March 25, 2020
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Business groups join voices in unified call for help
More than 60 of the top business organizations in Canada — led by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — have joined voices to call on government to protect jobs and the resources needed to quickly get through the COVID-19 crisis

The organizations, which typically compete against each other, have refocused on ensuring all Canadians continue to have food and essential services needed to keep us safe and connected during this time of social distancing.
More federal money announced for unemployed
The federal government announced today it was making it easier for Canadians to access emergency benefits. The application process will open in early April and payments of about $2,000 will be in people's pockets within a few weeks.

The new program combines the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit, and will provide income support for up to 16 weeks to people who have lost their pay because of the pandemic.

The money is available to people who were self-employed, as well as those on contract or who earned a wage.
Province announces measures to help renters
On Wednesday, the provincial government announced new measures to reassure British Columbians worried about paying their rent due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the new measures, the province will provide a $500 rent supplement, payable directly to landlords, freeze rents and order a halt to evictions except in exceptional circumstances.

Ensuring the security of employees affected by the stoppage of our economy is an encouraging first step, but The Chamber would also like to see relief for businesses paying commercial rent.

We need our economy to be ready to start strong when health officials confirm the crisis is over. Forcing people out of business because they can't sustain payments during this shutdown will hurt our economy in the long run.
Getting to work helping others through this crisis
With many people still reeling from the shock caused by the sudden and drastic changes to our way of life, there are many emerging stories of people finding new ways to help.

The Rapid Relief Fund — launched on Saturday by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist — has already raised millions of dollars to help people in need as a result of COVID-19.

The Downtown Victoria Business Association has repurposed its Clean Team. Now, as well as removing litter and graffiti, the unit is also keeping an eye on downtown storefronts that closed to observe social distancing requirements. The team looks for indicators of tampering or break-ins and will contact police if they notice anything unusual.

Victoria Police Department has also stepped up enforcement downtown, arresting two people in separate incidents this week. One man was arrested after breaking the window of a business. The other was caught after setting off a car alarm, and was found with tools commonly used for break-and-entry.

Tiny Capital has also launched a loan program for businesses, offering $500 to $2,500 to as many people in need as possible. The loans include terms that state Tiny "can't make any money or enforce repayment." The generosity is admirable, Chamber CEO Catherine Holt told Jack Knox of the Times Colonist.

However, we also need the federal and provincial governments to do much more to keep businesses open so they are not forced to lay off employees.
Connecting employers with employees today
During these extraordinary times, we're expanding our Job Board to support our community.

We're hearing from some of our members that they need more staff as they gear up to provide essential services to our community. We also know a lot of great staff with transferable skills need work. We want to connect the two, after all connections are what we do best.

At this time, employers are able to post at no charge by using the code SUPPORTYYJ.

If you have any difficulty posting, please email We will get back to you ASAP by the next business day.

All jobs posted to our job board have been vetted by a member of The Chamber team.
Thanks to our friends at Hothouse Marketing, we have a new ad campaign you'll see online, encouraging out of work locals to pitch in at these businesses to help.
How to work (when you can't be at work)
The Chamber is here to support you and your business. The following list outlines useful strategies to take advantage of while working from home. 

Here are some Chamber related tips to maximize your membership:

  1. Update your Directory Listing to ensure we showcase your business properly. 
  2. Post a Member-to-Member deal for your fellow Chamber members (Which are showcased in BizNews)
  3. Email regarding any changes in service/ operating hours. We are displaying that information here.
  4. Take advantage of member discounts. Offers include savings on home office supplies, gas discounts, and much more. 
  5. Subscribe to our newsletters “Chamber Update” and “BizNews” to see how we’re advocating for you. 

It is also the perfect time to focus on projects and initiatives that will set your business up for success in the future:

  1. Review your CRM practices to ensure you’re interacting with customers efficiently and effectively. 
  2. Take this time to brainstorm future leads and sectors to target.
  3. Sign up for a webinar to learn new skills. 
  4. Consolidate and remediate information in your database or email. Ensure the data you have is up to date. 
  5. Call a client to thank them for their support during this unprecedented time. 
  6. Review your list of projects that need a few hours of quiet time to complete and see what you can knock off your list.

If your business is currently looking for employees, be sure to post on the C hamber Job Board for free using the code SupportYYJ at checkout. Furthermore, email if your business is implementing new strategies or innovative solutions. 
Members Around Town
Elite’s virtual showroom

Elite Promotional Marketing is implementing a virtual showroom to display products and services online. The showroom will be available for viewing in the coming days, and everyone who enters the visual space will receive a free branded T-shirt or mug with their company logo. 
Elite Promotional Marketing: member since 2004
Implement a WebApp with Moduurn

Moduurn Mobility Inc is offering businesses an innovative WebApp that can offer customers no-contact takeout or delivery options The fully-branded WebApp enables customers to order online from desktops, smartphones and tablets from their own homes. Flexible payment options are available for Chamber businesses to get up and running as fast as possible. This offer includes the complete online ordering solutions with IOS and Android apps that can be launched at a later date.
Moduurn Mobility Inc: member since 2019
Flowers in the window

“Window Shopping” is taking a whole new meaning with Brown’s The Florist . All three stores will be redesigned to allow for six feet of separation , allowing customers to purchase stunning flowers from outside the store — with thorough sterilization in between. 
Brown’s The Florist: member since 1981
Socially distant offices

Quality Inn - Downtown is offering sanitized, comfortable, and quiet workspaces for those who do not have access to home offices. From $50- $80 daily, complimentary Wi-Fi and parking are included. Those who are interested can contact Sinisha at
Quality Inn - Downtown: member since 1966
The Craic with KWENCH

KWENCH has launched The Craic with KWENCH - a series of live and interactive videos aimed to spark interesting conversation. Everything from workshops, casual conversations and debates are provided by hosts from all around the world. From Photography at Home for Beginners to Accounting for Small Business, anyone can find an interesting topic for professional and personal benefit. 
KWENCH: member since 2019
Interested in starting a new book?

Munro’s Books , Russell Books , and Bolen Books are offering unique discounts to start you off on your next great story. 

Munro’s Books is offering $5 flat rate shipping anywhere in BC.

Bolen Books is providing $5 shipping on orders $40 and more, as well as weekday pickup options .

Russel Books has implemented a contact-free pick-up window.
Munro’s Books: member since 1978
Bolen Books: member since 1979
Russel Books: member since 1999
Is your business implementing new strategies or innovative ways of connecting with consumers?
Virtual events and webinars
Member to Member discounts
Regroove Solutions Inc
Looking to add a Member to Member deal to your online business listing?
Contact for more information.