April 27, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Saanich streamlines affordable housing
The District of Saanich is the second municipality in BC to fast-track affordable housing. On Monday night, Saanich Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the streamlined process adopted earlier this month by the City of Victoria.

The decisions will streamline the approval of development proposals as long as they fit with each municipality's Official Community Plan. This will help increase the supply of homes for workers in our region — vital to finding and keeping the staff needed for employers achieve their economic potential.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Property taxes should not unfairly burden business
As municipal councils across the region finalize tax rates for business properties, The Chamber wants to hear from any members facing unfair increases.

“Businesses need to plan for expenses, and they expect to be treated fairly. After all, the long-term health of our communities is directly related to the health of our small businesses,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist. “The Chamber is reaching out to our members to see how (tax increases) affect them ­individually, and we’ll take that information forward to ­candidates in the fall municipal election.”

The Chamber recognizes that municipalities must juggle a number of variables when setting rates. Ultimately, each municipality determines how much money they need to deliver services to their citizens and then set rates to raise the revenue to cover most of those costs. Whether an individual property experiences an increase in their tax bill typically depends on whether the property had a higher-than-average increase in value. However, municipalities also need to be fair when allocating costs to commercial properties.

“The business community understands that taxes are a tool used by local governments to provide services, but we’re always watchful of councils who try to shift costs to business and industry and away from residents for political reasons,” Williams said, noting that now is not the time for municipalities to be increasing costs for any taxpayers. “Many businesses are still facing challenges, so any tax increase will weigh on them at a time when we need our economy to take flight.”
Housing supply slips further: CMHC
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is forecasting Greater Victoria housing starts to “decline in 2022, strapped by capacity constraints, before moderating in 2024.”

CMHC’s Senior Analyst of Market Insights, Pershing Sun, said 2022 will be a moderating year in Greater Victoria’s housing market.

“Rising borrowing cost, affordability erosion, and constraints in construction will anchor sales and slow down price growth,” Sun said in a recent report. “Improved job market and migration inflow will drive rental demand over the next few years.”
The CMHC report said the market is expected to slow down after breaking records last year, with prices rising slower than the “frenzied pace in 2021.”

The Chamber has been calling on all levels of government to address obstacles hindering the construction of more homes. With builders operating at their slowest pace in the past 10 years, the industry needs more workers, improved supply chains and streamlined regulations to meet demand.
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coastal ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver for our province.

Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries, will take you through how the company is preparing for the future and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 12 | 11:30 - 1 PM
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, 146 Kingston St, Victoria 
April Business Mixer
@ Max Furniture

Tomorrow's Business Mixer with hosts Max Furniture and Maximum Express is now sold out. If you'd like to be added to the waitlist, please email

Secure your sport for our May Mixer at Mayfair Optometric by registering today.
Sponsored by:
Sold Out
3460 Quadra St.
Thurs., April 28 | 5 - 7 PM
May Business Mixer @ Mayfair Optometric Clinic
This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships. Join us at Mayfair Optometric Clinic to see what new connections you can make within the Greater Victoria business community.
This indoor/outdoor event includes hors d'oevres and refreshments and is happily hosted by Mayfair Optometric Clinic
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 19 | 5 - 7 PM
Mayfair Optometric Clinic
3196 Douglas St.
Feedback wanted on sustainable takeout plan
Innovation led by business is key to tackling climate change and The Chamber is committed to working with all levels of government to help them understand how the private sector is providing real solutions to meet public demand. The City of Victoria has designated staff to work on ensuring food service businesses are using the most sustainable materials available.

City staff have developed a Draft PDF of a Sustainable Takeout Guide that they hope will help businesses. Staff have also asked The Chamber for feedback on the city’s plan. The Chamber worked closely with the city on plastic bags regulations holding a roundtable of city staff and business owners to identify what was already working, what could be efficiently implemented and the tools needed to do so. As a result, the regulation was welcomed by most businesses and served as a model for municipalities across the region.

Let us know what you think of the city’s draft guide at
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Chamber AGM celebrates successful year
This column originally appeared in the April edition of the Business Examiner.
By Chamber CEO Bruce Williams

I’m not sure if 2021 was the most unusual year in the almost 160-year history of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. It definitely was a time of unique yet connected challenges, especially following the shock of 2020.

We survived the lingering blight of a pandemic that wouldn’t end, a heat dome that drove home the reality of our climate emergency and the tragic discoveries at residential schools that forced us to acknowledge the systemic discrimination at the roots of our economy.

Through all of those and the other challenges of the past year, The Chamber has stayed true to its purpose and adapted to serve as the voice of business in Greater Victoria. On April 12, we were able to celebrate some of our successes at our Annual General Meeting. About 130 people were in attendance, making it our largest in-person event in two years. There was the usual administrative housework, but the highlight was our feature speaker, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming.
Business Leaders Luncheon: Michael Pickup, Auditor General of BC
Join us to hear from Auditor General Michael Pickup on the work of his office and how they are attentive to the needs, expectations, and priorities of the Legislature, while being responsive to the needs and expectations of British Columbians.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., June 2 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.
Member Networking Breakfast
The Chamber Member Networking Breakfast is a must-attend event for new and existing members. It's a great way to learn about services offered by one another and how you can positively contribute to our local business community.

After breakfast and casual networking, The Chamber Team will take the floor to facilitate introductions and organize guests into roundtables. At each roundtable, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator speech; once everyone has had a chance to connect, it's time to meet an entirely new group of people at a different roundtable!
Sponsored by:
Enjoy scrumptious snacks and delicious drinks at Picnic in the Park!
Picnic in the Park, formerly known as YYJ Eats, is your exclusive chance to enjoy a variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by some of Greater Victoria’s most popular restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries & spirit makers.

If you and your business would like to participate as an exhibitor in Picnic in the Park, please email for more details.
Member and General Public Tickets include 10 tasting tickets to use at the event. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased through online registration or at the event.
Tues., June 7 | 5 - 7 PM
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site
835 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC V8W 9E6
Presented by:
Gold Sponsor:
Media Partners:
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Sustainable Innovation with Unbuilders and BinBreeze
Two companies doing innovative, sustainable and creative work are our guests for this Chamber Chat.

Unbuilders do as their name suggests while BinBreeze enhances the compost experience and eliminates the fruit fly problem!
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Unbuilders Deconstruction Inc.: Member since 2022
BinBreeze: Member since 2021
2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards (Sold Out)
The Chamber is excited to announce that the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards taking place in-person are now sold out. 
If you would like to be added to the waitlist for this event, please email
This gala event recognizes businesses in Greater Victoria that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community. Click here to see the 2022 finalists!
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
Tune in to the Broadcast
Sunday, May 8 | 7:30 PM
CHEK TV, Facebook and YouTube
Skip the walk-in clinic line this spring
Don’t miss this beautiful spring weather by waiting to be seen by a doctor. 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.
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.
If you’re not yet immunized against COVID-19, learn how to book an appointment here and join the #ChamberChangemakers
Welcome Sinead Robbins to The Chamber team!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome co-op student Sinead Robbins as our new Events and Administration Assistant!

Sinead has just completed her third year in the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Victoria. She plans to specialize in entrepreneurship with a focus in marketing and finance.

Sinead looks forward to networking with the community and for the opportunity to connect with Chamber members before she travels to Europe to study abroad at Emlyon Business School later this year.

You can connect with her at or 250 953-6684.
The Chamber was able to use federal programs to hire Sinead. Hiring a co-op student is an investment in our future and a great addition to your team. We strongly encourage you to reach out to co-op programs at Camosun College and the University of Victoria to see how a co-op student can benefit your organization this year.
Chamber Champions
Post your free job listing today

Nearly 1/3 of 2022 has already passed! Have you utilized your free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board yet?
As an exclusive Chamber member benefit, you can post a free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Use the code INTRO2022 at checkout to utilize this offer today.
Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber. If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, email
Grow your business with successful exporting
Looking for a potential 18% increase in export revenue? The Chamber invites you to bounce forward out of the pandemic by taking advantage of the upcoming local Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)!

TAP is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. With new trade agreements, competitive Canadian dollar, and new business opportunities, now is the ideal time to extend your company's reach through international expansion of goods and services. Since 2017, World Trade Centre Vancouver has successfully delivered 24 TAP cohorts in B.C.

Qualifying Chamber Members pay only $500 (a $4,500 savings).
Apply Now

Enter Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in the Who Referred you section.
Learn more about the program and apply today at

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email
Workshop Days
9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.
June 1, 2, and 3

Mentorship Days 
8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
July 12 and 13

Application Deadline:
May 17, 2022
Member News
Carpets for Ukrainian relief

Luv-A-Rug Services Inc is accepting donated rugs to raise money for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Customers can donate their unwanted rugs and Luv-A-Rug will clean and auction them off to raise funds. Donations are currently being accepted Tuesday to Friday, 6am to 1pm, and on Saturday from 8am to 3:30pm.
Luv-A-Rug Services Inc: Member since 2008
CIBC recognized for sustainability commitment

CIBC has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers by MediaCorp Canada. CIBC was recognized for their commitment to environmental awareness, the reduction of their environmental impact, and the engagement they have had with new and current employees in sustainable programs. CIBC has a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and is one of the top 10 financiers for the renewable energy industry across North America.
CIBC: Chamber Champion since 2020
CIBC: Member since 1962
Oak Bay appoints new Deputy Police Chief

The District of Oak Bay’s police department has appointed Julie Chanin as their new Deputy Police Chief — the first woman in the history of Greater Victoria to hold that position. Chanin takes over June 21, making her one of only seven deputy police chiefs across BC.

District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
New operations centre coming to Saanich

The District of Saanich is redeveloping their public works and park operations centre. Currently responsible for transportation, parks, water, sewer and solid-waste services in the municipality, the new centre will cost $183 - $212 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2026 and be completed by 2029.

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Eats and Beats returns to Colwood

The City of Colwood’s Eats and Beats party is returning this Summer. With live music, beer gardens and activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Residents are invited to beat the heat on and enjoy the festivities on July 30.

City of Colwood: Member since 2020
SIPP discussion on urban issues live from Italy

South Island Prosperity Partnership is hosting a free live video podcast from the OECD International Conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric Conference in Trento, Italy. SIPP CEO Emilie de Rosenroll will facilitate discussion topics such as shifts in local economic development, the importance of innovation and more.

South Island Prosperity Partnership: Member since 2017
TC10K raises $40K to support local organizations

Last Sunday, the 33rd annual Time Colonist’s 10K Race welcomed more than 6,000 participants for a run around the City of Victoria. More than $40,000 was raised to help charitable organizations, including BC Cancer Foundation, Victoria Hospitals Foundation, and Easter Seals BC & Yukon.
Times Colonist: Member since 1961
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
BC Cancer Foundation: Member since 1997
Victoria Hospitals Foundation: Member since 2019
Easter Seals BC & Yukon: Member since 2021
Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!