Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
July 8, 2020
Tourism experts offer advice and insight into crisis
The first event in The Chamber's new Business Restart Series was held this afternoon. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams moderated a panel of tourism experts: Indu Brar from the Fairmont Empress, Ian Robertson of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Randy Wright from Harbour Air Seaplanes.

The panel spoke candidly about the effect that the pandemic has had on their business, and how they're pivoting to get through the crisis. The Fairmont Empress, for example, has introduced Lunch on the Lawn every Saturday to attract locals. Brar said it is a "time for creativity" and our destination needs to do a little more work to remind British Columbians about our region's incomparable location.

"We live in one of the of the most beautiful places in the world," she said, adding there's no better place for people to find the human connection we're all craving.

The Chamber is working with all levels of government to ensure they continue to invest in the tourism sector to provide the certainty needed to get through until at least next year.

Wish you could have watched it live?
Don't worry, click here to sign up and see the event.
Chamber chair and CEO share stories in Douglas
The July issue of Douglas Magazine includes a cover story on Chamber chair John Wilson, and how his company plans to overcome the challenges of COVID-19.

The Wilson's Group of Companies has been greatly affected by the pandemic, which has seen tourism and ground transportation hit especially hard. "It's upsetting but we've got to look at what we have to work with," Wilson told Douglas. "We'll get knocked down, but we'll keep moving forward."

The same edition also include an interview with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, who grew up working in a family business and is dedicated to ensuring The Chamber is more relevant than ever to its members.
PPE Marketplace a great resource for recovery
As the economy opens up and businesses work to safely bring back customers, access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital.

To help ensure supplies are available, a PPE Marketplace has been created by Small Business BC and the provincial government. Businesses can access a searchable directory to easily locate suppliers with the non-medical PPE needed to operate safely during the pandemic.

As well, suppliers of PPEs interested in being listed as a vendor can request to be part of the marketplace.

The Chamber has been working with Small Business BC and the provincial government since measures were first introduced to protect British Columbians from the spread of COVID-19.
Nominations open for 2021-22 Chamber Board
Now more than ever leadership matters.

We’d like to invite you to be a part of the history of the region and serve on The Chamber 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, six (6) board positions are up for election and we're looking for great nominees like you.

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 a nomination form here. Please also include your bio and photo for the election ballot. Additional questions can be directed here.

Nominations close Thursday, July 30 at noon.
Thurs., July 9 |12-1pm
Online & in-person
Patio Season has arrived in Greater Victoria! Use this handy checklist to discover patios with incredible views, delicious food and cold drinks to enjoy on a hot day.

Before heading to a Chamber member patio, ensure they are open by visiting the Chamber Member Service Update page, or by contacting them directly.

Take a photo of yourself completing the Patio Checklist, and tag us with @victoriachamber and #YYJPatioChecklist for a chance to be featured on our social media channels. Stay safe and support local this season.
Getting you back to business
Hear how the Air Travel sector is about to take flight
Join Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and a panel of air transport and tourism leaders as they discuss how to safely and responsibly open aviation travel and the role of tourism in moving our local economy forward.
Serge Corbeil
Upcoming opportunities to Mix and Mingle
Thurs., July 9 | 12- 1pm
Thurs., July 16 |5-6pm
Guide helps residents fight climate change
Want to know how you can make your home be part of a climate change solution?

The District of Saanich has launched a step-by-step climate action manual called the Resident’s Climate Action Guidebook. The goal is to teach the public how to make their homes more sustainable in six steps and help the municipality build a climate-friendly future.

In January, Saanich approved a 131-step plan to reduce the risks associated with climate change locally and globally, cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, move to net-zero emissions by 2050 and transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Feds forecast $343 billion debt due to pandemic
The federal government announced today that it is projecting a deficit of $343 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number is staggering and it will take decades for Canada to fully recover.

The Chamber, along with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is calling on the federal government to transition from a subsidy-based response to one focused on investments aimed at restoring economic growth and getting Canadians back to work.

"Today should have been an opportunity to offer Canadians a clear picture of the challenges and a coherent strategy to address them," said a statement from the Canadian Chamber. "What businesses, investors, analysts and Canadians alike wanted to hear was how we will move away from the short-term measures that are quickly draining the federal treasury to helping families and businesses once again become self-sufficient."
Relief plan for benefit obligations in the works
On July 2, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced draft regulations designed to help employers who sponsor a Registered Pension Plan (RPP) or salary deferral leave plan. The proposal would, during the pandemic, provide relief from obligations related to income tax regulations. In particular, pushing the retroactive contribution deadline for 2020 RRSPs as far as April 30, 2021, for either the employer or individual.

"The temporary relief we will provide to registered pension plan sponsors and their beneficiaries will play an important role in supporting them through these challenges and in positioning them for a strong recovery,” Morneau said.
ICA highlights local champions of Black Lives Matter
The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria has published an interview with three women who helped organize the Black Lives Matter events in Victoria on June 7. The interviews offer insight into each woman's experience with discrimination and bigotry and why it's so important to prioritize actions that will disrupt and change the systemic racism that is an unfortunate reality for Black Canadians.
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria: Member since 1996
Supreme Court dismisses appeal of TMX project
Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada decided it was not going to hear an appeal over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The decision was welcomed by an industry reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a global oversupply. The expansion, which is well underway, will triple the capacity of its existing line between northern Alberta and Burnaby, BC.
Trans Mountain: Member since 2013
Open for Business — Chamber directory style
To help locals looking to support businesses in the region, we want to make it easier to find businesses that are open and ready to provide products or services.

You'll see on our Chamber  online business directory  that we've added an Open icon for businesses. Details on how the business has adapted and/or new hours will appear in Products and Services at the bottom of the listing. We've also enhanced the SEO keywords on these listings to get you noticed.

Do you have updated business hours or services? Contact us   for your Open Icon and enhanced directory listing.
Job Board exclusive member benefit
The job board has returned to being an exclusive benefit of Chamber membership.

The Chamber is proud to have featured more than 500 jobs on our  job board  , including 250 since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We opened up this member benefit to help our community meet the demand for essential service jobs. We are now seeing a return to job postings that reflect the restart of our economy.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you within one business day. We know how important hiring the right person can be.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Members Around Town
Ready to set sail

Seaspan ULC ceremoniously launched the Canadian Coast Guard Ship John Cabot, with Dr. Bonnie Henry breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship. The ceremony was conducted under strict public health protocols, of course. The John Cabot is a state-of-the-art Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel.
Seaspan ULC: member since 1972
Award winning catering

Nicholas Waters from Toque Catering has won the 2020 Canadian Caterer of the Year Award from the Canadian Event Industry Awards. Toque catering were also finalists in the Most Creative Food Presentation award, and Toque Catering and Truffles Catering were finalists in the Best Catered Event award. Congratulations!

Toque Catering: member since 2020
Truffles Catering: member since 1994
Walk to the wharf

Looking to stay active while physical distancing? Lifetime Networks has created the Summer Step Challenge, a fun and active way to stay fit this summer. From now until Sept. 7, track your daily steps for a chance to win prizes. Whether you join as an individual or a team, now is the perfect opportunity to discover new walking trails in Greater Victoria.

Lifetime Networks: members since 2013
Summer Screenings

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is hosting VIP Summer Screenings — a chance to see great movies while enjoying delicious treats. Featured movies include classics such as Dirty Dancing and Mamma Mia. Each ticket covers complimentary parking, one glass of sparkling wine, a bottle of water, local charcuterie board and pre-packed theatre snacks such as popcorn and licorice. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation .

Oak Bay Beach Hotel: member since 2011

Victoria Hospitals Foundation: member since 2019
Virtual open house

On July 11 and July 15, St. Michaels University School will host virtual open houses for prospective international and domestic students. 360 ° tours of the campus are also available so students and parents can have an in-depth look at the facilities SMUS offers.

St. Michael’s University School: members since 2015
Welcome to our newest members!
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