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July 2012

Workforce Housing Issue

Harness Electricity the next time you hit the gym! Members of the Victoria Athletic Club are the first in the world to use the new SportsArt “Green System”.

Individuals can choose from stationary bikes or elliptical machines and watt energy produced is sent back into the power grid in a clean, green way. The Victoria Athletic Club is proud to offer Chamber Members three complimentary visits. For more information or to redeem your visits call Club Director, Kevin Attewell at 250-380-4440


463 Belleville Street, Victoria BC • 1-800-663-7550 •


July 2012

Business Matters is a semi-monthly publication of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and a key business resource targeted to 2,000 business leaders in our community. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is a progressive, inclusive and dynamic community leader. It is a supportive resource for business people who wish to learn, grow and create a stronger business and a more robust and sustainable community while respecting people, planet and profit.

To advertise in Business Matters, contact us at: The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce #100 - 852 Fort St. Victoria, BC V8W 1H8 (250) 383-7191


Chair and CEO Remarks


Employees Need Housing


Member News


Supporting the Workforce


Victoria’s Top Investment Strategy


Upcoming Events


Taking the Pulse of the Local Economy

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The network is social. Find out how the Chamber has evolved to advocate for a positive business environment and sustainable community. Addressing the important challenge of housing development to strengthen the region’s long-term sustainability and economic prosperity. Keep up with what’s happening in the Chamber community. How the region is going to meet the challenge of housing our workforce and attracting more new workers to our area. The Conference Board of Canada recognizes Greater Victoria as one of the the top 10 jurisdictions for future prospects and quality of life. Don’t miss out on all the opportunities to connect with fellow business people. Our latest Economic Roundtable session included members from the hospitality, academia, banking, the arts, legal and technology sectors.

New Members

Studies show that people prefer to do business with Chamber members. Check out who has recently made the decision to join us.

Advocacy in Action

We bring important issues to the attention of leaders in a position to effect change. Find out what we are working on now.

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Chair’s Remarks

Throughout the years, the Chamber has always been a connector in our community, acting as a hub where members can network to build their business and community. As we prepare to celebrate the Chamber’s 150th anniversary of service to the community, it is incredible to think back on all the change we have experienced and how the Chamber has evolved to advocate for a positive business environment and sustainable community.

When we opened our doors in 1863 it was likely that your weekly ChamberEvents or BusinessNews was painstakingly put together by hand, with each metal letter being laid out on a grid before being inked and pressed against paper. Forget about email, horseback was probably how it got to you. Now fly forward to today (forgetting faxes and photocopiers for the moment), and the incredible opportunities that all Chamber members have to connect with fellow members, wherever they are and whenever they like. Need a contact to help grow your business? We have an app for that. Want to know what is happening in our community? We have an app for that. Want to attend one of our wicked mixers and grow your network? Well, we have an app for that too! Whether it is through Chamber eblasts, our great new website, incredible smartphone app or the Chamber’s strong social media presence, it has never been easier to connect with your Chamber network. So like us on Facebook or Linkedin, follow us on Twitter, watch us on Youtube and check out our incredible new online member directory. The region’s original business network is just a click (or tap) away! -John Espley, Chair, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

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CEO Remarks

As we enter the second half of the year, it is always good to look back and take a quick count of what has happened and what is still to come. This year started with new municipal councils across the region coming to grips with the same pressures facing businesses and households - how to do more with less. We were encouraged by the support for the Chamber’s Our Vibrant Community campaign and have continued to press elected officials across Greater Victoria to ensure that the principles of affordability, sustainability, accountability and collaboration are front and centre in municipal decision-making. At municipal halls, in the media, and at every other opportunity, the Chamber advocates for fiscal restraint, resulting in some of the tightest municipal budgets in recent memory. On top of this, as the originators and vocal advocates for establishing an Auditor General for Local Government, we were delighted when the provincial government announced this important new resource for taxpayers and local governments, ensuring we all get the best value for our hard-earned tax dollar. As we enter the second half of the year, your Chamber continues to advocate on your behalf on the issues that matter to your business. We will work to ensure that taxes are kept to a minimum, red tape is reduced, and will promote a strong workforce and sustainable community. In the coming weeks and months look for your Chamber to lead the way on issues like transportation, workforce housing and municipal infrastructure, areas that are fundamental to a healthy business environment and the quality of life we all enjoy. -Bruce Carter, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Employees Need Housing

creating new challenges for our local workforce in finding affordable housing and new challenges for employers when they try to recruit the talent they need. Whether it is access to rental housing for workers just starting their careers, or experienced employees looking for a single family home, workforce housing has a become a significant issue in our community.

In Greater Victoria that is what we have become known for. Across the country and increasingly around the world we are recognized as a wonderful place to live, with beautiful weather and a great quality of life. Whether it is the annual Money Sense magazine survey of the best places in Canada or the most recent report from the US National Bureau of Economic Research, our community has traditionally enjoyed tops marks where our quality of living is concerned. Historically this has acted as an “ace up our sleeve” when competing for business, and in particular, when it came to attracting talented people to work for our local companies. We were able to marry our quality of life with quality of opportunity. As our popularity has grown over the years, so have the pressures on the region’s housing stock,

Affordability Key to Workforce Housing Equation If there has been one constant over the past 15 years it has been the steady rise of housing prices in the region. Important for a healthy workforce housing market is the relationship between housing prices and household incomes in our community. While the past few years have brought some relief, the region’s affordability numbers still remain noticeably higher than most other

RBC Affordability Index % Household Income

If business is the backbone of our economic prosperity, then it can certainly be said that our local employees are the fabric of our community. They are the sons and daughters, the mothers and fathers, the residents that make us who we are and who help foster a caring, sustainable community. Their talent and hard work are the glue that binds together our quality of life.


parts of the country. At over 40% of household incomes, we find ourselves competing against communities like Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Ottawa whose affordability indexes are 25 to 30 percent lower than ours, and whose economic prospects are anticipated to outperform our own over the coming years. As great a place as we are, if local employees The RBC Housing Affordability Index think that the economic grass captures the proportion of median is greener somewhere else, and they can’t find affordable pre-tax household income required to housing options, they won’t be service the cost of a mortgage on an local employees for long. This existing housing unit at going market places significant pressure on prices, including principal and interest, our local employers when they try to attract and retain workers, property taxes and utilities. and often means that they go to


for a place to call home. The size and growth of these two sectors alone, not to mention growth in the shipbuilding and education sectors, highlights the need to make sure that workforce housing, in all its forms, becomes a top priority for all stakeholders in our region.

Rental Housing

considerable cost and effort to attract new employees.

Projections Show Continued Pressure on Workforce Housing In addition to those looking to retire to our community, housing demand is being driven by the continuing success of our top local industries. The region’s hallmark industry, tourism, contributes over $1.9 billion to our economy every year and close to

22,000 local jobs that depend on it. The region’s fast-growing technology sector has also become a big part of our continued economic prosperity. At $2.9 billion in annual economic impact and with 13,000 jobs in the sector, a recent survey of the region’s top tech companies forecasts significant hiring growth as they constantly search for new talent to help drive their ongoing success. These two industries represent literally thousands of new employees that will be looking

Along the spectrum of workforce housing, rental housing is probably the area that requires the most attention. A recent announcement by Townline Developments about their plans to build rental housing was big news, as for decades there has been virtually no new rental housing built. The rental-housing provides homes for workers at all levels of employment, but most importantly, for entry-level employees. Employers are finding the issue of rental availability to be a hurdle to the recruitment and retention of employees, adversely affecting the ability of businesses to grow. The region’s vacancy rate has improved only slightly in the past year but is still well below rates seen in the past decade. We need to celebrate announcements like Townline’s and keep talking about more ways to build additional market-rate rental housing in our community.

Condos and Multi-Family Developments For most workers in Victoria, the first step into homeownership is usually a condo. A recent Canada Housing and Mortgage report highlighted the strides that our region has made in construction of condo or “multi-family” units, crediting this for at least partially offsetting the region’s low vacancy rates. As Greater Victoria tries to attract and retain more young workers, this section of our housing stock will play an increasingly important role. Going forward, affordable workforce housing is this regard will likely mean increasing density in the downtown and surrounding areas, as young workers look for live-work options that support their desire to be close to cultural, recreational and social venues.

Single Family Housing There is no part of our region that is not impacted by the demands of a growing population and the need to provide affordable housing for our residents, and we all have a role to play. There are however, parts of our region that have shown these impacts in a striking way. While the region’s


Condominiums (Greater Victoria) Average Cost

levels of the employment spectrum. Together with the Victoria Real Estate Board, the Chamber is leading the national call, advocating for capital gains deferrals to stimulate rental housing development and changes to the tax code to fairly treat the revenues these properties produce.

Development Timelines and Processes Need to Improve


Average Cost

Single Family Homes (Greater Victoria)

Year Source: Victoria Real Estate Board

population grew by roughly 4.5% over the past five years, not all of that growth was evenly spread, with the western communities growing significantly faster as people moved into the area. While there have also been “multi-family” developments constructed, the Westshore has seen the lion’s share of single-family housing construction over the past decade. A number of regional planning reports show this trend continuing, and predictions point to the Westshore continuing to play an important role in meeting the region’s need for affordable single-family housing.

availability. Yet, as noted earlier, a healthy rental market is important to business operations since rental inventory provides housing for all

Local governments play a significant role in the make up of our community, and their impact on workforce housing is no exception. Municipalities help set the long-term vision for the region through “official community plans” and every working day they handle zoning requests and development permits that can either support or hinder our housing needs. The Chamber and other stakeholders like the Victoria Real Estate Board, Urban Development Institute and Homebuilders Association continue to call for improvements to local development processes that support predictable and timely decision-making for those who want to invest in our community. Any delays in getting housing projects started only lead to higher costs, making housing more expensive in our community.

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How Do We Tackle This Challenge? Tax Code Getting in the Way of Rental Housing All taxes induce people to behave in certain ways, and a number of federal tax changes have acted as a one-two punch, hindering the development of rental housing in particular. Whether it is the impact that GST has had on landlords and rents, or the reduction in turnover and rejuvenation of rental properties because of capital gains taxes, it is clear that the changes in tax policy in the last 25 years have resulted in less activity in the rental housing industry, and an overall decrease in rental accommodation

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Regional Approach to Transportation With higher than average housing prices than the rest of the region, major employers on the peninsula are experiencing workforce housing challenges in a big way, as current and prospective employees have to either face long commutes like the “Colwood Crawl,” or try and deal with the sticker shock of high housing prices. While efforts are being made to increase housing options on the peninsula, this example highlights the important role that an effective transportation system plays in fostering workforce housing in the region. A priority of the Chamber for a number of years now, establishing a regional approach to transportation services and planning also needs to be at the top of our to-do list as a community.


Making sure issues like workforce housing receive the attention they deserve only serves to strengthen our region’s long-term sustainability and will help ensure that Victorians continue to enjoy the quality of life we treasure and the household-sustaining jobs that make it all possible. If we are to secure the same opportunities for the next generation of Victorians to live, work and contribute, we must focus now on this fundamental building block of our community.

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MEMBER NEWS Chamber Members work together to Support Foster Gala Better Choice Staffing was hired to staff the David Foster Foundation Gala at the Save-On-Memorial Center which took place Saturday, May 26th, providing most of the servers, chefs, bartenders, runners, and dishwashers for the event. The only way they were able to provide the numbers and the quality service needed for such a large event was to reach out to other local businesses in the industry. The reception they received was outstanding and the generosity of the local business community is something they are very grateful for. Supporting companies immediately sent out internal information to their staff to find suitable candidates that could sign on to work at the gala. But they didn’t stop there! Some businesses went so far as to promote Better Choice Staffing and the event to others in the industry, which led to more employees on board. Or they rearranged their own staff schedule during a busy weekend, allowing key

chefs and banquet servers the time to attend. This event and efforts of local businesses is a prime example of how businesses in Victoria can pull together and help each other out. The foundation successfully raised 6.6 million dollars over the weekend. Better Choice Staffing wants to share their deepest thanks with the business community, and highlighting the generosity of some of Victoria’s leading businesses.

Canada’s Temperance Foundation Launches in Victoria Canada’s Temperance Foundation (CTF) was excited to announce its media launch on June 15th in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Vancouver riot. They would like to thank all their fellow Chamber members for their support and good wishes. The mission of the CTF is to educate the citizens of Victoria and Vancouver on the benefits of temperance, defined as abstinence or restraint in the use of alcohol and/or drugs. CTF’s proactive

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Rod Dewar, President and CEO is pleased to announce the restructuring of the Island Savings executive team to support the organization’s three year $15 million growth plan. Island Savings is a financial institution known for creating remarkable experiences. As a Top 50 Best Employer in Canada, our neighbourhood experts offer financial, insurance and investment advice and products. These leaders will continue to provide support and expertise to over 400 employees, serving 58,000 members on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.

educational program consists of outreach programs, a bold website, social media, television, radio, print and Internet advertising and the formation of strategic alliances with other groups and organizations. For more information on the Foundation and its mission, visit www.

New Home for Wilson’s Transportation Wilson’s Transportation Ltd., Victoria’s local, family-owned and operated charter bus company has moved their location. Previously located office at 580 Ardersier Rd. with the full service mechanic shop at 31 Regina Avenue Wilson’s is now located at one convenient location, 4196 Glanford Avenue, Victoria BC V8Z 4B6. For more information, visit their newly designed website at www. or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Victoria-based Technology Company fuels EPIC Chaos and Destruction in Hollywood blockbusters: Battleship and The Avengers!

cebas Visual Technology Inc. has, once again, succeeded in introducing to the world massive scales of havoc, explosions and debris using one of its flagship special effects software products – thinkingParticles. The Canadian software company - headquartered in Vancouver Island’s Technology Park - has been developing unique visual effects tools for more than 20 years, helping major Hollywood studios and production companies create movie special effects that are state of the art. The movie Battleship –– inspired by the Hasbro board game – has been a hit ever since its release in Europe and North America, and The Avengers is


MEMBER NEWS amongst the highest grossing pictures of all time. The one thing known for sure is; both movies have some of the most brilliant and superior visual effects Hollywood has ever seen hands down - making Battleship and The Avengers purely extravagant!

Trapeze Communications launches International Great Wine Capitals website Trapeze Communications recently launched a new website and a comprehensive online marketing campaign for the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCN). GWCN, an international wine association based in Bordeaux, France, completed a worldwide agency search for the website project in 2011. Trapeze was the only North American agency invited to participate and won the work over European agencies, in part, because of the expertise they have developed in the tourism sector, particularly their comprehensive rebrand for the Napa Valley in 2008.

The website www.greatwinecapitals. com designed by Martin Aveyard, Associate Creative Director at Trapeze, provides users with a wine-lover’s bucket list of wine experiences and events in the wine capitals around the globe. Trapeze is wellestablished locally, recently rebranding The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce with “The Chamber” logo.

Human resource professionals acknowledge that a healthy workplace reduces absenteeism and job stress, which in turn makes it easier to attract and retain qualified employees.

Connect Hearing named one of the Best Workplaces in Canada

Mercy Ships Canada has created three brand new positions in an effort to raise awareness about their mission. These staff will focus on fundraising and telling people about the charity’s giant hospital ship that delivers free medical care to developing nations.

Connect Hearing has again been named one of the “Best Workplaces in Canada” and Angela Gronbeck-Jones isn’t surprised. An employee for the Victoria-based company for more than three years, Gronbeck-Jones says she benefits from the philosophy of care that her employer in the hearinghealth industry promotes. Connect Hearing, the largest network of hearing professionals in Canada with 120 clinics in six provinces, ensures that staff are not only recognized and respected, but also encouraged to expand their skills through training, independent thinking and innovation.

New positions at Mercy Ships Canada will Raise Awareness

New event coordinator and speaker, Maria Manna, was certain Mercy Ships was the right fit for her. “I’ve always wanted to help God’s people. I’m honoured to represent such a noble organization.” Manna is the international entertainer behind Vancouver Island’s Got Talent, Ladies of Jazz and Women of Blues. Joining her are Chelsea Kanstrup and Colleen Sullivan.


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Workforce housing is a term that is being used more and more by city planners and local government officials throughout North America as people begin to recognize that some housing markets have become less accessible by individuals and families on average incomes. There’s not much the real estate profession can do about the marketplace, but we can make a commitment to workforce housing so that eventually everyone who lives in our local communities has access to a safe, affordable place to call “home.”

We must grow the supply of housing – including choices about design, cost and location It’s a principle the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) has been working under since the summer of 2005 when our Board of Directors adopted our five Quality of Life principles that include support for “providing housing opportunities for all.” VREB said at the time that we support the thinking that “we all want a safe, decent and

Workforce Housing is a Concern for Everyone in Capital Region affordable home near where we work, shop and play,” and that “we must grow the supply of housing – including choices about design, cost and location.” With that foundation, the VREB has been well positioned to support work throughout the region on the challenge of providing an increased supply of non-market housing to meet the various needs of not only individuals experiencing homelessness, but also families, single parents, seniors, those who require supportive housing and, more recently, workforce housing. Several years ago, local university presidents stated it was becoming difficult to attract talented faculty as a result of high housing costs in our region when compared to communities where candidates currently lived. Private sector leaders say the same thing.

So what’s holding us back from meeting this challenge? There has been some progress on workforce housing in recent months. The Greater Victoria Housing Society, with support from Knappett Construction, the Capital Regional

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District Housing Trust Fund and the City of Victoria Housing Fund, recently completed a 26-unit project at Pembroke and Government Streets for employed individuals earning less than $35,000 per year. This initiative serves as a good model for future projects. A number of builders have completed and taken to market smaller 300-square foot units in Downtown Victoria that appealed to younger workers and came to the market at more affordable prices. Communities such as the Town of Sidney are working overtime with local employers on the Saanich Peninsula to

facilitate housing for younger families who work for local employers such as BC Ferry Authority, the Airport Authority, Viking Aircraft and the local school district. These families don’t have the joint family income required to afford housing in the Peninsula marketplace.

Local governments need to focus more on pre-authorized zoning for higher density Nevertheless, more attention is still required and local governments need to focus more on pre-authorizing zones where higher densities can take place

and encouraging a new supply of units designed for today’s median incomes. While some local governments remain focused on trying to squeeze new developments for contributions to art galleries and libraries, they need to realign their values to the fact that housing for our workforce is an amenity all of its own. The strength of the future economy requires recognition of this fact.

We need to begin a dialogue about attracting the next generation of workers As a community, we need to begin a dialogue about what Greater Victoria needs to do to attract the next generation of workers that local companies will rely on in future years. The Victoria Real Estate Board feels strongly that community discussions around workforce housing will play a significant role in providing answers to that important question.

“I’m not just saving water, I’m also saving money.” -John Cantin, Owner of John’s Place Restaurant

We opened up in October ’84. And in those days, nobody told you about ways to save on energy costs. Today, we do seven times the business we did that first year - about 600 covers a day. Energy costs go up – you accept that as the cost of doing business. So when the CRD told me I could save $30,000 a year by switching from water-cooled to air-cooled refrigeration, I sure took notice. That and the other changes they recommended like low-flow faucets for the kitchen and high efficiency toilets. I’m no longer wasting water or money. As a business owner, it’s great that for once we can save the dollars and do our part for the environment. To find out how you can save like John, visit


Can we create a community development fund with industry support that would guarantee deposits on the purchase of starter homes or condominiums? Can we build upon our Regional Housing Trust Fund operated by the Capital Regional District so that it not only has more funding to support construction of new rental units for lower-income workers, but also has some flexibility on what it can fund? Can we create special development zones for workforce housing? Can certain employers lease their land to developers for the construction of workforce housing? Will local governments be prepared to create new, mixed-zoning to allow housing to be built closer to the workplace? These and many other important questions must be discussed and acted on if we are going to overcome this challenge for Greater Victoria. Working together to address the region’s workforce housing demands will require a renewed commitment on behalf of all stakeholders to ensure that our region remains a vibrant place to live and work. - Article contributed by the Victoria Real Estate Board

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Conference Board Report Highlights Victoria’s Top Investment Strategy The Greater Victoria Development Agency welcomed a report by the Conference Board of Canada highlighting the importance of foreign investment to local economies and the role that cities play in driving economic development at a local, provincial and national level. The report titled “The Role of Canada’s Major Cities in Attracting Foreign Direct Investment” deals with the importance of foreign investment for our continued prosperity and the issues Canada faces in attracting investment to the country. Global foreign direct investment (FDI), a driving force of globalization, has increased substantially in recent decades. More and more companies are seeking the best places in the world to do business as national borders become increasingly irrelevant for economic activity. Despite any setbacks caused by the current global economic uncertainty, the globalization trend appears irreversible. This means that FDI should resume its strong growth once the global economy fully recovers.

The Conference Board predicts that if current trends continue Greater Victoria will overtake Vancouver in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita within 8 years. Third party research like the Conference Board report and the recent KPMG report, which investors use to inform their business location decisions, is verifying precisely what we have been telling the world. Greater Victoria is a natural place to do business. Apart from being just plain beautiful, we are attractive to business investment because we are a highly competitive market. The Conference Board report references an FDi Magazine/Financial Times annual series that gauges “American Cities of the Future” for major, large and small jurisdictions across North America. For the second year in a row, Greater Victoria is amongst the Top 10 jurisdictions where our future prospects and quality of life are concerned, and received top honours for the best foreign direct investment strategy.

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July Members Orientation Breakfast

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 7:30 am – 9:00 am Sponsored by: Vancouver Island Technology Park

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and Beacon Hill Park ◆ Standard, One and Two Bedroom Suites, Spa Suites, and Penthouse Suites - All with Balconies ◆ Samuel’s by the Park Restaurant ◆ Complimentary Local Calls, Wireless Internet, and Business Centre ◆ Meeting Room (up to 45 people) ◆ Complimentary Downtown Shuttle Service ◆ Indoor Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Fitness Centre 655 Douglas Street Victoria BC V8V 2P9 1-800-663-7007 Tel 250-386-1312 Fax 250-381-4312

Building Momentum Series – Learning to Speak Banker Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Sponsored by: KPMG

Six for Lunch

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Location: Pizzeria Prima Strada Members only please

Prodigy Group August Mingle Six for Lunch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Location: Earls Victoria Bay Centre Members only please

Prodigy Group July Mingle

Thursday, July 12, 2012 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Members & their guests only please

Thursday, August 9, 2012 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Members & their guests only please

Speed Networking

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm Sponsored by: Cedar Hill Golf Course  

July Business Mixer

Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Hosted by: Intrepid Theatre at Metro Studio Theatre Members & their guests only please

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Building Momentum Series – SMART Networking Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Sponsored by: KPMG

August Business Mixer

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August Members Orientation Breakfast Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7:30 am – 9:00 am Sponsored by: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre


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Economic Roundtables Taking the Pulse of the Local Economy In an effort to provide our members with a better understanding of the nuances of our local economy, The Chamber holds Economic Roundtables with local businesses and economic stakeholders. Industry experts are invited to talk about what is happening in our region’s economy and share insights into sector challenges and opportunities. Our latest session included members from the hospitality, academia, banking, arts, legal and technology sectors. Conversation at the roundtable centered on current conditions, the steps local businesses are taking to continue growing in challenging times, and how they are positioning themselves to take advantage of better times to come.

Hospitality Sector

Continuing challenges with the pace of economic growth in the US and a high Canadian dollar are forcing members in the sector to be creative with their marketing efforts in order to attract customers who now often make their travel decisions only just before they leave. Many of the hotel properties have taken the opportunity over the slower winter season to renovate and upgrade their offerings to attract guests, with an increasing focus on in room technologies which are now must haves for the business and personal traveller.

Legal and Professional Services

The legal services sector has been fairly flat over the past few years as development cycles and corporate activity slowed. In what could be seen as a leading indicator for economic growth, deal flow is up over the past quarter and there has been an uptick in development related business pointing to growth on the horizon as projects come on stream. An interesting insight is the effect that head offices have on professional services in the region.

As firms outside of the region acquire more local companies, decisionmaking on legal services also tends to follow.

Academic Sector

Growth in international students continues to be a strong driver of demand for our local academic institutions. With students coming from Asia, the Middle East and South America, enrollment is predicted to continue climbing. Attracting more students is seen as a tremendous benefit to the community, not only for the global talent that it brings to our doorstep, but the contribution to our economy that each student makes during their stay. Students spend an average of $36,000 a year while studying in the region, supporting the community’s retail sector in all its different forms.

Arts and Culture

The arts and culture sector not only add to the fabric of our community, they are a big contributor to our local economy generating over $170 million in annual economic activity. Increasing competition for entertainment dollars means that arts groups are working hard to engage the next generation of audiences and young families in the performing arts. With the growth in the western communities over the past 10 years, arts groups are exploring new options to engage audiences where they live. Like their counterparts in the legal community, a change to the location of head offices also has had an impact on corporate sponsorship of the arts. Many organizations rely heavily on individual donations and support, with the region having one of the highest levels of per capita spending on arts and culture in Canada.

Technology Service Sector

For the region’s technology service providers there have been significant changes over the past five years, and the pace of change only increasing. With the continuing growth of “plug and play” technology platforms and cloud computing, on site service calls have dropped by as much as 50% over the past few years, with most service calls now being handled remotely. Key concerns for the sector continue to be finding the employees they need to continue their growth and the effect that housing prices have on attracting talent to the region.


Academy Dental & Spa

Academy Spa offers comprehensive Facial Rejuvenation solutions and Cosmetic Dentistry treatments at a high level of excellence and service. (250) 385-6552

Address Realty Ltd.

Address Realty Ltd is a locally owned real estate company with world-wide reach. (250) 391-1893

AscendantFX Capital Inc.

Offering a wide range of payment solutions tailored to your business. Make and receive payments worldwide with AscendantFX. (250) 412-5306


Cloverdale Child Care Society

Before and after school care, preschool and group daycare. (250) 995-1766

Concord Security

We accommodate unique requirements and service facilities including offices, shopping centres, parking lots, as well as private and financial institutions. (250) 382-4007

Edward Jones - Paul Miller

Providing confidential and customized management of our client’s financial affairs. (250) 598-9550

Cunningham & Rivard Appraisals

A Vancouver Island real estate appraisal firm providing services to Southern, Central & the West Coast of Vancouver Island. (250) 381-4455

Home Soulutions Remediation and Restorations Home Soulutions offers 18 years of restoration experience. Available for private or subcontract work. (250) 888-8963

Burnside Gorge Community Association

Vision: To be a recognized leader in bringing innovation and sustainability to our diverse communities through responsive and unique programs and services. (250) 388-5251

Cairnview Mechanical

Trustworthy, values based company providing service, installation and renovation on all types of residential and commercial plumbing and heating. (250) 385-8439

Carreiro The Studio

Our philosophy is quite simple: create beautiful, healthy hair based on the latest science and a healthy dose of creativity. That’s why we were chosen as a Canada’s Next Top Model salon. (250) 920-5710

Cedar Hill Golf Course

The Cedar Hill Golf Club prides itself on being the most affordable and friendliest golf club in Victoria. (250) 475-7150

Change Innovators Inc

We provide leaders with resources for self-discovery and the tools needed to succeed and excel in the world today. (204) 897-8480


NEW MEMBERS Ingrid Weighton’s Driver Education Ltd.

Integral Ecology Group Ltd.

Island Tradelink

Successful driving through successful coaching. Special attention for fearful drivers and post-collision driving rehabilitation. (250) 388-6638

We are a group of professionals with extensive prior experience in the technical disciplines of vegetation ecology, soil science, ethnobotany and traditional land use studies. (250) 370-2888

Norgaard Kratofil Professional Group

Island BMW


(250) 598-6998

Sale repair of BMW, Motorcycles, clothing & accessories by BMW rev it & klim. (250) 474-2088

TD Canada Trust

It’s our business to understand and help build your business

Vancouver Island’s only professionally managed Commercial Trade Exchange. Members trade excess goods and services for new purchasing power in “trade credit”. (250) 727-3527 Specializing in original thinking and targeted and comprehensive strategies. We use creativity and imagination as the main ingredients in our strategic communications. (250) 889-5681 WWW.KENDALLWOOD.CA

Moving Your Way! Real Estate Services

Investment focussed real estate services including residential sales and acquisition, multifamily acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures. (250) 384-8124

West Coast Artisan Food

(250) 889-9404

We offer businesses a range of innovative, specialized products and services. Our specially trained and dedicated Small Business Advisors are committed to helping you by providing: • Insightful advice and innovative financial solutions • Flexible products and services • Branches open longer* to suit your busy schedule

Contact us today to discover how we can make your business banking easier. Bruce Read Area Manager, Business Banking 1080 Douglas St. Victoria 250-507-1067

Recruitment with great taste! Staffing professionals who go the extra mile to match the right candidate with the right employer.

Call us today 250.381.3254 Main Floor, 1124 Fort Street Victoria, BC Celebrating 15 Years of Business

Banking can be this comfortable *On average versus any other Canadian Bank. Individual branch hours may vary. ® / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.


in Victoria - September 2012 New Look. New Site. Check us out online.


Peak Business Solutions Ltd.

Seaquest Explorations

Peter Hunnisett, Business Broker

The UPS Store - Wilson St.

Si Guys Technology Repair Services

The Verch Group at Raymond James

We specialize in Accounting and Business Software Solutions, helping our customers make the best possible decisions. (250) 383-9883

If you have any questions related to buying and selling businesses or are looking for a business broker to help you, please don’t hesitate to call. (250) 891-3365

Petro Barrier Systems Inc.

Petro Barrier Systems Inc is an environmental solutions company that provides unmatched protection for waterways, storm drains and sewers. (250) 655-5000


Learn to be more organized! Book a workshop, speaker, lunch-n-learn or hands-on session for any size or type of business. (250) 217-9706

Red Brick Media

Red Brick Media develops software and creates websites focused on software distribution. (250) 590-4204

Richard Leitch - Financial Management

ShopVictoria is an online marketplace dedicated to local businesses in Victoria, BC. (250) 857-5454

We fix Cell phones, Tablets, iPods, and gaming consoles. We unlock cell phones. Concierge service too! (250) 590-6467

Signature Tire Plus Inc.

Our core values of service excellence, integrity, community and are the key to our success and the ability to fulfill our commitment to you. (250) 590-8499

Stones Throw Restaurant

All the food you know & love, some with a twist. Whenever you’re hungry great food is only a “Stone’s Throw” away! (778) 433-0028

Tabel Media Solutions Inc.

(250) 382-4481

RT Prime Industries

Start your day in Victoria on the Seaquest Explorer where you will play with a starfish, discover sea anemones, eat fresh cooked Dungeness crab and sail in our famous Inner Harbour. (250) 370-7500

We offer customers quality parts, short lead times, competitive pricing and a proactive approach in reducing our customers costs. We hope to hear about your future machining needs. (250) 590-5297

Business development and marketing consulting in the online marketing and video gaming space. (250) 896-7048

Terra Archaeology Limited

Terra provides professional archaeological consulting services throughout the province of British Columbia. (250) 590-8982

The University Club of Victoria

The University Club of Victoria (formerly called the Faculty Club) provides a variety of spaces and environments in which to meet, eat and socialize. (250) 721-7935 Think of us first for business cards, postcards, flyers or any other business printing. (250) 389-6245

We provide clarity around life’s complex issues while passionately coaching clients to achieve measurable results. (250) 405-2480

Tru Value Foods Ltd.

A community-based chain of fullservice grocery stores, our mission is to provide high quality, healthy, competitively priced foods in a clean and friendly environment. (778) 433-4332

Tsarshadow Kennels

Dawne Deeley is an internationally renowned photojournalist specializing in purebred, conformation dog shows. (250) 655-1405

Upanup Studios

The Upanup processes for strategy development, creative design, technical build-out and project management results in the highest quality creations and solutions. (250) 590-1721

The real people behind computer support Work from virtually anywhere and on almost any device. From Office 365 mobile work force solutions to full computer and systems management and with over 37 years of experience Tecnet has an innovative service solution to keep your computers and systems running at peak performance keeping your staff effective and productive. For more information call 250-475-6066 ext 3 or email



Urban Sign Inc.


Our full service shop offers the highest quality illuminated and non-illuminated sign options on the market. (250) 708-0220


What’s missing from your workplace?


A co-op student with the skills to speed up your projects.

Vancouver Island Trade Exchange Ltd.

Victoria International Buskers Festival Society Victoria’s largest family oriented festival of the summer, featuring professional street performers from around the world. (250) 661-5350

We act as a broker for the value of products & services being exchanged so you can purchase what you need from our network, when you need it. (250) 412-3633

Waste Management

Victoria Elder Care College

Yard Art

Victoria Hippo Tours

Canada’s Temperance Foundation (CTF)

Committed to improving the lives of the elderly by addressing their needs through health care training. (250) 388-3498 City Tours with a Splash! It’s a Bus - and a Boat - and the newest attraction in Victoria. Come take a splash in our ‘Bus that Floats.’ (416) 702-5001

Disposing of waste in an environmentally-friendly manner is crucial to your business. We can help. (250) 544-8009 We provide yard maintenance, tree and hedge pruning and lawn care. (250) 888-3224

Our mission is to educate Canadians on the benefits of temperance, defined as abstinence or restraint in the use of alcohol and/or drugs. (778) 746-7799

Contact us today

to learn how co-op can contribute to your workplace. Work terms normally begin in January, May and September.

Co-operative Education and Student Employment 250.370.4410

Co-operative Education Program and Career Services employers 250.721.7628


ADVOCACY IN ACTION The Victoria Chamber works to have a constructive influence on public policy on a variety of issues that support our members and a healthy, free enterprise system. In regular meetings with MLAs, MPs and Ministers, the Chamber lobbies government, and in recent months, has been particularly successful in having our policies adopted as government legislation. Premier Recognizes Chamber for Leadership on Auditor General for Local Government “The Chamber is an important voice. The business people you represent are the backbone of British Columbia’s economy, and the policies you bring forward help make sure British Columbia remains the best place in the country to do business. The new Auditor General for Local Government - that was an idea that you brought forward. I consider the Auditor General one of the signature achievements of our government over the last year and we have you to thank for that.” - Premier Christy Clark, May 25th, 2012

Speaking at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting in Penticton, Premier Christy Clark recognized the Chamber for its leadership in policy development and advocacy in the establishment of the new Auditor General for Local Government. This office will help strengthen local government accountability and ensure BC taxpayers receive the best possible return on investment for their taxpayer dollars. Your Victoria Chamber developed and advocated for the BC Chamber policy referenced by the Premier.

Victoria Chamber to Help Drive National Infrastructure Agenda Victoria Chamber staff were players on the national stage representing the region and Chambers across the country in framing and advocating for a new commitment to municipal infrastructure funding in Canada. The Chamber was the only stakeholder from the region at the invitation only meeting, as future plans for the nation’s municipal infrastructure were discussed at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Municipal Infrastructure Forum held on June 4th. Sasha Angus, the Chamber’s Manager of Policy and Government Affairs

Looking for Office Space? We have some to share! Check out the furnished office for rent within the offices of The Chamber. Ellen Henry, Operations Manager: 250.360.3475


joined national civic leaders, industry heads and federal and provincial officials for the second meeting of the Municipal Infrastructure Forum. This process is an important step to deliver long-term predictable investments to Canada’s public infrastructure, and will help renew the Building Canada Plan when it expires in 2014.

Victoria Chamber Scores Five Policy Victories at BC Chamber AGM The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce celebrated 5 policy victories at the BC Chamber AGM in Penticton, BC. Focusing on issues important to our business and broader community, our policies were endorsed by over 120 Chambers as provincial policy.

Policy Victories: 1. Charting A Sustainable Course for BC Ferries 2. Attracting Global Talent Key to Canada’s Economic Future 3. Increasing Rental Inventory Through Fair Tax Treatment 4. Provincial Role in Municipal Amalgamations 5. Supporting Accountability and Transparency for Local Government The Chamber’s BC ferries policy supports the government’s recent direction for a serious look at the sustainability of BC Ferries, including minor routes and changing the way ferry services are provided in the future. Ensuring that the ferry system is financially sustainable is a significant issue given that fare increases have continually outstripped both the rate of inflation and the rate of economic growth. Serious concerns to local businesses, changes to attract talent and support for workforce housing were amongst the other major pushes of the Chamber. The Victoria Chamber lead the call on reforms to help local companies access global talent and pushed for changes that will help foster a better workforce housing market for employees and employers alike. Building on our ongoing efforts to strengthen local governance, the Chamber also won support for our call for better municipal reporting requirements, and ensuring that voters say on large infrastructure projects doesn’t get watered down as regional districts take on more and more of our local infrastructure needs.

Your Community.


WE BUILD STRONG KIDS, STRONG FAMILIES AND STRONG COMMUNITIES YMCA-YWCA Greater Victoria • 851 Broughton Street, Victoria • Ph: 250-386-7511 •

Chamber People are Plugged In... Networking Events Advocacy Member Discounts Business Programs

Join the Network! (250) 383-7191

Business Matters July edition  

The Chamber's July edition focuses on a growing challenge for our community, workforce housing. For information on our local business scene...

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