November 17, 2021
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
The address from Mr. O’Toole was followed by wide-ranging questions from our members focused on issues that matter to local business moderated by Bruce Williams, Chamber CEO. The Chamber made sure that our voice and needs were heard on issues outlined in our 2021 Advocacy priorities including: simplifying our current tax structure; addressing current workforce challenges and the affordable housing crisis; providing better supports for mental health and addiction to create safer communities; supporting innovation that mitigates climate change and shifts away from fossil fuels; and more.

The Chamber looks forward to future discussions with municipal, provincial, and federal decision makers to ensure the voice of business in Greater Victoria is heard. Learn more about our advocacy priorities here.
Heavy rains trigger State of Emergency in BC

200 millimetres doesn't sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but it was a quick lesson in what climate extremes are doing to our province as it rained and then rained some more across BC. As of midday today, Premier Horgan has declared a Provincial State of Emergency.

The power outages, damage to homes and businesses, mudslides, road and bridge washouts, and even isolation due to evacuations, are the most visible problems. Insurance companies are already touting this as the largest natural catastrophic disaster for the insurance industry in 2021.

What is yet to be fully assessed is another delay in our already hard hit supply chain and the costs around delayed goods. The Port of Vancouver is assessing that the turnaround on imported goods may be nearly doubled from 2 days or less to as much as 5 days. Rob Reilly, Canadian National Railway Co.’s chief operating officer, said the heavy rain has made the tracks impassable at “a number of locations in southern B.C.” CN has been working above and beyond, using helicopters to deliver supplies as needed. Truck transportation is similarly impacted, even as alternating traffic patterns are restored. The request has been made that non-essential travel be suspended at this time. Here on the lower island, several gas stations are out of fuel.

Closures on major island transportation corridors such as the Malahat and Sooke Road have also resulted in workforce and supply chain disruptions. As always, in the midst of crisis, we have seen extraordinary efforts from the people of BC. Our first responders and emergency crews and soon our military have been working day and night to get our province back on its feet and on our roads. BC Ferries has added extra sailings to get goods to the island and to help reconnect our communities.

The provincial and federal government have committed to get transportation links up and running in order to keep people and goods in our province moving.
CN Canadian National Railway: Member since 2018
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
CFB Esquimalt: Member since 1979
A new hotel in town
Fort and Blanshard will soon have a new profile, as the first hotel to be built in the city in 20 years was approved by Victoria city council.

Merchant House Capital has envisioned a 20-storey hotel with commercial and office space called the Wintergarden Spire. Details on the builder and hotel operator are still to be released, but once completed this will improve the depleting stock of hotel rooms needed for the city to bounce forward out of the pandemic.
Merchant House Capital: Member since 2021
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Join the Prodigy Group tomorrow at Swans
Only 10 spots left!
Join us for a drink and appies in this comfortable space that will foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals.
This is your chance to practice networking skills and make new business relationships. There will also be great door prizes and an optional trivia activity organized by our hosts University of Victoria - Giving Tuesday and Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel
Prodigy Group Mingles are open to Chamber members and their guests. This is a 19+ event.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Nov. 18 | 5-7 PM
Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel
506 Pandora Ave., Victoria
In keeping with the current PHO for in-person events, all attendees must be fully vaccinated to attend and will be required to show their BC Vaccination Card and valid government issued ID. View COVID-19 Safety Protocols for In-Person Events here.
Kick-off the Holiday Season with The Chamber
Help shower our fearless Chair, John Wilson, with a big figurative vat of orange drink and honour his love of sports. Hit a home run with this "sports teamed" reception kicking off the holiday event season by checking off your top prospects.
Join us at the Lion’s Den in the Save-On- Foods Memorial Centre wearing your finest sports team gear or colours to show your support and have some fun! Cash bar and hors d'oeuvres provided. This is a 19+ event
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Dec. 2 | 4-6 PM
Lion's Den Restaurant
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St., Victoria
In keeping with the current PHO for in-person events, all attendees must be fully vaccinated to attend and will be required to show their BC Vaccination Card and valid government issued ID. View COVID-19 Safety Protocols for In-Person Events here.
Thanks for participating in The Chamber Auction
This year's Chamber Auction was a huge success! Thank you for choosing to support local business and The Chamber.

And a very big thank you to every business and organization that donated items, gift cards, or services from Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island.
The Chamber would like to thank and recognize Auction sponsor Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics for providing donation pickup and delivery. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the 2021 Auction Committee: Mary Lou Newbold (Mayfair Optometric Clinic), Rose Arsenault (Agilus Work Solutions) and Rahim Khudabux (Max Furniture).
Sponsored by:
As a major fundraising event for The Chamber, all proceeds support our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region.
More ways to support local businesses and shop #ChamberLocalVicBC this holiday season
This Christmas, The Chamber will be working to encourage local shopping by picking up the tab on deliveries in Greater Victoria made at retail outlets that are Chamber members.

Recent survey results from the Retail Council of Canada are showing that consumers are planning to spend about $100 more this year than last (~$792) during the holiday season. The resurgence in consumer confidence is encouraging but to benefit our local merchants that needs to be focused on local businesses rather than online empires.

If your business is interested in taking part in this initiative, please email [email protected] right away. The program begins this week.
Business Hall of Fame tickets now available
Honour Greater Victoria's most notable business community leaders
The Chamber Business Hall of Fame, presented by RBC, is pleased to invite you to attend this inaugural red-carpet gala event!
This exclusive black-tie event will celebrate 19 Business Hall of Fame inductees and recognize their contributions to the growth and development of our community. This historic event held at the Victoria Conference Centre will be a night to remember with great food, drink and opportunities to connect with Greater Victoria's most influential business stakeholders.
Don't delay, much like the annual Business Awards, tickets will go fast.
Presented by:
Thurs., Feb. 3, 2022 | 5-9 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas St., Victoria
New Spirit Loop Connects Tourism on Lower Island
When roads are repaired and you're ready for a perfect weekend away, there's a local site for you to enjoy. Earlier this month, Malahat Nation CAO, Josh Handysides was on site at the Malahat Skywalk as local dignitaries gathered to officially launch the Spirit Loop. The project was launched in conjunction with Destination BC to build tourism between Malahat, Langford, Sooke and Port Renfrew.

With the tagline, Let nature take the wheel, the site provides 1 - 3 day itineraries of places to go and recharge your spirit along the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
A Chat with Langford Mayor Stew Young
The past few decades have seen a transformation take place in the City of Langford as housing, business, recreation spaces and industry have created new vitality and vibrancy.

Stew Young has been the Mayor of Langford throughout this period of transformation, and is our guest for this Chamber Chat.
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Nominations now open!
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

Sustainable Business Practices honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates sustainable business practices in their own operations (aside from the product or service for sale);
  • Raises environmental awareness;
  • Demonstrates leadership and commitment to sustainable development and energy conservation and shows how these practices benefit the regional environment;
  • Exhibits a commitment to the community; and
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Need some inspiration?
Check out the videos of the 2021 Sustainable Business Practices finalists below. Thanks to Camosun College who is our sponsor for this award in 2022.
Cascadia Seaweed (Winner)
Staying safe with Teladoc
Stay warm and dry this November even when seeking medical advice. If you have Chambers Group Insurance, you can now take advantage of Teladoc Telemedicine Services — a fast and efficient way of getting the help you need, when you need it.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This cold and flu season, ensure your family is prepared for anything without leaving the comfort of your home.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.

Inquire with a Chamber member pharmacy to see if they are offering flu shots this year, and be sure to book your appointment ahead of time. If you’re not yet immunized against COVID-19, learn how to book an appointment here.
Work for a Chamber Champion

When you’re searching for your next employer, look no further than a Chamber Champion!

Featured on The Chamber’s job board, Chamber Champions are offering great career opportunities for talented individuals across Greater Victoria.

From a Financial Service Representative at CIBC to an Front of House Team Member Position at Big Wheel Burger, Chamber Champions are ready to offer you your next great career move.
Visit The Chamber’s job board and find new opportunities today.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, please email [email protected]
Member News
UVic appoints Marion Buller as chancellor

Renowned legal scholar and judge Marion Buller has been appointed as the next chancellor of the University of Victoria. Buller has a diverse legacy of being the initial First Nations women to be appointed as a judge in BC, and through her work as the Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Buller will begin her term on Jan. 1, 2022.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Assistive Technologies World Record

Neil Squire Society is attempting to break a Guinness World Record and needs your support to make it happen. On Dec. 3, they will attempt to break the record for the most users to take an online DIY assistive technology lesson in 24 hours. Participants are invited to learn about DIY Assistive Technologies, the experiences of people with disabilities using this technology, and how you can build life-changing devices using 3D Printing.

Neil Squire Society: Member since 2020
Gingerbread Showcase returns

Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s 13th Annual Gingerbread Showcase returns this year from Nov. 20 – Jan. 2. Featuring unique displays at The Parkside Hotel & Spa, the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites, the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour and the DoubleTree by Hilton, attendees are invited to bring their loved ones and vote for their favorite creation either in-person or online.
Habitat for Humanity Victoria: Member since 2021
The Parkside Hotel & Spa: Member since 2013
Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites: Member since 1974
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour: Member since 2004
DoubleTree by Hilton: Member since 1973
Scotiabank expands Net Zero Research Fund

Scotiabank has increased their Net Zero Research Fund to $10 Million. The goal of the fund is to assist the advancement of research and leadership as the world shifts to a low-carbon economy. Grants have been provided to non-profit and academic research across North and South America.
Scotiabank Group: Member since 1962 
Scotiabank Group: Chamber Champion since 2021
BCI recognized as top employer for three consecutive years

British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for a third consecutive year. BCI was recognized in this national competition due to their strong workplace culture, forward-thinking programs, and inclusivity.
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI): Member since 2019
Have your say in the City of Victoria

The City of Victoria is looking for public opinion on three important topics:
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Superfan comes to Victoria

We The West Basketball Festival is hosting a red carpet premier of Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story. Showcasing the journey of Bhatia as he escaped persecution in India, eventually becoming a successful businessperson and super fan of the Toronto Raptors - never missing a home game since the team’s inception in 1995. Attendees will also have the chance to meet Bhatia in person.

We the West Basketball Festival: Member since 2020
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Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!