Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
April 7, 2021
Minister announcing help to offset restrictions
Help is expected to be announced tomorrow for restaurants and other businesses affected by the health restrictions that began March 30 and last until April 19.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation has scheduled a Facebook Live event for 12:30 pm. The new rules came into effect at midnight on April 1, a few hours after they were publicly announced.
Scenes of joy as care homes open for visitors
As the province finds itself facing another wave of COVID-19 cases, there was some joyful news and evidence that immunization is key to ending the pandemic.

On April 1, families were able to visit in-person with relatives living in long-term care homes. At Broadmead Care resident Marjorie Sutherland, pictured above, was able to hold the hand of her son David Sutherland and daughter Wendy O'Dwyer for the first time in more than a year.

The Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control updated guidelines for long-term care homes and assisted living facilities.

“Now that the most vulnerable among us have received a vaccine, we are safely amending restrictions to give people in long-term care greater opportunities to connect with the people they love,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a news release.
Broadmead Care: Member since 2017
Vaccine rollout enters Phase 3 during critical time
BC has started the next phase of the largest immunization effort in its history, and initial reports are that the province-led rollout has gone well. Under Phase 3, everyone in British Columbia can follow three steps to get vaccinated. After registering online or over the phone, you will be contacted to book an appointment when you are eligible based on where you fit in the criteria for the immunization plan. In Greater Victoria, first doses of vaccine will be administered at seven sites including the University of Victoria, Victoria Conference Centre and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.

As the third wave of COVID-19 hits BC, the province remains committed to providing everyone in BC with a first dose of vaccine by July 1, setting the stage for loosening of restrictions over the summer.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
Victoria Conference Centre: Member since 1990
Victoria Native Friendship Centre: Member since 2019
Grants help businesses with cost to repair vandalism
Property crime in downtown Victoria has been one of the most visible signs of disruption caused by the pandemic. In response, the Downtown Victoria Business Association and the City of Victoria are partnering to provide grants to businesses affected by vandalism.

Up to $1,000 is available with proof (insurance deductible, police file number and repair receipts) to help cover costs. For more information, email [email protected].
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Film industry boosts hard-hit sectors of economy
Celebrity sightings in Greater Victoria are a welcome reminder of the role the film industry plays in sustainable economic growth of our region. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams was interviewed by CTV Vancouver Island on Monday about the opportunity to invest in production infrastructure.

"Having the film people in town is a big boost in many ways to the economy," Williams said, noting that hosting film and television crews provides benefits to the tourism and hospitality industry.
"They are spending money, they are renting things, they're staying in hotels (and) they're going to restaurants."

The Chamber is actively advocating for investment in film production facilities in Greater Victoria.

We continue to work with the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission as well as Malahat Film Studios, Camosun College, the District of Saanich and all of our partners working on bringing production facilities to our region.
Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission: Member since 1980
Camosun College: Member since 1981
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Malahat Film Studios: Member since 2020
Hear how BC Housing plans on creating home for everyone
Greater Victoria is facing crises in housing, overdose deaths and COVID-19, with all posing significant challenges for our region. The pandemic has made it clear that all British Columbians need access to safe and affordable housing.

Over the past year, BC Housing has worked with the City of Victoria, local non-profits, the private sector and Island Health on a coordinated response to shelter more than 500 people experiencing homelessness in Victoria.

Learn about recent initiatives including:

  • BC Housing’s response to COVID-19
  • Shelter to Housing Initiative in Victoria
  • Community benefits of new housing
  • Opportunities for the business community
Tues. May 11, 2021 | 12-1 PM
Submit your questions for Mr. Ramsay by April 26, 2021.
How do you create a
personal brand?
Living in an ever increasingly virtual world, it's never been more important to create a positive online brand.

Hear from the Ocean 98.5 FM's morning radio host extraordinaire Robin Farrell on tips to creating a lasting brand and then share your takeaways in virtual breakout rooms.
Thurs., May 13 | 5-6 PM
New hub aims to help workplace mental health
An online hub offering mental health help for employers and their staff has been created by the province and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The new hub, announced today, provides workshops and webinars as well as links and other information to help manage stress and build resiliency in the workplace.
In May, the hub will also offer a made-in-B.C. training and coaching platform that will provide personalized guidance for managers in the tourism, hospitality and community social services sectors.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Pivot Pilots lead the way
As we continue to taxi along the Recovery Runway we are having conversations with Pivot Pilots — those business leaders who were able to pivot their operations through innovation. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Cathy Scott of Departures Travel, Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers and Marnie Hart of Sailor Jack Consignment.

In this Chamber Chat, we speak with an owner who shifted her travel business to virtual travel and mystery trips in our backyard, a restaurateur who took this opportunity to reset the bar with his staff to create a living wage for his entire team, and a consignment retailer who rethought the whole shopping experience to support young families and created a culture of caring. 
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Departures Travel and Niche Travel Inc: Member since 2013
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Member since 1990
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Chamber Champion since 2021
Sailor Jack Consignment: Member since 2019
Highlighting our Chamber Champions
As part of the celebration of Chamber Week in February, our Chamber Champions submitted quotes highlighting the importance of investing in The Chamber. Each week we will be showcasing these quotes.
"The Chamber plays an important role in our community, and we look forward to continuing to build meaningful partnerships with the business community."

Chamber Job Board
Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board. 

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure it can be properly sorted and stand out from other job offers. This list is continually added with new industry types, and can be modified to highlight any industry. 

Also, remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin & HR to Marketing & Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.  

If you have any questions about the Job Board, or would like a specific industry type added, please email
Supporting #ChamberLocalVicBC
Our #ChamberLocalVicBC campaign aims to help individuals understand what local means on a social, economic, and community level- and we want to hear from you. 

From buying gift cards to leaving reviews of your favourite local businesses online, we can continue to support our friends, family, and our #ChamberLocalVicBC community.

You can even support those businesses from your comfy chair at home. These Chamber members deliver what you ordered locally keeping it in the community and keeping it green.
Let us know how your organization defines local to be featured in our campaign. Contact Thomas at [email protected] to share your story.
Read the stories from Chamber Members here.
Member News
USB charging on new BC Transit fleet

BC Transit has unveiled a new series of double-decker buses, named the Enviro500. With a capacity to seat 89 passengers, the buses offer USB ports at each seat for mobile phone charging, new dirt and contaminant- resistant fabric on seats, and numerous accessibility upgrades. 11 Enviro500’s will be implemented in Greater Victoria in the coming weeks. 
BC Transit: member since 1999
Jumpstart with Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire has announced that an additional $12 million will be committed to their Jumpstart Charities' Sport Relief Fund, a national initiative to support sporting organisations.

Six non-profit organisations in Greater Victoria have received grants already, including The YMCA - YWCA of Vancouver Island and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria. Organisations can apply for operational/programming funding here. 

Canadian Tire: member since 2018
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria: member since 2000
YMCA - YWCA of Vancouver Island: member since 1987
Celebrate Earth Month in style

Just in time for Earth Month, Current Taxi has partnered with Prince of Whales Whale Watching Tours to showcase the beauty of Greater Victoria sustainably. Enter to win a prize pack including private a Zodiac whale watching tour and a round-trip Tesla car service for 6. Enter now until April 21. 

Current Taxi: member since 2019
Prince of Whales Whale Watching: member since 2002
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you

Peter Wood, owner of Bear & Joey, has launched, an online hub for new small businesses to share and amplify their experiences regarding their ineligibility for federal funding.

The website calls on the federal government to amend their funding structure to allow small businesses who can demonstrate financial commitment to their business prior to COVID-19 access to support. Read more about the affected businesses and the support they are requesting in Douglas Magazine here

Bear & Joey: member since 2021
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004
Funding tech-startups

Cindicates, a new venture-capital seed fund, is now offering funding opportunities for early-stage tech entrepreneurs in Greater Victoria. Affiliated with VIATEC and Alacrity Canada, Cindicates is searching for high potential start-ups offering software as a service, artificial intelligence, marketplaces, eCommerce, and consumer products. Cindicates has also recently signed a lease with VIATEC to occupy a portion of their co-working space.

Learn more here

Cindicates: member since 2021
VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council): member since 1991
Alacrity Canada: member since 2019
Pivoting to outdoor exercise

Annex Fitness is now offering outdoor strength, barre and yoga classes at Uptown. Created as a result of recent provincial health orders limiting indoor workouts, Annex now offers socially distanced classes for up to nine people available every day. You can also sign up for virtual classes to train at home. 

Annex Fitness: member since 2019
Shape Property Management – Uptown: member since 1983
Private art viewings

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is now offering Private Engagement Tours, giving small groups an opportunity to view stunning art exhibitions. These guided tours give you a chance to ask an Engagement Facilitator specific questions about the art while exploring at your leisure. 
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: member since 2007
Welcome to our newest members!