2016 Greater Victoria Business Awards Winners
Nominations will be closing soon for the 2017 Greater Victoria Business Awards. Spread the joy, nominate a deserving business - it only takes 2 minutes!
Safety  First
A church constructed a barrier to protects its congregation. A business put up a fence to deter illegal activity on its premises. And a local business owner quietly paid out nearly $50,000 to cover increased security costs over the  last year to protect its staff and clients.
These are real examples of moves made to ensure public safety at these sites. 

"Businesses want to protect their customers, employees, their incomes and themselves ," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "But we certainly don't want a shuttered and empty downtown, littered with barricades and fences. We want healthy and safe communities, where people can wander through vibrant shopping districts, to 'trip' over a fantastic product or service."
Maintaining a sense of safety is critical to any downtown. That sense of safety is best achieved when everyone puts that goal first and foremost. 
"We need to focus on maintaining a vibrant downtown where everyone - with and without a home - can feel safe ," said Catherine. "We need an adequate supply of affordable housing, effective heath care, good policing and more - including stable tax-paying businesses to help pay for it all." 
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Be a Part of The Chamber Team
The Chamber is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated person to join our team as an Account Representative. This position is responsible for new member sales and working with existing Chamber Members .

  The successful candidate will work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with considerable scope to achieve Chamber membership objectives. The role demands an above average understanding of the needs of small business, the pressures that businesses experience and how best The Chamber can assist and help businesses grow.  Click here for more information or to apply

Feds to Help Rent Affordability 
The federal government is looking at creating a new benefit to help low-income Canadians who struggle to pay the rent each month. This new benefit may take the form of a new housing supplement program that would link benefits to individuals, rather than housing units - a departure from how such supplements have typically worked in Canada.
Generally, housing benefits are provided to renters who need help paying the bills, but are usually tied to an apartment through rent-geared-to-income plans or rent supplements.
"This kind of rent supplement really works best in a community with a healthy vacancy rate and a good supply of private sector affordable rental housing, which in many parts of Canada is the case," said Greater Victoria Housing Society executive director Kaye Melliship. "In Greater Victoria, the real problem is the lack of supply of affordable housing and the high cost of new rental housing as it comes on stream. In the end, it is all about having a good range of choices in each community."  
Know an Outstanding Young Entrepreneur?
If you do, nominate them for the 2017 Business Person of the Year Award!

This award honours a business owner or founder under the age of 35 who:  
  • has excelled in business,
  • demonstrates a commitment to the community,
  • exemplifies leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and
  • exhibits exceptional vision that contributes to business success.
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2016 Business Person of the Year finalists below.  

Winner: Regan McGrath, Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting
Finalist: Sharon Rai, Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry
New Restaurants for Kingfisher

Two new restaurants are under construction at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa in Courtenay, BC .

Executive Chef Nyle Petherbridge, Owner Bill Brandes and General Manager, Aaron 
The new AQUA Bistro & Wine Bar  will feature creative casual shared plates paired with fine wines and signature cocktails, while Ocean 7 Restaurant   will focus on West Coast seafood, grain-fed meats and fresh organic produce from local sustainable growers and suppliers.

Design elements feature panoramic water views, two garage doors that open up to the patio and a new oversized outdoor fire pit.
Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa: member since 2011
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Taxing Issues for Business

Over the past week, The Chamber has formally reached out to each of Greater Victoria's 13 municipalities inquiring about their 2017 property tax rates and whether property owners can expect to see an overall tax increase. 
The Chamber's position is that taxes should be sustainable, transparent, and fair. Businesses need to understand what affects their bottom line and profit margins. Local governments need to fully recognize and appreciate how businesses contribute to healthy communities. In the end, property taxes affect a business' competitiveness and a community's level of attraction to investors and new businesses.
"We urge Mayors and their Councils to do all they can to ensure - at the very least - that any overall property tax increases do not exceed expected inflation and that the ratios between property tax classes does not increase," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "This is about fair, sustainable, and transparent taxes."

Beards Shaved for Good Cause

$6,000 was raised for Victoria Cool Aid Society programs at the 2nd Annual Beard On/Beard Off this past Sunday.

People were asked to vote whether the bearded do-gooders kept their beards or shaved them off. As you can tell by the photos, the Beard Off vote won!

Chamber members Driftwood Brewing Company and You Move Me Vancouver Island helped support the event.

Victoria Cool Aid Society: member since 2006

Driftwood Brewing Company: member since 2008

You Move Me Vancouver Island: member since 2016

This outstanding social event offers an unparalleled opportunity for members and guests of both organizations to meet in a casual setting for the dual purpose of having fun and expanding business network.
Thurs, Jan 19 | 5-7 pm
Ogden Point Pier B
Click here for a map. Parking available on-site.

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