to move the project forward, with a few outstanding questions for staff to address.

The proposal by Wesbild will add 598 rental units and 10,096 square metres of commercial space. The plan would revitalize the area and create much needed housing for the region.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Wesbild: Member since 2018
Getting you back to business
What opportunities are there for businesses to innovate during a pandemic?

There is no doubt the last few months have been some of the most challenging for businesses in our community. 

Join our Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, along with Anita Pawluk of RaceRocks 3D, Dr. Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates at Camosun College and Rasool Rayani of Heart Pharmacy, as they break down how businesses can find opportunity through innovation during the pandemic and beyond.
Wed., Sept. 23 | 5-6pm
Join us for the fourth-annual joint mixer with the Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, WestShore, Sooke Region and Esquimalt chambers!
In this seminar, Denise will examine some of the key areas that employers need to think about as we head into a new season of COVID.
Take your business to the next level!
Apply for the Trade Accelerator Program today (partial bursaries available for a limited time, for qualifying companies).

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.

Participating organizations experienced an average international sales growth of 70% within one year of completing the program. They also penetrated new markets and grew their workforce to meet increased global demand.

Deadline to apply for the fall session is Sept. 30, 2020.
Chamber job board
If you're an employer looking for your next great hire, make sure to post your career opportunities on the Chamber job board.

The job board is an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

If you have any difficulty posting, email [email protected].

We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Current Job Listings:
Focus on your nutritional health this summer
This summer, make sure to take care of your physical, mental, social and nutritional health. For the month of August, The Chamber has been suggesting ways to take healthier steps during these unique times.

Being conscious of what you eat is an essential part of keeping your body and mind healthy. Learning ways to prepare healthy meals can create good habits for the rest of the year.

The Government of Canada has created a guide for healthy eating during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide provides recipe suggestions, meal planning resources and information on ways to eat better while saving money. Interested in receiving personalized advice? Nutritionists can be included in your Chamber Group Insurance Plan.

When picking up groceries, keep the Canadian Food Guide in mind while preparing meals — have plenty of veggies and fruits, eat protein such as meat and nuts, choose whole-grain pasta and rice, and make water your drink of choice.

If you’re missing a key vitamin or nutrient from your diet, consider purchasing immune boosting supplements from a Chamber member.

And if you don't feel like cooking, enjoy dinner at a Chamber Member Patio. Go while the sun is shining and choose healthy options on the menu. Or order takeout from a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal at home.
Patio Season is in full swing in Greater Victoria! Use this handy checklist to discover patios with incredible views, delicious food and cold drinks to enjoy on a hot day.

Before heading to a Chamber member patio, ensure they are open by visiting the Chamber Member Service Update page or by contacting them directly.

Take a photo of yourself completing the Patio Checklist, and tag us with @victoriachamber and #YYJPatioChecklist for a chance to be featured on our social media channels. Stay safe and support local this season.
Members Around Town
Hotel Zed opening in Tofino

Hotel Zed’s new location in Tofino officially opens tomorrow.

With a bike path running through the lobby and a ’69 station wagon available for guests, the hotel offers a luxurious retro-chic design that Hotel Zed is famous for.
Accent Inns | Hotel Zed: member since 1992
Physiotherapy at home

Neuromotion Physiotherapy + Rehabilitation Clinic is now offering TeleRehabilitation services for clients. Physiotherapy, neurological athletic therapy practitioners, and many more services are now available to access remotely from the comfort of your own home.

Neuromotion Physiotherapy + Rehabilitation Clinic: member since 2020
Local love in Esquimalt

United Way of Greater Victoria is launching its Hi Neighbor program, which aims to provide support for vulnerable groups. The initiative, funded by Seaspan, will fund up to 15 micro-grants for community projects in Esquimalt that strive to showcase “local love.”
United Way of Greater Victoria: member since 1972
Seaspan ULC: member since 1972
Tasting Tuesdays

Looking for an after-work treat? Tasting Tuesdays at the Inn at Laurel Point offer customers the opportunity to try a flight of three BC wines and a bite of food for $20 — the perfect way to check another location off your Chamber Member Patio Checklist!
Inn at Laurel Point: member since 1991
Staycation celebration

The Root Cellar and Flytographer are hosting a social media contest to promote staycations during the last few weeks of summer. Post a photo on your Instagram story with #RCstaycation, and you will be entered to win a $250 Root Cellar prize pack and gift card, as well as a $250 gift card to Flytographer.
The Root Cellar Green Grocer Ltd.: member since 2011
Flytographer: member since 2015
Win cash for buying local

Canada United, an initiative to support local businesses, is giving away $250,000 in prizes for shopping at local businesses. From Aug. 28-30, shop local and tweet #CanadaUnited, and RBC will donate five cents per tweet to the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. Small businesses can also access a toolkit with graphics, social media materials and more.
RBC Financial Group: member since 1962
Island Outfitters reopening

Island Outfitters announced they are moving locations to a new spot in View Royal. After closing due to a fire in January, the hunting and fishing retailer will reopen this fall.

Island Outfitters: member since 2018

Town of View Royal: member since 2020
Is your business implementing new strategies or innovative ways of connecting with consumers?

Let us know at [email protected]