Nearly 100 people took part in the first of three summer social events, the Summer Soiree at Fort Common. Thank you to BMW Victoria for sponsoring this great event. Catch the pictures here.

Patio season is in full swing!  Join the Prodigy Group this Thursday at the Breakwater Barge, beginning at 5PM. Mingle with us on the water and enjoy a delicious menu with prizes to be won.
Register online here.

It's All About the Rep
Sorry, we hate to brag, but apparently Canada really is the best in the world.

According to the Reputation Institute's Country RepTrakĀ® report, Canada has regained its ranking as the most reputable country in the world.

"A country's reputation has a direct impact on tourism, its exports and foreign investment", said Fernando Prado, managing partner at Reputation Institute. "The striking thing about Canada is that the nation's reputation is equally strong both inside and outside its borders."

55 countries were rated by 39,000 G8 citizens around 17 variables including effective government, advanced economy and appealing environment.

Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Seven Year Itch for Interest Rates     

The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates today for the first time in nearly seven years. This will position Canada as the first G7 country to join the US in raising interest rates. The increase of .25% moves its benchmark rate from  0.5% to 0.75% 

The increase reflects the Bank of Canada's confidence in key areas of Canada's economy such as employment growth, hiring intentions, business expectations for future sales, exports and retail sales and GDP. A strong economy raises concerns about inflation. The Bank of Canada increases interest rates as a tool to keep inflation under control.

"The initial indications are that the Bank fully expects to follow-through with another rate hike," Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, said in a client note. The next hike, if it occurs, would be in Sept.          

There are concerns that there is an over reliance on what has been cheap debt, (average debt for a Canadian household excluding mortgages - $22,113). As interest rates increase, Canadians pay more to service their debt and have less money to spend. The interest rate increase has also increased the value of the Canadian dollar as investors can expect a higher return.

"The potential negative impact in Victoria is the higher cost of mortgages on top of our already high cost of housing," said Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber. "Also, any change in the exchange rate affects both our tourism and local exporters."
Ready to book your fall advertising? Let's get you started by saving money.
Members Around Town 

Victoria's Tartan Group has joined forces with Beattie, a creative communications group based out of the UK, to form Beattie Tartan. Formed 31 years ago, Beattie Group has 130 people spread across 12 UK and Ireland offices.

Beattie Tartan will be chaired by Beattie Group chairman, Kevin Roberts, the former global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and former President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola Canada.  Beattie Tartan is planning a major recruitment drive for top digital, PR and social talent across Canada.
  Beattie Tartan: member since 2001

Magnolia Hotel & Spa has been named Canada's top city hotel by Travel + Leisure magazine, according to their 2017 Worlds Best Awards . Hotels across the country were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value.
  Magnolia Hotel: member since 1998

Amica at Saanich changed its name to Amica at the Gorge. Amica Mature Lifestyles announced the name change of its retirement community, currently under construction, July 1, 2017.
AMICA at the Gorge: member since 2017

As seen in Douglas Magazine, The Victoria Foundation recently received re-accreditation from Imagine Canada. The Standard Program awards accreditation to Canadian charities that demonstrate excellence in 5 areas of operations and is arguably the highest benchmark of charities in the country.
  Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
  Douglas Magazine: member since 2004 
Industry Tour
Point Hope Maritime
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the province's busiest shipyards and hear about its expansion plans.

Tues, Sept 19 | 7:30 am -9 am      
Point Hope Shipyard 
345 Harbour Rd.

Breathing Space

One of Greater Victoria's refreshing strengths, that people moving here or visiting will comment on, is just how fresh and clean the air is. A recent report on the State of the Air in 2017, shows that it is only getting better.

The James Bay area showed the 3rd lowest sulphur dioxide (S0 2) readings in the 31 areas measured in the province. That is nothing less than extraordinary given that in 2015 the reverse was true when the James Bay area measured the 5th highest in BC. Provincial objectives for air quality is less than 75 parts per billion (ppb) in S0 2. This year, James Bay's highest reading was 16ppb.

This significant shift was only possible due to the combined efforts of stakeholders in the area. Greater Victoria Harbour Authority worked with the Ministry of Environment and visiting cruise ships to reduce their S0 2 emissions. Wilson's, which provides transportation for the cruise ship passengers, has also contributed to this improvement by upholding rigorous service and maintenance procedures on their fleet and working with their drivers to influence best practice driving procedures.

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: member since 2003
Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004
Thanks for the Memories

A vision in white, Brink Events, produced Victoria's 5th annual Diner en Blanc last week. The spectacular event was a smashing success with 1,500 gathering in Centennial Square.
Brink Events: member since 2012

Combining accolades, entertainment and fundraising, the Canadian College of Performing Arts - thanks to the generosity of Patricia and Ken Mariash at Bayview Place - was able to present David Foster with the inaugural Legend Award and encourage the community to raise $300,000 for the arts.
Canadian College of Performing Arts: member since 2010
Bayview Place: member since 2006

Over 100 colourful groups & floats marched together with local businesses, non-profits, the LBGTQ community & their allies in this year's annual Victoria Pride Parade presented by TD Canada Trust last weekend.
  TD Canada Trust: member since 1962
Predictable, affordable healthcare for you and your team
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most reliably affordable employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Renting a Slice of Paradise
Recent reports from Citified  show an influx of 2,420 rental units to be built throughout Greater Victoria. Of those, 1,475 units are either under construction (527) or in planning (948) for downtown Victoria. Current rental vacancy rates in the region are well below 1%, causing challenges for those hoping to move into the region or transition from home ownership.

Builders in the region have indicated that the recent growth spate was due to three convergent factors: low vacancy rate, increased rents and a low interest rate that provided a business case for building rentals instead of condos. The recent increase in interest rates may impact pending or future plans as many are building on razor thin margins that are heavily reliant on no changes to the current conditions.

More needs to be done to provide affordable workforce housing by creating a positive economic environment for building/renovating. Although the new units coming on stream are good news, the worry is that it won't be able to keep up with the units that may begin to age out of the market. According to a recent City of Victoria request for proposals, 25% of the city's housing stock would be classified as aging and vulnerable to becoming tear downs due to redevelopment.
Connections that Matter     
Did you know that consumers are 80% more likely to buy goods and services from a Chamber member? We want to make sure your business is benefiting.
We are pleased to provide you with a Chamber decal and certificate to proudly display at your business. If you notice yours needs a refresher or is from a previous year, simply email us and we'll make sure you're up to date. 
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 

Chamber Member Deals

Click the list of special offers below to connect with savings.

View on Instagram