Come for the mixer, stay for the game! Tomorrow, July 19 is the July Business Mixer, co-hosted by Victoria HarbourCats and Wilson's Group of Companies, at Wilson's Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park from 5-7 pm. You'll get a chance to meet Harbourcats pitcher Claire Eccles on the Strathcona Rooftop Party Deck, and possibly win a signed Claire Eccles bobblehead or the opportunity to throw out the first pitch! Wilson's will also be handing out T-shirts and water bottles to attendees.   
 
Everyone is welcome to stay for free for the Harbourcats game that follows the mixer. Bring a couple of colleagues or friends to make a night of it! Register today.
Creativity and Success

How much does creativity drive a business's success? According to a 2014 study conducted by Adobe and Forrester Consulting, 82% of companies believe there's a strong correlation between creativity and business results. For many businesses, regardless of the industry, creativity is a key differentiator and integral to business success.
 
So how can businesses help foster a creative office environment? Douglas Magazine asked two local business leaders, Dan Dagg of Hot House Marketing and Brianna Wettlaufer of Stocksy United, to share how they encourage creative thinking, tackle new projects in innovative ways and deliver unique results. Read the article here
   
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004  
 
Stocksy United: member since 2014
Hot House Marketing: member since 2005
 
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Funding available to improve accessibility
Your business or organization could receive a grant of up to $100,000 through the Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to improve accessibility and safety in facilities where people with disabilities work or could work in the future.
 
Examples of eligible projects include:
  • Installing automated power doors
  • Constructing a universally designed office
  • Adding voice-activated software and
  • Retrofitting washrooms to make them accessible.
EAF is accepting funding applications until July 26. The Government of Canada will provide 65% of total project costs, up to a maximum of $100,000, to successful project applicants.
 
Not sure where to start? The Rick Hansen Foundation has an Accessibility Certification Program which can help determine what a business needs to do to become more accessible.  
 
Rick Hansen Foundation: member since 2017
SUMMER SOCIAL SERIES  
Brewmaster's Dinner

This is a summer BBQ that you don't want to miss! Enjoy a four-course BBQ dinner prepared by Jones Bar-B-Que paired with award-winning beer from Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc.. The dinner will be served long-table style in Market Square. Not a beer drinker? We will have non-alcoholic options at the event.
 
Gather your colleagues or friends and take advantage of group pricing! Trust us, it'll be the BBQ of the year!
Sponsored by:
Thu, Aug 16 | 5:30-9 pm
Market Square - Anthem Properties
39-560 Johnson St.


BC NDP's roots are showing in new mega-project policy
The Provincial government appears to have embraced its partisan stereotype with the surprising announcement this week that a new Crown corporation , BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc., will oversee major infrastructure projects and supply them with unionized labour. The news is being welcomed by the BC Building Trades Council, an umbrella group for trade unions, who stand to benefit the most from the decision.
 
BC Premier John Horgan says, "With this agreement, we're not just investing in roads, bridges and other infrastructure, we're investing in good jobs and new opportunities for people who live in BC.  And with our focus on expanding apprenticeships for young British Columbians, we're helping build BC's next generation of construction workers."
 
The Opposition BC Liberal Party was quick to condemn the announcement.
 
"Excluding qualified companies from bidding on government contracts is unfair, causes needless delays and inflates costs," says John Martin, BC Liberal Labour Critic. "British Columbians deserve better than this, for projects they care about and are paying for. A deal that is a payoff for past donations to the NDP is simply wrong. We need to see the best price, not payoffs."
 
If you want to know more about this approach to procurement or the future of trades in BC, register now for The Chamber's Sept. 25 Business Leaders Luncheon featuring guest speaker Tom Sigurdson, executive director of BC Building Trades.

Read more:
The Chamber's New Front Office Assistant!
With Office Manager Sophie Clodge on maternity leave, The Chamber has hired Alec Reilly as our Front Office Assistant. He will be taking over many of Sophie's responsibilities in her absence and will be one of a team of people to assist you with any questions or problems.

A 2018 graduate of Mount Douglas Secondary, Alec has a passion for business, history and learning Mandarin.

Contact Alec through his LinkedIn profile, email or phone at 250-383-7191.

Members Around Town
 
Best airline in North America  
Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the second consecutive year at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony London. It is the seventh time in the past nine years the carrier was selected as the best in North America by the World Airline Awards, based on passenger satisfaction surveys of approximately 20 million global travellers.  
 
Air Canada: member since 1962 
Celebrating 10 years  
Pizzeria Prima Strada (PPS) BC's first authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzeria, is celebrating 10 years in operation! In "a random act of pizza," PPS dropped off a delicious pizza at our office for Chamber staff to enjoy. PPS is also celebrating with with a new house sparkling wine, in partnership with Averill Creek Vineyard, called the PPS Frizzante.   
Pizzeria Prima Strada: member since 2009
Rock the Shores 2018  
This past weekend Rock the Shores, produced by  Atomique Productions, took over the lower fields of West Shore Parks and Recreation as thousands of people danced and grooved to a line-up featuring Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), Social Distortion, X Ambassadors, Juliette Lewis and The Licks and more. Atomique Productions is now gearing up for the Phillips Backyard Weekender, taking place this weekend.
Atomique Productions: member since 2013  
 
Do you have a UVic graduate working for you? 
We know we have world-class educators in Greater Victoria. Now is the time to make it official in the QS World University Rankings list, one of the top three ranking organizations in the world. Higher ranking is essential in helping attract graduate and undergraduate students to the region, as well as to attracting top faculty. One way to increase the ranking is for employers that have hired University of Victoria graduates, to register to fill out the survey. If you have any questions, please email Gloria Darroch at UVic. 
University of Victoria: member since 1976    
Expanded stadium parking lot worth looking into
The replacement of 47-year-old Crystal Pool appears to have hit a speed bump, though the closing of one door could mean another opens.

Last year, Victoria Council approved a $69.4 million plan to replace the pool complex. Community groups then successfully lobbied for the city to include affordable housing on the site. However, this week, that idea was killed when it was determined that, under a 1906 bylaw, using the land for anything other than a park would require going to referendum or counter-petition.

A new approach has been pitched by Victoria Coun. Geoff Young, who wants to explore moving the pool to the southeast corner of the site. That would make it feasible to move the bulk of parking for the facility to an existing city-owned lot half-a-block away. That site is currently a 200-stall parking lot used by visitors to Wilson's Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena and VicPD.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told the Times Colonist that low-cost housing over top of new parking could "double the number of spaces, quadruple, if you also go down, and obviously a bigger footprint for potentially more housing and community space."  
 
The Chamber has been a vocal supporter of affordable workforce housing and more parking downtown, so we will keep an eye on this promising idea.
 
With only three months to go before the federal government legalizes the recreational use of cannabis, will Greater Victoria be ready for the opportunities and challenges to come?  
 
The City of Victoria has taken a proactive approach to regulating this emerging industry, but will local small businesses be able to compete and thrive when the laws change? Will we learn from the beer business and create an industry that includes small craft producers as well as large industrial companies? In a promising development, last week the Liquor Distribution Branch has signed memorandums of understanding with 31 licensed producers of non-medical cannabis. BC Cannabis Stores will feature more than 150 strains, ranging in quality, from value to ultra-premium product, at competitive prices.
 
See our panel speakers here.
 
More news about cannabis:

Wed, Oct 10 | 11:30 am-1 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.


The wrong question for the right answer 
It goes without saying that taxpayers don't want their money used frivolously by municipal governments. However, there is a real risk in Saanich and Victoria including a dollar amount in the question about a Citizen's Assembly to explore amalgamation that will be presented to voters on Oct. 20. Both municipalities have agreed to pay a one-third share to cover the cost of a citizens' assembly if voters support it. The Province would cover the other third. The maximum cost is estimated at $750,000. At $250,000 each that accounts for 0.1% of their operating budget for 2017.

Annual operating budgets for 2017:
City of Victoria:  $224.5 million
District of Saanich: $183.3 million

Saanich and Victoria councils wanted to be transparent about the cost, but they have muddied the water. Instead of a rare chance to explore the long-term benefits of uniting municipalities, the ballot comes across like a vote on whether or not to spend money. Voters typically choose not to spend money.

The key to a meaningful discussion about amalgamation is keeping the process at arm's length from politicians and staff with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Yes, there will be a cost, but a citizens' assembly is the way to go.



Inspiring podcasts for the beach
In the ultimate summer multi-task you can spend your time working on your tan while building your business acumen. One of our members, Rebekah Hutchison of Liquid Capital West Coast Financing Corp., shared her favourite business-related podcasts to enjoy this summer.  
 
Examples: 
  • HBR IdeaCast: A must for every new listener, this weekly show from Harvard Business Review explores captivating topics from unconventional startup models to ways that artificial intelligence will change your business.
  • Odd Lots:  How do the paparazzi really get paid? Are algorithms secretly controlling our lives? Get a quirky look into hot topics in the markets, finance and economics with two top Bloomberg hosts.
  •  Under the Influence: "Canada's most famous adman" sheds light on the world of marketing by sharing insights on life through the lens of advertising.
To find more great podcasts click here.

Liquid Capital West Coast Financing Corp.: member since 2016
Role of municipal government auditor still needed
The Province is reviewing the office of Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG), with BC Premier John Horgan looking to deliver on a campaign promise to scrap the controversial position. It's clear the role has not worked out the way it was advertised to the public. However, that doesn't mean the idea isn't a good one. The office was hamstrung from the outset, with no teeth and poor direction.
 
Small business owners and all taxpayers deserve reassurance that the folks at city hall are being prudent with the public's money. Having a competent watchdog with the ability to audit at will the performance of local governments makes sense.
 
BC Municipal Affairs Minister Selena Robinson has two choices in her review. She can give up on a good idea and declare the AGLG beyond repair, or she can do the right thing and give the office the mandate it needs to do its job.
Summer Fuel Partner
 
Whether you're roadtripping up the Coquihala or driving over the Malahat, save money this summer with our fuel benefit partners.  
 
As a Chamber member, you and your employees are eligible to receive a 3.5 cents per litre discount with an Esso Business Card. Businesses can save 5% off service at Certigard Car Care Centers & Petro Can Carwashes, and 2 cents per litre savings with a Petro-Canada Superpass.  
 
Click here to learn more about all of our benefit programs.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  


Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.

250-383-7191  

victoriachamber.ca
chamber@victoriachamber.ca