Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
April 21, 2021
Federal and Provincial Budget 2021 events
Federal Budget 2021:
A Conversation with Federal Minister Joyce Murray
As Canada begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we must put our economy on a stronger footing both for Canadians today and future generations.

This Earth Day, please join the Hon. Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government for a discussion about Budget 2021 and the Government of Canada’s plan to invest in a green recovery to create jobs, build a clean economy, and fight and protect against climate change.
Thurs., April 22 | 1:30 - 2:30 PM |Zoom
Special thanks to the Camosun College and University of Victoria Co-Op programs for sponsoring this event:
Just announced!
Provincial Budget 2021:
A Conversation with BC Finance Minister Selina Robinson
As British Columbia looks to the future, hear from the Hon. Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance for British Columbia, on how her government plans to provide additional supports to business and families, and implement new initiatives as we make our way towards economic recovery.

Minister Robinson will provide an overview of the recently unveiled budget and an update on the state of B.C.'s economy.
Special thanks to Coastal Community Credit Union & Insurance Services for sponsoring this event:
Federal Budget 2021:
What's New for Business and Individuals
Join our Chamber CEO Bruce WilliamsMatthew Hohnsbehn, Liaison Officer at the Canada Revenue Agency, and Kris Wirk, Partner at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants as they break down the federal budget, explain how you can utilize existing and any new programs to keep your business running and give you the ability to bounce forward out of this pandemic.
Takeout Challenge ends Sunday, April 25
The Chamber’s Takeout Challenge is helping to raise awareness about the need to step up support for our member restaurants.

More than 230 people have entered by tagging their favourite restaurant and two friends on one of our Takeout Challenge social media posts for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Tutti or Lucky to Go.

The contest ends this Sunday, April 25, 2021. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 26 in our Chamber Events newsletter.
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Budget Week
Budgets offer hope for business to lead recovery
This week, Canadians and British Columbians finally had their chance to see the financial impact the pandemic has had on our country and province. First and foremost, it's clear these are not ordinary times. The Chamber and our national network understand that long-term economic health will require governments to get debt and deficits under control.

What we wanted to see from this week's budgets were investments that will allow businesses to soar as the post-pandemic economy lifts off. The outlook is good, with the Bank of Canada calling for better than expected growth this year.

We've seen many Pivot Pilots adapt and succeed. Their resilience is inspirational and will help lead the way as Greater Victoria's economy returns to the robust health we enjoyed before the pandemic. Below is a look at a few highlights from both budgets.
Federal budget's focus on short-term is OK for now
Monday's federal budget included a number of items advocated for by The Chamber.

Supports for businesses were extended, including the wage and rent subsidies. There were also funds for retraining workers to have the skills needed by employers. And we welcomed news of investment in child care that will help working mothers continue in their chosen careers. However, we'll have to wait and see how quickly this will translate to accessible and affordable child care spaces in our region.

All in all, the budget delivered on continuing support for hard-hit businesses and, hopefully, will lead to less reliance on subsidies as businesses get back to thriving — and playing their role in growing the economy.

“The budget’s focus on growth and jobs is an important step towards our economic recovery, but our growth drivers will need to shift from public spending to private investment to help get our finances under control," said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

To hear more about the 2021 federal budget, register now for A Conversation with the Hon. Joyce Murray, Thursday, April 22, from 1:30-2 pm.
Provincial budget offers update on BC's fiscal health
On Tuesday, the first provincial budget in two years estimates a deficit of $9.7 billion for 2021-2022, before recovering quickly in the next two years. BC will get back to balanced budgets within nine years, Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced.

The budget included funding for tourism recovery, and the province said it is working with industry to ensure money will help the hardest-hit businesses survive.

“We’ve been calling for immediate help for large tourism operators that anchor that vital sector," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "It was good to hear $100 million is being allocated for tourism, attractions and trails, and we look forward to seeing more details.”   

However, transportation companies are still waiting for funding.

"We’re hoping to see money that, in some cases, was announced very publicly, actually get into the pockets of businesses that need it," Williams said. "As we recover from the pandemic, it will take much longer for the economy to recover if we have to rebuild transportation infrastructure that could be lost if those businesses are not able to hang on."

To hear more about the 2021 provincial budget, register now for A Conversation with the BC Finance Minister Selina Robinson, Monday, April 26, from 3-4 pm.
Wilson's launches electric bus pilot project
An electric bus will be used to carry passengers between Victoria and Nanaimo as part of a pilot project between the Wilson's Group and BYD Canada.

A 41-passenger coach, powered by a 313-kWh battery, will be used for a three-month trial starting April 22.

“It has always been our company’s plan to reduce our emissions and footprint," Wilson's Group President and CEO John Wilson said. "However, with the setback we experienced through COVID, the high cost of replacing our fleet with electric vehicles seemed out of reach. This new partnership allows both companies to help do our part towards a sustainable future.”

The bus, a Model C8M, is expected to reduce emissions for the route by 97%.
Wilson's Group of Companies: Member since 2004
BYD Canada: Member since 2018
Songhees opens first of three new cannabis stores
A new initiative that will create jobs and provide revenue to the Songhees Nation opened yesterday on Admirals Road. The cannabis retail store is the first of three planned by the Songhees. The other two will be in downtown Victoria.

The Songhees worked with Durwest Construction Management and Alan Lowe Architect on the project.
Durwest Construction Management: Member since 1988
Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
Alan Lowe Architects: Member since 2021
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Conversations with Pivot Pilots on Recovery Runway
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 Dale Olsen of Outlooks for MenCalen McNeil of Big Wheel Burger and Curtis Vertefeuille of Moe’s Home Victoria.
The theme for this Chamber Chat is opportunity and expansion. These pivot pilots identified new markets and expanded during the height of COVID. Hard work, collaboration and a deep knowledge of their market were common threads woven throughout their experiences and bumps in the night. Thanks for the inspiration and fashion advice.
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Outlooks for Men: Member since 1999
Moe’s Home Victoria: 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.
"We invested in The Chamber because of the multifaceted ways it connects us with the greater community."

Chamber Job Board
Show potential employees your #EarthDay initiatives with The Chamber’s job board!

When hiring your next great employee, showcase what you’re doing to support environmental initiatives. Add an attachment to your job post to provide images, PDFs, or even PowerPoints highlighting your organization's eco-consciousness. 

As you work towards your triple bottom line (people, planet, profit), use The Chamber’s job board to find talented individuals who can help your organization reach sustainable growth. 
If you have any questions about the Job Board, please email:
Make every day Earth Day
April 22 is Earth Day — a time to reflect on the environmental impact we have on the world, and how we can mitigate climate change together.

The Chamber is proud to be recognized as Green Certified by the Vancouver Island Green Business Collective, and we continue to work to help businesses take the lead on climate solutions that will benefit all of us.
This Earth Day, like all days, many forms of sustainable transportation exists to get around Greater Victoria – from cycling to running, enjoy great weather this earth day and #ExploreVictoriaLocal

If you’re looking for other sustainable ways to get around town, check out these eco-friendly initiatives: 

  • Reduce your carbon footprint this Earth Day by commuting with BC Transit. All day, enjoy free fares across Greater Victoria. 

  • For ever 10km you ride with Current Taxi in April, a tree will be planted with the help of tentree.

Being green is good for everyone: people, planet, and profit. Let's try to make every day earth day!
Save the date!
2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards on CHEK
Shining the Spotlight on Business Excellence
in Greater Victoria
The Greater Victoria Business Awards recognizes businesses in the Capital Region that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community through their own abilities, efforts and initiatives. A spectacular night of prestige, entertainment and celebration, the Greater Victoria Business Awards recognizes members in 14 different award categories.

Click here to see the 2021 finalists!
Sat., May 15| 6 PM on CHEK TV | Facebook and YouTube
Member News
Dine out for Norman

Earlier this month, a staff member at Il Terrazzo suffered a major heart attack and stroke. To support Noman and his family during this time, 100% of sales on April 26 will be given to his family. An online auction is also being held to raise additional funds. 
Angel Foods - Il Terrazzo: member since 1998
#JeanUp for BC kids

May is the BC Children's Hospital Foundation's Jean Up – a month-long, digital movement raising critical funds for BC's kids. The campaign aims to establish a sense of togetherness by encouraging students and staff across BC to show off their denim outfits. For the entire month, Odlum Brown Limited will match all donations up to $30,000.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation: member since 2016
Odlum Brown Limited: member since 2004
How TUTTI keeps it local

TUTTIs approach to local delivery has been featured in a case study by Douglas Magazine. Throughout the pandemic, TUTTI has been commended for their support of local businesses and regional communities, providing a $25 credit to hospitality workers early in the pandemic. TUTTI uses Google Cloud APIs to optimize route planning for quick deliveries, and has exclusive clients across Greater Victoria including Spinnakers, Irish Times Pub, Il Covo Trattoria, Be Love and more. Read the full case study here

TUTTI: member since 2018
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: member since 1990
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses: Chamber Champion since 2021
Irish Times Pub: member since 2003
Il Covo Trattoria: member since 2017

Be Love: member since 2015
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Shred it and forget it

Looking to get rid of your old electronics? The Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island is hosting a free recycling event to safely destroy your personal data and unwanted electronics. Bring your computers, laptops, cell phones and more to the Tillicum Centre on May 14 from 10 am – 2 pm. 
Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island: member since 1963 
Tillicum Centre - Anthem Properties: member since 2019
More vaccination options

Island Health has opened a large vaccination site at the Victoria Conference Centre. Eligible adults are able to register for the vaccine here, while those aged 40+ can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at participating pharmacies. Heart Pharmacies has received doses of the vaccine, and eligible groups can sign up for the Heart Pharmacy's COVID-19 vaccination program here

Island Health: member since 2020
Victoria Conference Centre: member since 1990
Heart Pharmacies: member since 2001
Earth Day clothing drive

This Saturday, Max Furniture will fill their truck with donations of gently used clothes, textiles and shoes. From 10 – 2 pm, bring your donations to 3460 Quadra St., or email [email protected] to arrange a home pickup. All proceeds go to support Lifetime Networks
Max Furniture: member since 2008
Lifetime Networks: member since 2013
Racing to success

GAIN Group is celebrating the five-year anniversary of when Audi Canada introduced the new R8 at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. The track has since seen thousands of visitors and has been named “prettiest race track in the world” by Autoweek Magazine. In 2019, The Chamber hosted a Summer Social Series event at the track, giving members the chance to perform hot laps in a luxury sports car. 

Gain Group, Vancouver Island: member since 2012
Welcome to our newest member!