Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
January 20, 2021
Closer to home, Beatty says our immediate focus needs to be on controlling the pandemic in Canada. We've had a "crazy quilt of approaches" to stopping the spread of the virus, Beatty says. A national approach is needed rather than regional restrictions. The biggest risk to business is the yo-yo effect of opening and closing, which disrupts operations and makes planning impossible.

"What worries me when I look at it today, the Team Canada approach (we had in the spring of 2020) is fraying. People are feeling victimized and powerless," Beatty said, saying it's within each of us to use the tools and knowledge we have to stop the spread. "We're not powerless."
Missed the live event? Register online to access the video recording.
Get a front-row seat to provincial ministers
The Chamber is hosting high-profile provincial ministers in the coming weeks, starting Feb. 18 with the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and the Hon. Ravi Kahlon will discuss the government's plan to ensure all businesses have an opportunity torecover.

On Feb. 23, BC Attorney General David Eby will be The Chamber's guest for a discussion about the province's 10-year housing plan and actions being taken to house the homeless.
What will economic recovery look like after the pandemic?
As we emerge from the fog of the pandemic, find out how government is refocusing relief efforts to make sure no one is left behind. Join Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and the Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, to hear about what is being done to ensure an inclusive economic recovery across B.C.
Business Restart Series:
Thurs., Feb. 18 | 12 - 1PM
Hear how BC plans to address housing affordability and homelessness
Be a part of the discussion as Chamber CEO Bruce Williams talks with Hon. David Eby, BC Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, about the province's 10-year housing plan and actions being taken to house the homeless.
Tues., Feb. 23 | 12 - 1 PM
Still time to apply for unallocated grant money
There's still time to tap into a provincial grant program that has been underutilized by BC businesses. The office of Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin has sent out a reminder to local businesses that they can access the program until funds are fully allocated, or March 31 — whichever comes first

Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available, while an additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism businesses.

The province lowered barriers to the program on Dec. 18, but it still has had less uptake than expected. Businesses that sent in applications before the change will be reevaluated under the new criteria.

If you haven't applied, find out if you're eligible and submit an application here.
Federal minister says relief for tourism on the way
The federal government is preparing to roll out new support for Canada's hard-hit tourism industry. Federal Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly told the Times Colonist that details will be unveiled imminently.

Many tourism-dependent companies such as hotels and attractions as well as organizations focused on moving people between communities — bus lines, ferries and airports — need urgent help to survive until travel can resume.

The Chamber continues to support our members in tourism and transportation, working both locally and through our national chamber network.
VicPD needs resources to ensure safe community
The Victoria Police Department is warning businesses about a disturbing spike in property crimes to start the new year. A little more than half-way through January, there have already been more break-and-enters reported (28) than in all of December (26). Three-quarters of the crimes have been in downtown Victoria and the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood.

The break-ins are predominately taking place at unoccupied businesses, police say. Some of the crimes involve the removal of glass panes using specialized tools.

VicPD urges businesses to take precautions and asks anyone with information about the crimes to call 1-800-222-8477.

The Chamber advocates for safe communities as a fundamental requirement for people to be successful at work and in life. In 2020, this advocacy priority became more urgent due to increases in crime and the number of people experiencing homelessness. We will continue to call for adequate resources for police, and will keep an eye on municipal budget deliberations currently underway.
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Thank you to our Chamber Champions!
Their resource, strategic input, and guidance comes at a time when the work done by The Chamber on behalf of our members has never been more important.

In the months ahead, the Champions will work with The Chamber and each other to add resiliency to Greater Victoria's economy and ensure a full recovery as we get back to good business and great community.
Learn more about how these organizations are championing the work of The Chamber.
Special thanks to CHEK for producing this video!
*Please note the correct date for this event is February 10 to March 10, 2021
Songhees approved for cannabis stores in Victoria
The Songhees Nation has received approval to open two retail cannabis stores in downtown Victoria. The Seed and Stone: Songhees Edition will be located at 901 Gordon St., with another outlet in The Bay Centre. The initiative will generate income for the Songhees but is an economic opportunity in other ways as well.

“Our members also have considerable interest in the jobs and training opportunities that will result from this project,” Songhees Chief Ron Sam said in a statement.

The City of Victoria approved the stores on Jan. 14, and the approval process has moved to the next step of provincial government review. The aim is to have the locations open by the spring.
Songhees Nation: members since 2017
The Bay Centre: members since 1990
City of Victoria: members since 1962
Westhills Stadium renamed Starlight Stadium
The City of Langford has agreed to rename Westhills Stadium in a deal that creates new revenue for major tenant Pacific FC. Under the largest sponsorship deal in Langford's history, Toronto developers Starlight Investments will reportedly pay more than $500,000 over five years. The stadium will be known as Starlight Stadium.

“This is a big deal, for Langford and for Pacific FC,” Langford Mayor Stew Young told the Times Colonist.
City of Langford: member since 2019
Pacific FC: member since 2019
How is your business #ChamberLocalVicBC?
What does local mean to you?
The answer to that question will be key to ensuring Greater Victoria is able to recover from the pandemic and gain added resilience as we move forward.

The Chamber has always supported local business. Back to our founding in 1863, we helped Greater Victoria's economy thrive by serving as a unified voice for enterprise.

As we continue our Chamber Local campaign into 2021, we want to hear from you. What does local mean to your business and to you and your family? 

Contact Thomas at to submit a story for #ChamberLocalVicBC.
Take advantage of benefits, discounts and savings
As a member of The Chamber, you and your organization are eligible for discounts and savings. Take advantage of these corporate discounts as part of The Chamber Benefits Program.

Need to improve your home office? Lenovo, Monk Office, and Grand & Toy offer a variety of discounts for hardware, furniture and more.

Ship your packages with ease, and get 50% off domestic and international shipping with UPS. Shipments can be easily tracked through UPS My Choice® for Business. Learn more about shipping rates and tracking here.

Our Chamber Benefits Program has many valuable offers to utilize, from fuel discounts to certificates of origin. Chamber members can also find and post on the Member to Member Offers page, a constantly updated resource to showcase your product/service to fellow Chamber members.

For more information on how to take advantage of these savings, or to post a Member to Member offer, contact
Receive a preferred pricing discount of 10% on all regularly priced office supplies
Receive up to 85% off 7,500 quality office products!
Save up to 30% off the everyday public web price of Lenovo’s entire product line
Chamber Job Board

During these challenging times, The Chamber’s Job Board connects employers needing help with employees in need of work.

Whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or a manager looking for talent, finding and retaining employees is crucial.

Learn more about how to post on the job board here. ​If you have any questions about posting, please email
Thinking about summer in January?

Hard to believe there is just over a week left to apply for Canada Summer Jobs funding. Funding covers youth hires between the ages of 15 and 30 for six to 23 consecutive weeks. And, similar to the program in 2020, stretches from April 2021 to February 2022 — a very welcome degree of flexibility.

Hiring a co-op students through programs at Camosun and the University of Victoria is more than an investment in your business, it's an investment in a future staff person. With up to 75% of the wage potentially covered for most businesses, it is worth taking 20 to 30 minutes to apply.

"Over the years, we've been able to hire students each year thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs program. The new flexibility on dates has been incredibly helpful," says Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman, The Chamber's Director of Operations."One of the best parts of my day is hearing about the extraordinary things our previous co-op students are doing now. Always worth it!"

Not sure how to fill out a winning application? This Thursday (and next) Camosun is hosting a 9-9:30 am Zoom how-to session to give you a leg up on the process. In addition to Canada Summer Jobs funding the University of Victoria co-op department can provide additional funding options and ideas on how make sure a co-op student is making a difference at your business.
Last week to nominate! 2021 Business Awards
This is the final in our series of the 14 different award categories, with so many extraordinary businesses who went above and beyond in 2020, we encourage you to take two minutes and nominate today.
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 pandemic
Nominations close January 25, 2021.
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2020 Sustainable Business Practices finalists below. Thanks to Camosun College for sponsoring this award.
Looking to promote your business?

Be part of Greater Victoria’s most prestigious awards as we celebrate business excellence. Contact Stefanie Cara for more information.
Member News

Scotiabank Group has launched ScotiaRISE, an initiative that has pledged $500 million over the next 10 years to remove the barriers some groups experience while strengthening opportunities for everyone to get the economy moving forward. The program will target disadvantaged groups to increase high-school completion, help newcomers feel at home faster, and remove barriers to career advancement. Learn more about ScotiaRISE here.

Scotiabank: member since 1962
Scotiabank: member since 1962
A nutty way to enjoy national Peanut Butter Day

Looking to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day on Jan. 24 without peanuts? Fatso has just unveiled its almond and seed butters. These new creations come in Classic, Maple and Salted Caramel. Fatso received the 2019 Greater Victoria Business Award for Innovation, and you can view their award video here.

Know of an innovative business that you think deserves recognition?

Nominate them for the 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards here. Nominations close Jan. 25.

Fatso: member since 2019
Calling All Artists

Feeling creative? The City of Victoria is seeking new art pieces to brighten public spaces. From signage kiosks to the decoration of storefronts, learn how to showcase your art here.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Patrolling the ocean

Open Ocean Robotics has unveiled a new autonomous vessel that is designed to police illegal fishing. The solar powered vessel, “Daphne,” is equipped with radar and a hydrophone that can be used to identify, locate and track targets.

Open Ocean Robotics: member since 2020
Trades for Success

Concert Properties has donated $90,000 to Camosun College’s “Trades for Success” program, further assisting youth, adult and K-12 students with limited access to training opportunities.

Concert Properties has committed to donating $250,000 over the next three years. The money will be used to build awareness of Red Seal trades.
Concert Properties / Capital Park Residences: member since 2012
Camosun College: member since 1981
VREB welcomes new president

The Victoria Real Estate Board has announced that David Langlois will become their new president. Langlois will be entering the position as VREB celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
Victoria Real Estate Board: member since 1969
Canoe joins CRAFT

Canoe BrewPub has been acquired by CRAFT Beer Market, a national organization that promotes community involvement through fundraising initiatives. Owned and operated by the Truffles Group, the restaurant and patio of Canoe BrewPub will be leased to CRAFT. No immediate changes to the brewpub will be implemented.
Canoe Brewpub: member since 1998
Do you have an innovation success story?
We want to hear from you!
Welcome to our newest members!