Statement on COVID 19
Hello Chamber Members,
I’d like to let you know what’s happening from The Chamber’s perspective regarding COVID-19.

First and foremost, we are listening carefully to the daily updates by the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and following her instructions and advice. She has been a calm and steady but pro-active voice as this situation changes daily. We are trying not to do more than she says — so we don’t contribute to an overreaction to the current situation — and we are trying not to do less than she says so that we don’t contribute to any risk there may be.

Yesterday she instructed event organizers in the province to cancel events for more than 250 people. That most immediately effects our Marketplace Mixer on March 19. We have rescheduled it for Oct 1. Next, it affects our Conversation with Michelle Obama. We received the following notification today from Michelle Obama’s representatives: In accordance with the recommendation of the B.C. government, we are postponing A Conversation with Michelle Obama, scheduled to take place on March 31. Further updates will be shared when available. All tickets will be valid and transferred to the new event date once confirmed. Ticket holders will receive further details once a new date is announced.

We will review our other upcoming events with our sponsors, hosts, speakers and venues and make the most reasonable decision in each case. 

In the meantime, we are concerned about the financial impact on our members. We had the opportunity yesterday to talk to the Prime Minister’s Office and advocate for financial assistance for business owners, especially those who rely on tourism and hospitality in light of the federal government’s decision today to postpone the cruise season until July 1.

I would like to remind everyone that we are still in the enviable position of having only ONE confirmed case of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island. Many people’s trips for spring break will be changing given the provincial officer of health’s instruction to not travel internationally. Please use this opportunity, if you are healthy, go get out and support our local businesses and community. Let’s try to minimize the collateral economic damage created by the health impact of COVID-19 by supporting the many businesses and activities that pose no risk to health. 

As well, our mental health is important. Please stay informed of the local facts. We have posted links to credible information sources on our website and encourage you to use them. Get out for a walk or a bike ride, or do some yoga or kick a ball around and enjoy our beautiful flower-filled region and keep this risk in perspective. 

We will do our best to continue to be a source of factual information, and are providing resources helpful to businesses at Let us know if there is something we can do for you. 

Warm regards,
Catherine Holt,
Chief Executive Officer