May 10, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
On Monday, May 8, The Chamber hosted Hon. Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation to discuss the future of work in B.C. Thanks to Kubera Payments for sponsoring this event. View event photos here.
Uber approved to operate in Greater Victoria
A well-known ride-sharing brand has been approved to begin operations in Greater Victoria, the company announced today.

Uber Canada had been awaiting a decision by the Passenger Transportation Board to allow a licence transfer from a company that had been approved previously but was never operational. The news is welcomed by Greater Victoria's tourism and hospitality sectors.

"The Chamber wrote to the PTB in support of Uber," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Our members have been clear that they want ride-sharing options here, and that we need to have international brands available."

Adding Uber to Greater Victoria also benefits many late-night workers who have found it challenging to get home after their shifts. Transit is a great option to get to work, but does not operate late enough for many people working in Victoria restaurants and bars. Having the option to take an Uber home means that staff have a reliable and safe way to get home.

"Over the next few weeks, we will work hard to ensure a smooth transition and activate our platform for drivers and riders as soon as possible," Uber said in a letter to The Chamber. "Thank you for everything you have done to get us here. We achieved this milestone because of your strong support and advocacy."
Uber Canada: Member since 2019
Royal BC Museum set to re-open Old Town exhibit
The Royal BC Museum is bringing back Old Town. The much-loved exhibit will re-open July 29, after it closed to visitors in January 2022.

The museum is going through a modernization process that will eventually see a new building that is seismically safer and better suited for 21 century audiences. The current building opened in 1968.

"The museum is part of the fabric of Greater Victoria and many people feel strongly about what they want to see happen," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said after the museum hosted The Chamber's 160th Celebration. "I'm fully confident in the work that museum staff are doing to modernize their facility, and The Chamber is excited about helping to ensure the museum continues to serve its important role in our region for generations to come."

Many features of Old Town remain untouched. Among the additions is a new loop playing in the old-time movie theatre showing the diversity of voices who contributed to the province's history.
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
Province targets new markets with trade strategy
A new approach to help more businesses with exporting and investing internationally was announced by the province last week.

The Trade Diversification Strategy targets three new markets for increased exports and investment, as well as expansion in existing markets. The aim is to help BC businesses "grow on the world stage while creating jobs and protecting British Columbians from supply-chain disruptions and global uncertainties."

The new target markets are Mexico, Vietnam and Taiwan. The province will add Trade and Investment Representative offices in Taiwan and Mexico. Offices have also been opened in Vietnam.

The Trade Diversification Strategy will provide funding to successful programs, including $1.2 million annually for Export Navigator and $913,000 to deliver new cohorts of the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), which supports BC businesses and entrepreneurs to be export ready.
Saanich endorses plan to increase housing density
Creating more housing supply is key to making Greater Victoria more economically sustainable. Employers need staff, and employees need to be able to afford where they live. With homes in high demand in our region, we need all levels of government to be part of the solution.

The Chamber applauds the recent decision by the District of Saanich to create more homes in the municipality. The New Small Apartment Infill Zone will allow single-family lots to be redeveloped as multi-unit apartments. There are guidelines to ensure the zoning is used on appropriate lots.

“We have heard that there’s an interest in building these in Saanich,” Saanich Mayor Dean Murdoch told the Times Colonist. “We’ve got a very large university and college campuses in Saanich and there’s a desire to build housing types like this that would serve that student population.”
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Upcoming Business Leaders Series
Venue Sponsor:
Economic Progress Report
Join us as we host the Bank of Canada's Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry as he delivers the Economic Progress Report. This presentation will discuss recent developments in the Canadian economy and the implications for monetary policy.
Thurs., June 8, | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Victoria Conference Centre - Carson Hall
Sponsored by:
BC Hydro's electrification plan

With a focus on climate change and the electrification of more devices, homes, vehicles and industries, find out how BC Hydro is helping their customers make the switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity.
Sponsored by:
May Member Networking Breakfast
Start your morning with a business development and community building check mark. Hosted by Revera at their Kensington Retirement Residence, known for the independent, active senior living lifestyle it provides, this breakfast is a must-attend event for Chamber 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.
Sponsored by:
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than 10 minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value?

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet by completing the survey.
Thanks for celebrating with us!
The Chamber's 2023 Business Awards were held May 4 at the Fairmont Empress with nearly 400 people in attendance to celebrate hard-working businesses, businesspeople and community leaders.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
All Things Cycling with Bishop's Family Cycles
The pandemic created a cycling surge across the Capital Region, and along with it advancements in bike design and technology.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams talks all things cycling with Robert Kemp of Bishop's Family Cycles, and about a profound health challenge his family is facing.
Bishop's Family Cycles: Member since 2023
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find the best talent for your team
If you’re looking to grow your team this Spring, The Chamber’s job board is your next best resource.

Attract the best workers by posting a 30, 60, or 90 day job listing. Tap into the Google Jobs Network and candidates that are eager to work for a Chamber member.

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected]
Member News
Harbour Air's electric plane makes Victoria appearance
A revolution in air travel is coming. People visiting the Inner Harbour this week had a chance to see Harbour Air's new electric plane, which could be offering passenger service between the Island and the mainland in two years.

A converted de Havilland Beaver, the high-tech floatplane was scheduled to be at HarbourAir's Victoria Harbour terminal until this morning.
Harbour Air: Member since 1993
Borrow a bike lock program open for business

The City of Victoria is expanding its program that offers bike locks to businesses so customers can safely park their bicycles while they dine or shop. Interested businesses can apply online for a high-quality bike lock from the city. There is no cost for the locks.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Milestone achieved for Pacific Northwest Transportation

Western Stevedoring's Pacific Northwest Transportation Services has attained B Corp Certification. Being B Corp certified means PNWTS has met the highest standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits, charitable giving, and supply chain practices. The assessment is a multi-year process that goes beyond evaluating products or services and assesses all aspects of business practices of an organization.
Western Stevedoring: Member since 1969
Pre-season open house helps HarbourCats prepare to 'play ball'

With a new season mere weeks away, the Victoria HarbourCats are gearing up with an open house on May 23, from 5 to 7pm, at Max Furniture, 3460 Quadra St.
It's a chance to mix and mingle with the club's local owners and team members, and enjoy wine, cheese and cookies. The team's home opener is June 2 vs. the Kamloops NorthPaws.
Victoria HarbourCats: Member since 2012
Max Furniture: Member since 2008
Help View Royal design new mural

The Town of View Royal is asking residents to help choose the look of a public art project planned for the Helmcken Road Trestle. A mural has been proposed to enhance the aesthetic of the structure and discourage graffiti. To provide feedback on what the mural will look like, the Town is conducting a poll until May 31.
Town of View Royal: Member since 2020
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