The fall is shaping up to be a busy one for Chamber events. From networking events to seminars we have something for everyone - see the calendar here!
Childcare and the Economy
The lack of affordable, government-regulated child care spaces in Greater Victoria is having a direct impact on employers, workers and our economy.

In the September Business Matters The Chamber highlighted the key issues (affordability, availability and quality) and what the provincial government can do to improve the situation.

On a local level the City of Victoria is sufficiently concerned about the problem to have an ongoing working group that includes The Chamber, trying to come up with solutions.

"We're convening all interested parties, along with non-profit daycare operators, at one table to address child care both for the economy and for the children of the city," stated Mayor Lisa Helps. "Coverage is terrible and the city and the number of families in it are growing. We need to make it better if we want to keep the city liveable."

However, the problem can't be solved without a credible level of federal investment.

"Canada finishes a shameful dead last in federal funding for child care among 20 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "We spend $82 a year per child, the US spends about $150 and the median is almost $300."

If childcare is affecting your business please contact us by email or call 250-383-7191.
Chamber News
Harvest Dinner
Business Leaders Luncheon: Bill Stewart
Industry Tour: Point Hope Maritime
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

Breaking News - Bank Rate Rises Again

Due to booming economic activity across the country, exceeding federal projections. The Bank of Canada is once again taking steps to cool the economy down by increasing the cost of borrowing. It has increased its benchmark overnight rate another quarter of a percent. The last increase was made in July after no changes for the previous 7 years.

Banks have been quick to raise prime rates in response. For more information on the impact of this change read more here.

2018/19 Chamber Board Elections
- Please Vote!

Each fall The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for new board members. Each board member is elected for a two year term with staggered renewal dates - this year we are asking you to elect four board members. See all the nominees here.

Election ballots will be e-mailed to the main contact for your organization on Fri, Sept 15. The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your business' number of employees. Voting will close Thurs, Oct 5.

If you are The Chamber's main contact for your business and don't receive your ballot on Sept 15, please contact us at 250-383-7191.

Jennie Edgecombe
In celebrating Canada's 150th birthday over the summer The Chamber is featuring members that have been in business for over 100 years. Find out their key to longevity and more about their leaders here!

How and when was your organization founded? The YMCA was first started in Victoria in 1875 by a group of citizens to create an organization that would provide a venue for learning and sporting activities during a time of economic depression when many young men were unemployed. Any famous stories? Emily Carr was one of the founding members of the YWCA in Victoria, her sister Edith was the first President of the YWCA. What is one job you could never do? Barista, I could never remember all the different options and types of coffee! Why do you like working in your industry? The charitable sector has expanded rapidly in the last two decades and is now a major sector in Canada, being able to contribute to the growth and learn from the sector is motivating. 
More about Jennie - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found on The Chamber's website here.  

YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island: member since 1987

Members Around Town

The Canadian Society of Club Managers has named the Victoria Golf Club as one of its 2017 Clubs of the Year. The golf course was judged on its community involvement, environmental stewardship, leadership development and more. You can read more about the Victoria Golf Club and General Manager Scott Kolb in our Member Snapshot here.
  Victoria Golf Club: member since 2006 
Heads-Up Navigation recently purchased a 3000 sq ft building near the airport to expand its marine education course offerings. Heads-Up Navigation has been training commercial skippers, crew, and pleasure craft operators since 1998 with Transport Canada approved courses. The company is owned by Captain Lesley Head who is one of only two women in Canada who own this type of school.  
Heads-Up Navigation: member since 2013 
Home Insurance for You and Your Employees
Along with your business, your home is one of the biggest investments that you'll ever make. And we understand that it can be very challenging navigating the many insurance providers available.

Did you know that as a Chamber member, you and all your employees could save with preferred rates on home insurance? Being a member means you have privileged access to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program, which provides savings through lower preferred insurance rates, plus enhanced protection that can be adapted seamlessly to your changing needs.

Good home insurance is one of those things you just can't do without. Click here to learn more.
TD Home Insurance: member since 2016

Meet the man who invented the screensaver!
Over the past 30 years, Bill Stewart has made a lasting mark on every day technology with his invention of the first screensaver and then a wallpaper that was embraced by over 1 billion computer users worldwide.
His clients include AOL Time Warner, Atomic Energy of Canada, Bambora and the BC Government.  
Hear Bill talk about how you can use visual design to improve your user experience and improve revenue, profit and customer satisfaction.  

Tue, Oct 3 | 11:30 am-1 pm      
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St.


Difficult task of Employee Recruitment and Retention
From mid-July to mid-August Chemistry  Consulting Group administered a survey of business operators aimed at better understanding the extent of the impact of housing, childcare and low unemployment issues on employee recruitment and retention. A total of 250 businesses responded to the survey. These businesses represent 10 different industry sectors located throughout the Greater Victoria area, and range from small to large in size based on the number of employees.

The study found the biggest obstacle for employers was the lack of affordable housing for potential employees. These are just some of the reasons:
  • Almost half of respondents (46.6%) believe the increase in the number of properties being used for short-term rentals (STRs) is negatively affecting the availability of housing for their staff
  • Unaffordable rent or mortgage rates in relation to salaries  
  • Condos bought as secondary homes or by foreign investors and left empty most of the time
  • Lack of pet-friendly rentals
  • Lack of transit service and traffic congestion to outlying areas (where housing may be more affordable/available)
Find more results here.

The survey was conducted with the support of The Chamber, VIATEC, Tourism Victoria, Downtown Victoria Business Association, Vancouver Island Construction Association, WestShore Chamber of Commerce and Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
Is Vancouver Island Ready for a Large Quake?
As an engineer who advises governments and corporations on how to prepare their facilities to survive earthquakes Peter Yanev has visited the aftermath of most key quakes in the world since 1970, learning important lessons on how new and old buildings perform during quakes.
In his view, the magnitude 8.8 quake that hit Chile on Feb 27, 2010 was the most important earthquake of the last 100 years - particularly for BC. It was the first mega-quake, its magnitude near 9, to strike a developed country with rigorous building codes. Modern cities full of state-of-the-art buildings were tested by intense ground shaking that lasted more than 120 seconds.
Despite Chile's exacting construction codes, which far exceeded those of Western Canada, the performance of numerous new high-rise buildings was poor - two collapsed and many were not repairable.
Is BC ready? No, it is not. Is Vancouver Island ready? No, it is not. What should we do?
Peter Yanev , author of "Peace of Mind in Earthquake Country," will present at the 11th annual State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo Oct 25-26 where he will share the top three things any business owner, institutional leader, or local government should do to manage their risk.
For more about managing your business recovery in a disaster click here or reach out to your business insurance agent to make sure you're covered.  
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 
The Wise Co 
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