January Business Matters 2017

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CHAIR'SMESSAGE As I start my second year as Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber), I’m pleased to report on some of our accomplishments in 2016. In April, we said good bye to The Chamber’s Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA), and hello to the South Vancouver Island Prosperity Project. After months of work with engaged municipalities and stakeholders committed to a regional economic vision, this new non-profit society was launched. Prosperity Project is dedicated to regional economic development and is funded by public and private participants. As a Prosperity Project partner, The Chamber looks forward to our continuing collaboration to bolster and build our regional economy. In December, we wrapped up The Chamber’s three-year Trade and Investment program, an innovative program supported by both visionary local stakeholders and Western Economic Diversification Canada. Since its launch in April 2014, this program aimed to expand international business activity and attract foreign investment to Greater Victoria. We are very proud of this program’s successes, and expect its outcomes to support local businesses well into the future. In June, our long-time CEO, a staunch advocate of Greater Victoria business, Bruce Carter, moved on to be President and CEO of Wes-Tech Irrigation Supply Ltd., while seasoned management consultant Catherine Holt quickly and efficiently assumed the mantle of Chamber CEO. MEMBERSHIP For 154 years, our strength has always been in our active membership. We have a stable base of 1,400 members, with 42 percent who have been proud members for over 10 years (and five percent have been members for over 50!). Our Chamber’s member-only services directly support members’ businesses, and include rate advantages on insurance and discounts on a number of products and services such as credit card processing, fuel, and office supplies. In 2016, we welcomed TD Insurance Meloche Monnex to The Chamber, which offers member organizations and their employees preferred home insurance rates. As the Chair and a long-time member, I am proud to see all that we do to provide exceptional value for our member organizations. EVENTS Chamber events enable our members to develop professionally and make the connections they need to succeed. As well they help to shape informed dialogue and grassroots advocacy to support business growth. In 2016, The Chamber hosted 68 events, which were attended by nearly 6,000 people. From our high profile annual business awards to CEO breakfasts, from YYJEats to the ever-popular Auction Gala, we take great pride in our consistent delivery of high quality and engaging events.