December 7, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
On Dec. 5, representatives from Gwaii Engineering, Heart Pharmacy, CL Web Developers and Camosun College participated as panelists in the first of three Guess My Job events created by the Greater Victoria School District 61 and The Chamber. The event used a game show format to help middle school students learn about the diversity of professions and the people who do them.
Last chance to register!
Chair's Holiday Reception
Come enjoy the holiday season, fill a merry motorcoach and celebrate our "last tour" with Chamber Chair John Wilson at the wheel.
This lively year-end event is our opportunity to thank our members, partners, sponsors, committee members, and board members for your dedication, engagement, and support throughout 2022. 
In recognition of Wilson's Groups' commitment to community we are asking for your help to fill a Merry Motorcoach this season in support of Our Place. Donations of winter clothing, towels, and non-perishable food would be much appreciated.
We will send John off with a toast or two as he wraps up his last year as Chamber Chair. Light refreshments will be provided and a cash bar will be available.
Thurs., Dec. 8 | 4 - 6 PM
Strathcona Hotel, Wicket Hall
919 Douglas Street
Sponsored by
Regional unemployment rate drops to 3.5%
Greater Victoria continues to have one of the tightest labour markets in Canada. The latest numbers from November show our unemployment rate is back to 3.5%, according to Statistics Canada. That's down from 4.3% in October and closer to where the region typically was before the pandemic.

"We know there is work in our region and that makes us attractive to ambitious people who want to move here and build their careers," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Our regional economy benefits from having the stability of BC government jobs as well as CFB Esquimalt. However, we still need to address housing supply in Greater Victoria to make sure we can retain people who want to work here and contribute to our community."

There is some good news on that front as new construction jobs appear to be driving the lower rate. There were 18,400 people employed in construction this November compared to 13,500 in November 2021.
Cabinet shuffle keeps Greater Victoria MLAs in mix
BC Premier David Eby gave cabinet a new look today.

Among the changes for Greater Victoria, Oak Bay MLA Murray Rankin remains as Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation but will no longer serve as Attorney General. Saanich South MLA Lana Popham is the new Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming retains his role as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean stays on Minister of Children and Family Development. Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore was named Minister of State for Child Care.

Victoria-raised Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta North, will lead the newly created Ministry of Housing.

Other prominent roles went to Katrine Conroy, who takes over as Finance Minister, and Niki Sharma, who is now AG.
Real estate slowdown affects industry, assessments
Businesses that service the real estate industry are a major contributor to Greater Victoria's economy. However, rising interest rates have slowed sales. Throw in the traditional quiet period around the holidays and fewer properties are changing hands. Only 384 sales were recorded in the region for November, down from 653 last November.

There are also concerns about potential unintended consequences of recent changes to the provincial Strata Property Act.

"It is an open question whether these changes will bring any additional rental stock to the market — with BC's complex Residential Tenancy Act not all homeowners of vacant strata homes have a desire to become landlords and current interest rates are less attractive to investors who may want to purchase strata rental properties," Victoria Real Estate Board President President Dinnie-Smyth said in a news release. "It is also possible that these measures will contribute further to eroding housing affordability as older stratas with rental restrictions were generally valued lower than their rentable counterparts."

Slower sales have also contributed to a slight dip in market values over the last few months. That could mean some property assessments — being sent out soon to homeowners from BC Assessment — will be higher than current market value.

“I want to emphasize that assessments are based on July 1 values of this year, meaning that when similar properties were sold up to and around July 1, those market value sales are used to calculate your assessed value," Assessor Bryan Mura said in a news release. “An increase in assessment value does not, however, necessarily result in an increase in property taxes. Taxes are typically only affected if you are above the average value change for your community."
Victoria Real Estate Board: Member since 1969
Have questions about our 2023 Business Awards?
Join us as we walk through our new online nomination and award application process and answer all kinds of questions about the 2023 Business Awards to help you put your best foot forward.
This event is for businesses who have already received a nomination or who want to learn more before nominating themselves. During this virtual call we will take a look at the 2023 Business Awards timeline, award categoriesnomination information, and how to submit an award entry. 
Tues., Dec. 13 | 12 - 1 PM
Virtual via Zoom
Call-in details provided upon registration
Thurs., Jan. 5 | 12 - 1 PM
Virtual via Zoom
Call-in details provided upon registration
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Local Delivery of Local Groceries
It’s now much easier to source small independent local craft businesses in Greater Victoria.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams learns more about local delivery service BCause with co-owner Mitch Hawes.
BCause: Member since 2022
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Season’s greetings and sustainable shopping
This holiday season, be sure to shop locally and sustainably! Follow these Chamber tips to help your local community and the earth as a whole.
Celebrating #IndigenousBusinessYYJ
The Chamber is committed to Indigenous reconciliation. We’re proud to feature new Indigenous Chamber members, including Mack Law Group LLP!

Mack Law Corp is wholly Indigenous-owned and operated, founded by Leah Mack of the Toquaht Nation.
She has dedicated her career to working with and for First Nation communities and organizations to find original solutions to complex legal issues. Mack Law Corp incorporates all aspects of the law, including communities’ unique Indigenous laws, culture, traditions, and history.

Stay tuned as we highlight more Indigenous Chamber members - #IndigenousBusinessVicBC

Are you an Indigenous-owned business working in Greater Victoria? Learn more about Chamber membership and opportunities to connect by emailing [email protected]
Find great employees for the new year
What do you have on your wish list this year? If a great new employee is what you’re searching for, you’ve come to the right place!

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 use this offer today. This is your last chance to use this free benefit before the end of the year!

Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber. If you have any questions or need help uploading your job posting, email [email protected]
Member News
Medals of Good Citizenship awarded

Two Chamber members have received the Medal of Good Citizenship from the province for their service to their communities. Ron Rice of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and Karen Hira of Oasis Society for the Spiritual Health of Victoria both received recognition for their work towards reconciliation and Indigenous wellness.

Victoria Native Friendship Centre: Member since 2019

Oasis Society for the Spiritual Health of Victoria: Member since 2022
A Christmas Carol returns

This Friday, Our Place Society will be hosting their annual reading of A Christmas Carol. Featuring special guests Joe Perkins of CHEK News and Jack Knox of the Times Colonist, all proceeds from ticket sales will support the work Our Place does for those in need.
Our Place Society: Member since 2010
Times Colonist: Member since 1961
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
10 years of oceanfront excellence

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is celebrating their 10th anniversary this month. Since 2012, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has won numerous awards for their pristine views and luxurious modern amenities. The original Oak Bay Beach hotel was built in 1927 before being destroyed by a fire in 1930. It has since been rebuilt, closed and renovated into the building it is today.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel: Member since 2011
Community learning program launched at VNFC

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre has announced the creation of a community learning program. The program, which supports the development and promotion of anti-racism tools and educational resources, was created with the purpose of recognizing the importance of reconciliation and drawing connections between learned information and what Indigenous individuals experience personally and within their communities.

Victoria Native Friendship Centre: Member since 2019
Chamber supports Dine Around & Stay in Town

The Chamber is pleased to support our local food and accommodation members this winter. The return of Greater Victoria’s Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria will give locals and visitors alike the chance to indulge in some of our destination’s finest restaurant offerings between Jan. 20 and Feb. 5. The toughest part will be choosing between the more than 50 participating restaurants who have thoughtfully paired their menus with some of BC’s finest in wine, craft beer and specialty crafted cocktails. Tickets are now available for the Gala Launch on Jan. 19, 2023, giving attendees the opportunity to celebrate local cuisine with the BCRFA and Destination Greater Victoria.
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association: Member since 1996
National success for local grocer

Pepper’s Food Store has been named the third best independently owned grocery retailer under 15,000 square feet in Canada. Receiving the recognition for 60 years of featuring local products and strong customer service, Pepper’s was also the top scoring small surface award winner in BC and the Yukon.
Pepper's Food Store: Member since 2002
Ecostar Awards recognizing climate leadership

The 2022 Ecostar Awards, hosted by Synergy Foundation, recognizes local businesses that are committed to environmental and social leadership. This year, four Chamber members were given distinct awards:
Read more about the award winners in Douglas Magazine.

Eluma Beauty Inc (Elate Cosmetics): Member since 2019

Synergy Foundation: Member since 2017

The Parkside Hotel & Spa: Member since 2013
BC Transit: Member since 1999
Schneider Electric: Member since 2003
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
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