October 2, 2019
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
2019 Vitals Signs report
Vitals Signs report charts course for 2030
By looking to the road ahead, we can better make sure the path we’re on will get us where we want to be.

That’s the hope of this year’s Vital Signs report , revealed yesterday by the Victoria Foundation .

The report includes an interview with Chamber CEO Catherine Holt, as well as an essay outlining the Chamber’s vision for getting past roadblocks that could affect our region over the next 10 years.

Overall, quality of life in Greater Victoria gets a B+ from citizens — that’s the same as last year’s report.

However, the report also echoed many of The Chamber’s advocacy priorities. Affordable and available housing, attracting workers and access to child care were all identified as issues in this year’s Vital Signs.

Read the full report here .
Q&A with Chamber CEO

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt was one of three guest writers in this year’s Vital Signs report, released to the public yesterday by the Victoria Foundation . In her essay on the economic future of Greater Victoria, Catherine asked “Where do we want to be in 2030?” Looking ahead, we can use The Chamber’s advocacy priorities as very good milestones that need to reached to ensure our region remains vibrant.

The Vitals Signs report also includes an interview with Catherine, in which she speaks about the importance of transportation planning, and why she’s so proud to call Greater Victoria home.

Read the full interview here .
Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
Greater Victoria affected by tourism downturn
A six-year surge in global tourism finally ran its course in 2019 . The latest industry statistics show Greater Victoria’s tourism sector was down slightly from the year before.

Chemistry Consulting ’s Sept. 30 newsletter showed that the average occupancy for our region’s hotels dipped in August to 88.8% compared to 92.6% in August 2018. Revenue per available room was also down almost $5 in August this year.

The newsletter also shows BC Ferries recorded a 1.1% increase in vehicle traffic, but had a decline in passengers (1.5%) and bus traffic (17.9%).

Some of the reasons for the downturn are likely a reduction in tourism from China, and fewer BC tourists coming here to avoid Interior forest fires ⁠— as happened last summer.
Chemistry Consulting: member since 2006
Small Business Month
Thu, Oct 10 | 11:30 am
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.
Prodigy Group October Mingle 
Thu, Oct 10 | 5-7 pm
301-3450 Uptown Shopping Centre
Sponsored by:
October Business Mixer
Thu, Oct 17 | 5-7 pm
1601 Blanshard St.
Sponsored by:

Victoria to vote on tax exemption for Legion branch
City of Victoria council is expected to vote tomorrow on exempting the Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292 on Gorge Road from paying property tax. The Legion’s situation is similar to one that has caused concern for many small businesses in Greater Victoria and across the province. Rapidly rising property values for businesses, in conjunction with BC Assessment basing those values on the highest potential use of the land, has meant one-storey mom-and-pop shops are paying the same taxes as if a high-rise condo was on the property.

The Chamber supports finding a solution that will allow the Legion to remain viable, but we want to see the province address the underlying cause of the problem so that small businesses remain viable too!
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292: member since 2007
This black-tie evening includes cocktails, chef stations, a silent and live auction, dancing and an interactive photo booth.
Sat, Nov 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.
Here's a sneak peek at a few auction items:
  • Less But Better will help organize, donate and reinvigorate two spaces in your home.
  • Enjoy an adrenaline-filled time with three friends at TNT Paintball.
  • Experience tea for two at the world-class Fairmont Empress. All of the menu items are created fresh daily using ingredients from local suppliers.
  • Get your must-have outdoors equipment with a gift certificate to Robinson's Outdoor Store! Robinson's will get you outfitted for your next great adventurefrom hiking in the Andes to flyfishing in the BC Interior.

Interested in having your item showcased at our auction? Email Sarah Grunert or fill out our 2019 Auction Donation Form.
Businesses needed to help guide Victoria economic strategy
Businesses have a chance to help guide the City of Victoria ’s economic plan for the next two decades.

A roundtable discussion on Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 pm at city hall, will include small business and financial institutions, with the goal of helping the city develop its next economic action plan, Victoria 3.0 – Pivoting to a Higher Value Economy.

The roundtable, one of a series being presented by the city, is open to anyone running a small business or financial institution in Victoria, especially those operating downtown.

Go to for more information or to register.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Members Around Town
TP the Town — it's your roll to give
The Prodigy Group , a committee of The Chamber, is helping collect rolls of toilet paper across Greater Victoria. New for 2019, TP the Town will also be collecting feminine hygiene products. Toilet paper will be marked down for this event at 22 grocery stores across Greater Victoria including Chamber member Thrifty Foods . Once all the donations are collected, Hendra Moving will take care of getting everything to the Mustard Seed .
Thrifty Foods: member since 1981
Hendra Moving: member since 2009
The Mustard Seed : member since 1999
Canada’s Growth500 List
Every year, Canadian Business and Maclean’s name the Annual Growth 500 , a prestigious ranking for the most vibrant and entrepreneurial businesses in the country. W ith a revenue increase of 1300% over the last five years, Chamber member AOT Technologies ranked 74th overall and was named the seventh fastest growing Information Technology company. Congrats!
AOT Technologies: member since 1976
Victoria firms among top growing companies in Canada
Congratulations to Chamber members Flytographer and StarFish Medical for earning a spot on the Globe and Mail’s inaugural ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Flytographer, with 524% growth, was ranked 84 th, and StarFish, with 123% growth, came in at 266 th out of 400 companies included on the list.
Flytographer: member since 2015
StarFish Medical: member since 2015
Business Leaders' Luncheon
What's ahead for regional transportation?
Getting there from here shouldn't be difficult, but without a comprehensive regional transportation plan no one is getting anywhere.

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the future of how we travel and speak to specific projects planned for the region.
Thu, Nov 7 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St .
Sponsored by:
Meet our new team member!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome Robyn Copp as our new Front Desk & Office Administrator. She is the first point of contact for member inquiries and will be happy to assist you in registering for events and paying invoices.

Robyn was born and raised in Victoria, but spent seven years living abroad in Ireland. Outside of work, Robyn's life centers around her teenage daughter, but she also enjoys travelling, decorating, watching Royals games, and hanging out with her family's amazing feline furbaby.

Robyn is excited to start her role as the Front Desk & Office Administrator, and is looking forward to working with our members. Feel free to connect with Robyn at the next Chamber event , by email or by phone at 250-383-7191.
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The New Business award recognizes a business that:
  • Has achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time;
  • Demonstrates exceptional promise of continued growth;
  • Serves as an inspiration for other new businesses; and
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community.
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2019 New Business finalists below.
Daylight saving legislation could come within weeks: Horgan
It looks like we’ll find out sooner than later when the province expects to adopt daylight savings all year long. BC Premier John Horgan said legislation will be introduced during the fall session, which begins Oct. 7.

The premier said the change will happen in lockstep with neighbouring jurisdictions. Washington, Oregon and California are waiting for approval from the US federal government, while BC and the Yukon can make the change without asking the Canadian government.
Welcome to our newest members!
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