Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 7, 2021
Chamber voice part of BC Budget consultations
The Chamber has submitted a request to speak to BC's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The annual process helps the provincial government plan for its next budget.

As our economy takes flight and the pandemic recedes from view, we need government to focus on being fiscally responsible and enable growth to be led by the private sector. Government has tools to encourage an increase in housing supply and more efficient transportation options for our region. We need to attract more workers and keep them here. Immigration will be key. And we need to do better at including Indigenous businesses and workers.

Another focus will be on investing in economic opportunities that create jobs and improve food security as one way to mitigate climate change through innovation.

Do you have questions or concerns about the next provincial budget? Send us your thoughts at [email protected].
Compulsory trades training raises more questions
The Chamber is hearing concerns from the construction industry about the provincial government's introduction of compulsory trades training. The goals and intent of the plan raise more questions than answers.

BC's construction industry is critical to our economic recovery, and we call on the province to do better at consulting with key stakeholders. We also agree with our partners in the industry that there has been a lack of evidence showing how the proposal will work. Construction employers, as with all industries, are already struggling to find workers and we can't risk red tape impeding the creation of jobs or the work being done to increase housing in our region.

“You don’t attract more people to the trades by closing the door to get into them and forcing contractors to navigate a sea of red tape,” Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC, told the Vancouver Sun.
City's renewed vibrancy reflects business recovery
The move to Step 3 of BC's Restart Plan has renewed optimism among the many businesses that had been stifled by pandemic restrictions.

"We're gradually expanding our capacity to move a little closer to whatever normal is going to be," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CFAX's Al Ferraby. The two also discussed the need for Canada to open its border to international travellers.

Getting back to business is not without its challenges. Employers continue to struggle finding people to fill available jobs, and supply chains are still working through some of the bumps caused by extended shutdowns. The Chamber and our community partners also continue to urge the provincial government to return its workforce to downtown offices.

Williams also spoke to CFAX about The Chamber's effort to support Indigenous business and follow through on calls to action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Chamber Board recently approved the creation of a new task-force committed to listening and working alongside First Nations' businesses and Indigenous entrepreneurs. Another way we're supporting economic reconciliation is through a new membership program created for Indigenous-owned business.
Nominations now open for the 2022-2023 Board
Each fall, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates.

This year, four (4) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.
Thurs. July 8 | 12 - 1 PM
Our influential board works with decision-makers at all levels of government to support our region’s businesses and maximize the value of membership with The Chamber.

Click here for key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Download your application, including a request for a bio and photo for the election ballot — as well as a form to gather your nomination supporters. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 29 at noon.
New funds available for Indigenous food producers
Financial support is available for First Nations and Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to produce or process food, or other associated activities. The BC Indigenous Agriculture Development Program provides up to $8,000 for specialized planning and coaching services to help develop food and agricultural businesses.

Food security is a priority for our region, and tapping into Indigenous knowledge about sustainable production on their traditional territories can only help as we continue to face challenges due to climate events.

The program is first-come first-serve and will be available until all of the ascribed funding is allocated.
Saanich asked to support car-sharing services
The future of transportation will include a blend of public and private options, with more convenient transit and car-sharing playing roles. A recently formed citizens' group, Better Mobility Saanich, has reached out to the District of Saanich to encourage adoption of services such as Evo, which currently has a fleet available in the City of Victoria. With Evo, members are able find cars parked within a "home zone" and pay a small fee that lets you drive as needed. When you're done, you park the car back in the home zone.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Evo Car Share: Member since 2021
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Canada's Trusted Brands
Are there brand names and outlets you trust more than others?

Learn about the most trusted brands in Canada in this year's Gustavson School of Business Brand Trust Index with the University of Victoria - Peter B. Gustavson School of Business Dean Saul Klein.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2021
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Attract workers with
Chamber benefits

Next time you post a position on The Chamber’s job board, be sure to highlight the great benefits you can offer employees!

Included in your Chamber membership are numerous discounts and savings that your employees can take advantage of. Entice workers to join your team by offering 3.5 cents off every litre gas at Esso, or 2 cents off every litre of Petro Canada!

Employees can also improve their home offices with 30% off Lenovo Products, 10% off Monk office supplies, and 85% off many Grand & Toy products.

Attract the right workers with the right benefits. Show off your Chamber member benefits on your next job posting!

If you have any questions about discounts you can offer employees, or how to post a job, contact Thomas at [email protected]
Showcase your Smile in your new Member Portal
Add some personalization with your new Member Portal! Users now have the option to upload an image of themselves that can be seen by other contacts within your organization.

Next time you login to your Member Portal, click on “Edit this profile”. From here you can add your own photo to your individual profile. If you’re logged in as your organization, the profile photo will already be set as your company’s logo.
If you have any questions about your new Membership Portal, please contact Thomas at [email protected]
Member News
Welcome Back to Victoria

Visitors to Greater Victoria this summer are getting an extra warm welcome. The floral arrangement in the Inner Harbour, created this year by CHEK News and a local landscaping company, will now say “Welcome Back to Victoria.” The sign was added when the province moved to Stage 3 of the Provincial Restart Plan, allowing domestic travellers from across Canada.
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Big Wheel gives back

Big Wheel Burger is reopening all dining locations this month, and adding a 1.5% gratuity which will be donated to the Big Wheel Community Foundation. Big Wheel Burger strives to give back to their communities, as they did in June with the Big Wheel Burger Battle. The contest's winner and runner-up had $1,000 donated to their charities of choice, Easter Seals BC & Yukon and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
Easter Seals BC & Yukon: Member since 2021

Canadian Cancer Society: Member since 2009
Setting sail for a new location

The Maritime Museum of BC will be operating intermittently at an expanded location next to the Victoria Conference Centre. The 3,000-square foot space will be open for visitors at the beginning of August. The City of Victoria, which owns the space, is supporting the museum through increased signage and wayfinding for visitors downtown.
Maritime Museum of BC: Member since 1989
Victoria Conference Centre: Member since 1990
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Herowork revitalizes Salvation Army

Herowork Program Society has completed a substantial renovation of The Salvation Army Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre. The project created a new kitchen, two new dorms and refreshed common areas, and is the culmination of more than two years of project planning. The new facilities will help support staff as they serve more than 15,000 meals every month.

Herowork Program Society: Member since 2019
Salvation Army: Member since 2006
Local Summer Giveaway

Local businesses are hosting a Summer Giveaway to kick start the season. One lucky winner will receive more than $750 in tasty and fun prizes from business leaders such as Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses, Whistle Buoy Brewing, Zero Waste Emporium, Prince of Whales Whale Watching and Cold Comfort Ice Cream. Share your summer excitement on Instagram until July 9 at 11 am for your chance to win.
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Member since 1990
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Chamber Champion since 2021
Whistle Buoy Brewing Company: Member since 2019
Zero Waste Emporium: Member since 2018
Prince of Whales Whale Watching: Member since 2002
Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Member since 2017
Indigenous plant and pollinator garden

The City of Colwood has created an Indigenous plant and pollinator garden. Created in partnership with Indigenous elders, the garden features berries, shrubs, and flowers that will attract a variety of bees and insects. The space will encourage visitors to learn more about plants, language and culture in a welcoming and inclusive setting.

City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Scotch industry issue with local distillery puzzling
A Greater Victoria craft whiskey maker is in the news after raising the ire of the Scotch industry. Lawyers have told Victoria Caledonian Distillery owner Graeme Macaloney that he has to change the name of his award-winning whiskey brand. "It's nonsense," Macaloney said to the CBC. "It's really a frivolous, quite damaging lawsuit, to be honest." The industry says Macaloney's name and the words "Island" and "Caledonian" will confuse consumers. Trade rules prohibit whiskey not made in Scotland from being called Scotch, which Macaloney has been careful not to do. Craft producers play a vital role in our region's tourism economy. Hopefully the courts see this suit to be as silly as it sounds to us.

Victoria Caledonian Distillery and Twa Dogs Brewery: Member since 2013
A celebration of art

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria wants to make sure you can still get your creative inspiration! The TD Artist Guide, a virtual exhibition of local artists, has been launched in lieu of the ever popular annual Paint-In. Representing a variety of mediums from painting to ceramics, the guide aims to connect the community with local artists.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Member since 2007
TD Canada Trust: Member since 1962
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