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Successful infrastructure management

The Economic multiplier effect

Canada’s top 10 barriers to competitiveness



March 2013

On Budget On Time






March 2013 Business Matters is a bi-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

5 150th Fun Facts Celebrating the Chamber’s 150th Anniversary. 6 On Budget, On Time Successful infrastructure management. 10 Member News Keep up with what’s happening in the Chamber community. 13 Canada’s Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness Policy strategies to offset our national disadvantage. 17 The Economic Multiplier Effect

Understanding how the export industry sustains our economy.

18 Taking the Pulse of the Local Economy

This month’s Economic Snapshot examines tourism, retail, technology, manufacturing, education, marine and shipbuilding.

19 Calendar of Events 21 Longstanding Members

Recognizing members who have supported us for a number of years.

25 New Members

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

30 Directing Traffic Online

Maximize your Chamber online listing to work for you.

32 Industry Profile

We took a tour of Scott Plastics for the latest Industry Profile.

34 Advocacy in Action Publication Mail Poste-Publications 40005319

The Victoria Chamber works to have a constructive influence on public policy for a variety of issues.

Cover photo courtesy of John Yanyshyn - Visions West Photography

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Robert Burnaby -

The first President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce was founded on February 9, 1863. Its first task was to organize an armed escort to accompany gold shipments from the Cariboo Region. As the Chamber celebrates its 150th Anniversary, we look back to some noteworthy moments in Greater Victoria’s history in which the Chamber played a pivotal role.

FUN FACTS Facts and photos collected by The Placement Group.

1891: Mayor Grant starts City Hall’s clock. 1893: Construction on BC Parliament Buildings begins. In February of 1893 the Chamber, then known as Board of Trade, occupied its new building in Bastion Square. 1903: Princess Victoria, the Canadian Pacific Railway’s newest passenger ship on the West Coast, cuts the overnight VictoriaVancouver passage time to 3 hours and 31 minutes. 1937: Hanging flower baskets on light standards are introduced to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victoria’s civic incorporation. 1960: BC Ferry Corporation is founded. 1963: Victoria College becomes the University of Victoria. 1994: Victoria hosts the Commonwealth Games, bringing a $60 million boost to tourism revenues. 1994: After 150 years of success, The Chamber looks forward to another 150 years as the “Voice of Business” in our community. Thank you for your support Greater Victoria!



On Budget - On time successful infrastructure Management When building public infrastructure, governments are spending our tax dollars. Larger projects such as hospitals, bridges, sewage treatment plants, and highway interchanges have a major impact on our community and the related financial risks are significant. Overspending on the proposed sewage treatment budget by even 10 percent would cost an additional $80 million – nearly enough money to build a second Johnson St. bridge. Public infrastructure projects must be managed effectively, as the public cannot afford another costly overrun like the BC Place roof replacement. With an approved budget of $365 million and a final cost of $563 million, the project’s cost overrun exceeded the original budget by 53 percent.

What defines a successful project? When selecting projects, governments need to ensure they spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, getting the best value for money. Projects accomplish this when they provide essential services and meet the outlined demand without going overboard with costly additions once the project has begun. Most importantly, successful projects are those completed on time and on budget. Much like any at home renovation or business endeavor, these two key factors can make or break a project. Other factors needed to ensure success are proper planning and transparency. Proper planning includes having a well-defined scope to avoid costly scope creep, and finding the best means of mitigating risk. Value for money assessment should be an essential part of all project planning, no matter the scale. Transparency ensures the public can see how money is being spent, and ensures every phase of a project is documented to avoid repeating costly mistakes.



Common challenges No project goes according to plan 100 percent of the time, which is expected. A lack of proper contingency allowance, unexpected delays, and improper documentation are some of the potential risks facing infrastructure projects. A contingency allowance or “slush fund” is a budget that is reserved for unexpected costs that arise during project execution. Examples of such costs could be an unexpected spike in materials, fuel, fluctuating interest rates, or other unexpected challenges. If project budgets don’t account for these contingencies ahead of time, any minor hiccup will quickly put a project at risk of going over budget. Unexpected delays include construction problems, labour shortages, and extreme weather. Improper documentation impedes transparency, and can allow for scope creep and budget increases. Scope creep occurs when projects grow in scope beyond their outset plan, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It becomes problematic when not properly documented; meaning public money is spent in a manner outside the project’s scope and without proper approval. Having a thorough plan in place is vital to mitigating risk and staying on budget regardless of the types of challenges encountered.

Comparing conventional projects to public-private partnerships Conventionally funded projects have been the norm for federal, provincial, and municipal projects. A significant number come in the form “design-bid-build” or “designbuild” where each phase of the project is procured separately. Having completed construction, maintenance or any other necessary services are served by another separate contract, meaning these costs may not be accounted for in the project’s original budget. Essentially, the conventional infrastructure process breaks projects

down into smaller phases. Contracts are input based, and payments are made to contractors on a monthly basis. These monthly payments are calculated as a percentage of the work completed. The project is controlled and overseen by the public owner, unless they have hired a professional management firm to carry out this responsibility. Conventional projects take advantage of the public lending rate, but the public also assumes the risk. Conventional projects are what their names imply; they are the accepted means of managing infrastructure projects. However their role as the accepted method doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best method. When compared with public-private partnerships, conventional projects tend to be less able to deliver results on time and on budget. Public-private partnerships (P3s) combine the public’s ability to create policy and regulate performance with the private industry’s project management skills. Though this doesn’t sound all too different from conventionally funded projects, they differ in a number of significant ways. P3s integrate phases, meaning design, construction and maintenance can be included as parts of a long-term contract, rather than a series of smaller individual contracts. This makes for more transparent project budgets, as the total long-term costs are being assessed. Contracts are output based, and payment is made once construction is complete, meaning governments and the public don’t have to pay for a project before being able to benefit from its service. The project is controlled and overseen by the private partner; however the public retains ownership. P3 projects are funded privately, and the private partner assumes the risk.

Assessing value-for-money Value-for-money assessment is a key element of P3 procurement. It is a tool

A winning example The Royal Jubilee hospital project is a great example of a successful public-private partnership. In its value-formoney assessment, the P3 was found to achieve $22.2 million in savings, as well as other qualitative benefits when compared with a traditional delivery model. Some of the qualitative benefits include improved patient privacy and infection control, integrated support services, and lifecycle maintenance. Although the project saw changes throughout the planning and execution phases, these changes were documented and additional costs and benefits were made public through the final project report. The construction phase of the project was completed on time, and service continues to be provided on budget.

Visions West Photography



used to decide whether projects are suitable for a P3 rather than traditional procurement. A number of provinces have created their own methods for assessing value-for-money; the BC government created the Capital Asset Management Framework (CAMF) to be used as such a tool. The CAMF aims to establish best practices for capital asset management, and supports public sector agencies to find the most efficient ways to meet provincial infrastructure needs. It begs the broader question “how can we do things better, or more efficiently?” Whether the answer to this question comes from alternate service delivery, public-private partnership, asset disposal or leveraging, or traditional procurement strategies, the focus is placed on thinking of all possible options and choosing the best and most suitable method for delivery. The Chamber applauds this framework document, as it tasks agencies with doing their homework ahead of time. Moreover, it is recognized by the Conference Board of Canada as the “first and most elaborate” framework when compared with those from other provinces engaging in publicprivate partnership procurement. The

document is publicly available online ( and should be used by other levels of government as a model for developing value-for-money assessment prior to the procurement phase. Projects must not only determine the cost-benefit in dollar value, but also factor in more qualitative cost-benefit values such as environmental impact and safety.

Conventional projects should employ similar measures to better inform both taxpayers and bidders during the procurement process. Greater transparency surrounding conventional projects would also allow for future projects to learn from the mistakes made in previous projects, ensuring better decision making.


Transparency In addition to implementing valuefor-money assessment, conventional projects should also offer more transparency. In researching this article, no information could be easily found for the McTavish Interchange project’s final cost, nor its cost breakdown. The Ministry of Transportation, when contacted, was unable to provide any figures, stating that the project was not yet complete from an administrative standpoint. P3s employ transparency by including a fairness advisor and by posting the request for quotation, request for proposal, and a revised version of the partnership agreement online. Moreover, the full value-for-money report is usually made public as well.

Having compared public-private partnerships with conventional projects, it is clear that P3s are the most business savvy approach. Not all projects are suited to P3s; however, conventional projects can learn a thing or two from the P3 process. The public can ensure infrastructure projects stay on time and on budget by encouraging governments to: use public-private partnerships where appropriate; implement value-formoney assessment for all projects in the planning stage; refuse to broaden scope once projects have been approved; refuse to increase budgets during execution; and, improve transparency through publicly accessible documentation.


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Member News The historic Steamship Terminal building, managed by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, secured its second major tenant in January. The project’s revitalization initiative now boasts a restaurant and café, as well as an art gallery. The GVHA continues to actively seek like-minded operators that share the vision for a balance of commercial uses and public access, complimenting other future tenants.

Sonar Moment Shares CEO Stories

Tune into Whale Communications’ new one-on-one interview series showcasing CEOs based out of the Pacific Northwest. Sonar Moment shares stories of leadership and business approaches from local CEOs. This month, host Heather Ferguson is joined by Jane Butler McGregor, CEO of the Victoria Conservatory of Music to discuss the challenges facing not-forprofits.

The BCRFA recently elected Bob Parrotta as the new chairman for its Victoria branch. Parotta, the Food and Beverage Director of Butchart Gardens, will lead the organization responsible for promoting the restaurant industry on the south Island. “Restaurants and related businesses are a huge part of the regional economy, and our association exists to help strengthen the industry,” Parrotta said. “We have busy tourism seasons and our job is to help our members succeed year-round.”

Big Changes at Sector Learning

The first two episodes featured Chamber members Sage Baker, CEO of Q5 Innovations and Scott Phillips, CEO of StarFish Medical. Watch Sonar Moment and read the interviews online at

Curious about Mentorship? Ask Richard Eaton!

GVHA secures restaurant for CPR building

Sector Learning Solutions Inc. welcomed Manny Mandrusiak as its new Director of Business Development in January. Mandrusiak has developed technology training events across North America and runs his own consulting company. Chris Stone was promoted to Operations Manager the same month. Stone will continue his role as Collaboration Systems Business Analyst and will support clients with his SharePoint consulting services. Sector also said goodbye to General Manager Maurice Lagassé, who joined the Bateman Foundation to assist with opening the new Robert Bateman Centre in the historic CPR Steamship Terminal.

Dine Around with BCRFA

Have you dined around yet? There’s still some time left to participate in this year’s Dine Around & Stay in Town promotion. Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association (BCRFA) have partnered again to promote a number of Greater Victoria’s restaurants and hotels during the off season. Participating restaurants are offering three course fixed price menus until March 10, 2013.

Richard Eaton of Berlin Eaton recently joined the Prodigy Group’s Mentorship program as a mentor. Eaton benefitted from mentorship as an Officer in the British Army, and attributes it to his success. He calls the decision to participate in the program “a no brainer” after hearing about its goals and the process involved. Eaton firmly believes it is important to help others improve and reach their potential in any way possible. He hopes his contribution as a mentor will help not only an individual, but also the overall economy, as mentorship has a rippling effect. He also looks forward

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Dine Out For Life this April

Support AIDS Vancouver Island on April 25th as part of Dining Out for Life 2013. Participating restaurants are donating 25% of all food and non-alcoholic sales made on that date to AIDS Vancouver Island. Last year’s campaign generated $35,000 which translated into 10,000 hot meals for participants of AIDS Vancouver Island’s hot lunch program. Last year also saw 67 restaurants participate. This marks the fundraiser’s 8th year running. Visit www. for more information.

Curling Championship and Pacific Tattoo Return

The Ford World Men’s Curling (FWMC) championship returns to Victoria on March 30th and runs until April 7th at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. For corporate package information and tickets, contact Peter Baillie at (250) 884-8214, Ian Batey at (250) 216-1420 or visit Pacific Tattoo is returning July 13th and

14th this year. The event, run by the Victoria Military Music Festival Society (VMMFS), features traditional military drumming, piping, music, and dancing. VMMFS’ second year hosting brings new board additions and tickets will soon be available at

Pemberton Holmes launches new websites

Established in 1877, Pemberton Holmes knows a thing or two about keeping pace with the times. The real estate company recently revamped its website, improving its user-friendliness, and created a new spinoff site specially targeted to the condominium market. Stratasafe is a resource to learn about the benefits and risks of entering into a strata agreement. The site features upcoming seminars and the stratasafe team, who are poised to take a deeper look into a condo building’s overall structural integrity. Visit the sites online at and

Connect Hearing named Top Employer

Congratulations to Connect Hearing for being named one of BC’s Top Employers for the second consecutive year! The organization was commended

for employment best practices including work-life balance incentives, maternity and parental leave top-up payments, transition options for older and retiring workers, RRSP matching, signing and referral bonuses, and industryleading incentive programs. Sandra Fulton, Connect’s Director of Human Resources, says she is “fortunate to be part of an organization that values its staff and encourages them to expand their skills through training, independent thinking and innovation.”

New broker for Sotheby’s

Shelby Donald joined Sotheby’s International Realty Canada as Managing Broker for Victoria, Qualicum and Salt Spring Island in January. Donald brings over 20 years of real estate experience to her new role. Most recently she was the Co-owner and Managing Broker for Equitex Realty Ltd., a privately held commercial real estate and property management firm. Sotheby’s said its team of local associates, comprised of less than one percent of real estate agents in the CRD, sold 13.5 percent of the listings priced at more than $1 million last year.

Frontrunners turns 25

Frontrunners Footwear is celebrating its 25th year in business! Frontrunners



Member News

boasts that it is Vancouver Island’s most comprehensive running and athletic footwear establishment. Frontrunners is committed to helping the community, as a sponsor of many charitable foundations, athletic associations and running-related events, such as the Times Colonist 10K. Owner Rob Reid is known not only for his business success, but also as an inspiration to local runners in the community.

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Each year, realtors from Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty raise money for the four women’s shelters in the Capital Region through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. One such recipient, the Cridge Centre for the Family, has received over $94,000 for its Cridge Transition House for Women over the past decade. The Cridge Transition House for Women provides care for more than three hundred women and children fleeing domestic violence each year. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is Canada’s largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters as well as violence prevention and education programs, and Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation.

What’s in a name?

DTZ Barnicke changed its name to DTZ Victoria Real Estate. The new name signals a new logo and brand, as part of a step forward for the business. Started in 2001 as J.J. Barnicke Victoria Ltd., DTZ Victoria Real Estate continues to provide Victoria and southern Vancouver Island with sales, leasing and advisory services for retail, office, industrial, hotel, multi-residential and land development transactions. Heritage Office Furnishings now goes by Agenda Office Interiors. The rebrand reflects their focus on office furnishings, architectural walls and related services. The change comes as Agenda is expanding, with more space and more staff offering more products to more customers in their existing service area. Maximum Furniture Warehouse is transforming into Max Furniture. The new logo and brand is timed to reflect Max Furniture’s switch to a solid wood focus. Founder Rahim Khudabux shifted to mostly Canadian made wood furniture because it is more environmentally friendly and reasonably priced. Max Furniture has also hired Amy McGeachie, Interior Designer and Design District host.

Canada’s Top 10 barriers to competitiveness

Uncompetitive tourism and travel strategies have the most impact on Greater Victoria

Canada’s competitiveness continues to be severely challenged as traditional and emerging economies aggressively strive to occupy the global economic landscape. In fact, our country’s ability to remain a leader among nations continues to decline. A 2012 World Economic Forum report ranked Canada 14th in global economic competitiveness—down two places from 2011 and sliding five places since 2009. Improving Canada’s competitiveness requires an ambitious, aggressive and innovative private sector.

Crafting a Canadian Solution In conjunction with the Greater Victoria Chamber and Chambers throughout Canada, the Canadian Chamber researched and identified the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2013. This ongoing initiative aims to direct attention to the key impediments holding back Canada’s progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly in increasing our country’s ability to compete globally. Thanks to our common efforts, the skills shortage is now on everyone’s mind, including

Prime Minister Harper — who declared that overcoming this crisis is now his government’s biggest challenge. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Victoria agree that uncompetitive tourism and travel strategies is one of Greater Victoria’s key barriers to competitiveness. Chamber CEO Bruce Carter and Tourism Victoria CEO Rob Gialloreto partnered in a joint press conference in February to highlight Canada’s overall disadvantage when compared with other global tourism destinations. The 2013 top 10 barriers to competition are:

Skills shortages Governments and businesses across regions and sectors will need to work cooperatively and aggressively to address this ubiquitous issue, particularly in four key areas: upskilling, immigration policies, education-employment alignment and Aboriginal education and workforce development.

Uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies Through a combination of high

transportation costs and steadily reduced marketing efforts, Canada has slipped from seventh place among the world’s tourism destinations to 18th place in just a decade. A huge industry, critical in every region, is struggling with its competitiveness and needs public policies that are forward looking and supportive.

Lack of access to capital A critical element of business competitiveness in any industry is access to capital—be it through venture capital or through foreign direct investment. Canada must support a sustainable privatesector led venture capital market and increase its appeal to foreign investors.

“The Chamber has identified inadequate infrastructure planning as an issue for Greater Victoria, and is responding by creating a local policy.”



Inadequate public infrastructure planning Government commitments to infrastructure have been intermittent and the criteria changeable, making private sector investment difficult and expensive. Mobilizing private investment to finance public goals is essential for infrastructure development. Turn to page 6 to read more about infrastructure management.

Tax complexity and structure Canada’s tax system over-relies on income and profit taxes, the most economically-damaging forms of taxation. Canada’s tax system is also overly complex and, as a result, imposes unnecessary and significant compliance and administration costs on businesses and consumers. Canada must create a simple, fair and growth-oriented tax system.

Inadequate workforce productivity Improved trends in business investment, productivity-enhancing

technologies and equipment are encouraging but still leave Canada underperforming relative to its competitors. To improve its productivity, Canada must leverage advanced technologies and efficient infrastructure, support efforts to raise literacy and numeracy levels among workers and ensure its EI program is not a disincentive to work.

Barriers to world markets for Canadian energy products The overseas market will be of critical economic importance to Canada in the 21st century. Federal and provincial governments must act now to support the development of the infrastructure and relationships needed to realize the full potential of Canada’s energy endowment, or risk missing out on a historic opportunity.

Poor innovation performance Canada lacks a definitive innovation strategy that brings coherence to the many government policies and programs affecting private research, academic research and commercialization. Poor innovation

leaves Canadian business vulnerable to competitors and to changing economic conditions. A clear approach that leads to action is urgently needed.

Deficient strategies for trade success in new markets Canada’s competitiveness is constrained by a focus on slowgrowing, traditional markets. Canada must reduce its dependency upon its usual trading partners and expand its access to new markets in Asia, Africa and South America. Legal access to these markets is but the first step. Canada needs to construct trade strategies that will turn access into success.

Internal barriers to trade Canada is still far from being a barrier-free internal market. Internal trade barriers cost Canada’s economy up to $14 billion each year. Canadian business still has to petition governments for the “right” to sell goods and services in Canada. Canadian business needs a new agreement that will deliver a

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single, unimpeded marketplace for internal trade, labour mobility and investment. The top 10 barriers not only highlight barriers, but also provide an advocacy action plan for the year ahead. Identifying Canada’s barriers is a means of focusing policy efforts nationally, so that Chambers across Canada can join in support and achieve results. The Victoria Chamber will support these national advocacy efforts, and will also apply this information locally. For example, the Chamber has identified inadequate infrastructure planning as an issue for Greater Victoria, and is responding by creating a local policy. This policy will be brought to the BC Chamber for provincial support. If this policy’s scope can be broadened to a national application, it will be brought to the Canadian Chamber for national support, completing a full cycle of effective advocacy for each level of government; municipal, provincial, and federal.

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Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society supports co-op education L–R: WILSON CHUNG, MAGGIE FANG, PHILIP MACMAHON

Each summer, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival draws over 1,000 paddlers to Victoria’s Inner Harbour to race against some of the fastest teams in North America. A huge amount of commitment makes this event a success, and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (VDBF) Society knows where to turn for help.

The VDBF Society, a Chamber of Commerce member, has been hiring co-operative education students from the University of Victoria and Camosun College for more than 10 years with fantastic results. “Co-op students have proved a very valuable resource,” says Mark Mawhinney, chair of the VDBF Society board of directors. “For a local non-profit organization putting on a complex festival, the co-op program enables us to increase our staff during key parts of the year.” This past summer, the VDBF Society hired three UVic and Camosun students as extra hands on deck. As a communications coordinator, UVic visual arts student Wilson Chung promoted the festival, worked with diverse stakeholders and wrote website messaging, social media content and speaking notes. “We received lots of media coverage and our Lights of Courage campaign raised over $20,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation,” he says.

and equipment for multiple events, including the Festival media launch, gala dinner and silent auction. She also successfully planned the Festival’s very first Night Market. “When I received positive feedback from paddlers, visitors, vendors and volunteers, I felt the value of my work,” she says. Camosun sport and fitness leadership student Philip MacMahon worked as a volunteer coordinator to recruit, train and oversee 500 festival volunteers. “My ability to recruit the best volunteer site crew I’ve ever seen as well as several high-level First Aiders is what I’m most proud of,” he says. MacMahon’s outstanding work term helped him land Camosun’s Yvonne Thompson Page Co-op Student of the Year Award. Welcoming co-op students to the team has helped the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society pull off a consistently successful annual event while providing students with work-integrated learning. “Working with such energetic, creative staff allows the Festival to grow and develop each year,” says Mawhinney. To learn more about the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society, visit

As an event assistant, UVic commerce student Maggie (Rui) Fang handled logistics like food, entertainment

Contact Greater Victoria’s co-op and career programs to find the right student for your hiring needs. Co-operative Education and Student Employment 250.370.4410


Co-operative Education Program and Career Services 250.721.7628

The economic multiplier effect Business in Greater Victoria relies on exports to earn its income, although only a small percentage of the region’s 14,000 businesses actually participate in exportation. How can this be? A strong export economy is the essential foundation to the long-term sustainability of any community. The multiplier effect spreads money from exports throughout the region’s economy, although some is lost to economic leakage. In order to Image credit: Courtesy of Dallas Gislason; designed by support this key component Spice Marketing Consulting of our economy, we need to understand the export industry. a defined $2.65 billion in economic

The economic multiplier effect When an export transaction occurs, a local product or service is exchanged (shipped) for currency. This currency is then used by the firm that made the export to pay their staff, pay their input costs and overheads, as well as to pay taxes in various forms. The remainder is kept in the form of profit or is reinvested in growing their company. This triggers a ripple-effect through the economy that we all benefit from— whether retailers, non-profits, bankers, or any other industry.

Economic leakage The multiplier effect suggests that with each export, our economy expands. If it weren’t for economic leakage, this would be entirely true. Currency is leaked out of the economy through taxation, long-term savings and imports. Taxation leaks occur mainly when paying provincial and federal taxes since local municipalities tend to spend their revenues locally. Savings leaks occur because most pensions, RRSPs, and mutual funds don’t invest in local companies and currency is not spent locally until a person retires. Imports are simply another region’s export.

What are Greater Victoria’s exports? Our region is one of the most diverse economies of any metro region in Canada. Our number one export sector is advanced technologies, with

impact. Greater Victoria boasts a broad range of companies that produce software, gaming, education, mobile and media applications, and an even broader range of companies in the advanced manufacturing sector, delivering products for military, marine, cycling, aerospace, forest monitoring, and others.

Tourism is a significant export segment and also perhaps the most visible of all export sectors, with an estimated impact of $1.9 billion annually. It is more difficult to measure tourism’s full impact because when a visitor makes a retail purchase it is considered wealth creation, but when a resident makes that same purchase, it is considered wealth redistribution. Our region is highly reliant on education as an export segment. For example, with 77 percent of University of Victoria students coming from outside the region, the economic impact of post-secondary institutions is in the billions. That number strengthens when you consider the indirect impacts of having a more educated society. Both Camosun College and Royal Roads University are also growing their international presence year after year. Government services are another essential export in Greater Victoria. As BC’s Capital, our region exports government services to the rest of the province in exchange for tax revenue— revenue that results in hundreds of millions of dollars in employee payroll in the local population. These are household sustaining jobs that support

Victoria’s retail, housing, construction and service sectors. Other export sectors in Victoria include marine repair and the Navy, among numerous consulting and other service firms that export their expertise to external markets. British Columbia has the fourth highest number of exports of Canada’s provinces. But unlike the top three (Ontario, Alberta, & Quebec respectively), BC’s exports are less dependent on the United States. In fact, BC is the only province in Canada where exports to the United States makes up less than 50 percent of the total.

Where do we go from here? As a region, it is imperative that we aggressively and collaboratively address the needs of exportoriented companies because of their importance to our economy. Training programs must be adapted to the needs of exporters, the types of capital these organizations need to grow must be explored, the transition of new technologies from labs to shop floors must be made easier, infrastructure must be aligned to the flow of commerce, products must get to market quickly and efficiently, a competitive tax environment offering high-returns on investment is necessary, as is the need to continuously promote Greater Victoria’s “opportunity brand” to encourage talent and business to grow here. Only when the specific needs of the region’s export firms are understood will our region be able to construct meaningful strategies and policies that will lead to a sustainable economy. The aim of our economic development office is to do exactly that. In turn, the GVDA relies on community support to achieve these goals over the longterm.

Dallas Gislason Economic Development Officer, Greater Victoria Development Agency



ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT This year Canada has seen a 17 percent loss of mid-sized businesses nationwide. Greater Victoria is not immune to this decline; the Chamber finds that a significant number of businesses canceling their membership are those who have gone bankrupt. Even with this loss, the economy created over 312,000 jobs overall by year’s end. This month’s economic snapshot examines a few of the key industries supporting our region.

Tourism In 2012 Greater Victoria’s hotel industry saw a one percent decrease in occupancy rates overall from 2011 but it is optimistic approaching 2013’s second quarter. Boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts are doing well despite this overall drop, due in part to their smaller size and uniqueness. Tourism Victoria has targeted hotel occupancy as part of its long-term plan, setting a goal of 1.5 percent growth in hotel occupancy per year for the next three years. The Victoria Conference Centre saw a decrease in its number of delegate days in 2012 from 2011, dropping to 94,529 days from 111,467. Projections for 2013 don’t look much better, with delegate day estimates as low as 70,000. As Vancouver has lost larger conference bids to other markets, it has begun targeting the smaller conventions Victoria relies upon. There remains hope however; with the announcement of TED’s move to Vancouver, Victoria could bid to host the satellite event TEDActive planned in Whistler for 2014.

Retail Shopping centre vacancy rose to 4.38 percent at the end of 2012, up from 2011 mainly due to Uptown. Streetfront vacancy was 7.1 percent at the end of 2012, down from 2011.There is higher vacancy in suburban shopping centres in 2013, however this should be absorbed by end of year and 2014 is expected to present more new retailers. Similar to hotels, boutique stores offering a unique shopping experience are poised to thrive as interest in big box stores decreases. The abrupt


Taking the Pulse of the Local Economy closure of Best Buy demonstrates the dangers of “showrooming” when new retail patterns show consumers visiting stores to test products, but making their purchases online. The health and wellness retail sectors are showing continued growth.

Technology & Manufacturing Many people in the region are starting technology companies because the barrier for entry is much lower. These small businesses are made up of only a few highly skilled individuals taking advantage of reduced overhead through technology like cloud computing and e-sales. These smaller operations don’t have to invest in maintaining a costly storefront the same way a traditional retail store would. The businesses following this trend tend to focus on digital, new media, internet, and software categories although marine technology and manufacturing remain the dominant and strongest sectors. Most manufacturers in the region are small to mid-size operations, many producing products whose superior quality is recognized globally. Both manufacturing and technology rely on specially-skilled workers, which are too costly for small businesses to train; leaving them to recruit from afar. Another option is for these companies to strengthen their ties with the postsecondary education sector to take advantage of students’ in-class abilities while creating future employment partnerships. Scott Plastics, among other businesses, has developed such a relationship with Camosun College and as a result makes use of Camosun’s rapid prototyping technology to see new designs come to life overnight. Turn to page 32 to read more about local manufacturer Scott Plastics. The Chamber will be initiating an Industrial and Manufacturing

work group; visit our website ( for more details.

Education The total number of enrollments for Camosun College, University of Victoria, and Royal Roads University is 42,801, of which 2,852 are international students. All three institutions operate at near or full capacity while facing increasing costs and budget cuts. Although increasing the number of international seats can finance some seats for local students, post-secondary institutions require additional funding to increase capacity. International programs must be cautious of relying too heavily on students from a single country, such as China, which can be problematic if interest decreases over time. Moreover, program participants demand an international experience made up of a diverse mix of students; not just Canadians and Chinese. Expanding the international student marketing efforts to include K-12 messaging, as well as promoting our region’s lifestyle and tourism brand to entice visiting parents will help support Victoria’s identity as an education destination.

Marine & Shipbuilding The shipbuilding and marine repair industry currently represents 4,627 jobs in British Columbia. 6,883 jobs are projected for 2016, and by 2020 employment numbers are projected to reach 7,605. 2020 projections include 750 retirement-related job openings, mainly in Victoria. The majority of marine jobs in Victoria focus more on vessel repair than construction. As such the impact of shipbuilding contracts still won’t be visible for a few more years as the Shipyards are already occupied with ferry refit and cruise ship servicing contracts.















































































WordPress for Business Date: March 7, 2013 Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm Location: The Chamber Six for Lunch Date: March 13, 2013 Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm Location: LURE Restaurant, Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa Members only please



Master Your Content & Rule the Web Date: April 3, 2013 Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm Location: The Chamber Six for Lunch Date: April 9, 2013 Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm Location: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guest Houses Members only please

Using Twitter to Advance your Brand & Build Community Date: March 14, 2013 Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm Location: The Chamber Prodigy Group March Mingle Date: March 14, 2013 Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm Hosted by: Royal Victoria Yacht Club Members & their guests only please





Community Consultation – Proposed National Marine Conservation Area Date: April 10, 2013 Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm Hosted by: Royal Victoria Yacht Club Prodigy Group April Mingle Date: April 11, 2013 Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm Hosted by: TBD Members & their guests only please


April Marketplace Mixer Date: April 18, 2013 Time: 4:00pm - 7:00pm Presenting Sponsor: Times Colonist 2013 Greater Victoria Business Awards Date: April 23, 2013 Time: 6:00pm - 10:30pm Hosted by: The Fairmont Empress For more information please visit

TD Canada Trust

Running a small business is hard enough We can help Owning a small business can be as demanding as it is rewarding. We understand how busy you are, and we want to help.

Grow Your Business with Email Marketing Date: March 20, 2013 Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm Location: The Chamber

• Easy credit application and fast response • Business account packages tailored to meet the needs of your business • Convenient access in-branch by ABM, phone or web • Professional and personable banking advice

March Business Mixer – Co-Hosted with Tourism Victoria Date: March 21, 2013 Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm Host: The Fairmont Empress

Brian Gordon Area Manager, Business Banking 250-507-7025

Industry Tour – Prototype Equipment Design Date: March 27, 2013 Time: 8:00am - 9:30am Location: Prototype Equipment Design Members only please


1070 Douglas Street, Suite 440 Victoria, BC

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.


M00580 (0212)



Where emerging business leaders need to be.

THE PRODIGY GROUP MENTORSHIP PROGRAM The Prodigy Group offers a unique mentorship program that matches emerging leaders with exemplary business professionals. This program promotes the professional and personal advancement of Victoria’s future leaders and the exchange of new ideas.

Mentorship doesn’t have to be time consuming, and it isn’t based on age. It’s about the exchange of new ideas in a two-way learning process. Email if you, a colleague, or an employee wants to be a part of this unique program.

For more information visit us at


MARKETPLACE MIXER Thursday April 18, 2013 4:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. Delta Victoria - Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa

Limited space available. Book your booth now!

BE THERE. 250.383.7191


LONGSTANDING MEMBERS As we celebrate 150 years representing Greater Victoria’s business community, the Chamber would like to recognize members who have supported us for over 25 years. Check out January’s Business Matters for members over 40 years. Coast Capital Savings - Tyee Island Savings - Downtown Megson FitzPatrick Insurance Services - Uptown Monday Magazine IBM Canada Ltd. National Money Mart Company Sysco Victoria, Inc. Butchart Gardens Ltd., The BC Ferry Services Inc. Camosun College Thrifty Foods University of Victoria Belmont Management Ltd. Surfside Holdings B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities Joyce & Dilba C.A. Laver Inc., Dr. E.R., Dentist Norris, James, Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant Prospect Lake Golf Course Reed, R. Keith, Lawyer Smith Hutchison

SNC Lavalin (formerly Standard Life Property Management) Solguard Financial Ltd. Williams Moving and Storage (B.C.) Ltd. Ballam, Phil, Plumbing and Heating Brown’s The Florist Business Development Bank of Canada Cooper Pacific Mortgage Investment Corporation Embassy Inn Graphic Office Interiors Ltd. Morguard Investments Limited Tally-Ho Carriage Tours Tecnet Canada Inc. Vancouver Island Construction Association Acme Supplies Ltd. Certified Folder Display Service Canada, Inc. CFB Esquimalt E Y Properties Ltd. Equitex Realty & Management Golden City Restaurant Harbour House Restaurant

Erik Solbakken, BA, CA

“Business IS our Business” Where successful business owners come for expert accounting, tax and advisory solutions.

Erin J. Solbakken, BComm, CA

tel: 250 590 5211 | 202 - 830 Shamrock St. Victoria BC | V8X 2V1 |



LONGSTANDING MEMBERS Market Square Royal and McPherson Theatres Society Travelodge Victoria Trenholme & Company Victoria Symphony Access Records and Media Management Ltd. Blue Bird Cabs Ltd. Bolen Books Capital City Paving Crawford Paterson Campbell & McNeill Dutch Bakery & Coffee Shop Ltd. James Bay Inn Ltd. Keg Steakhouse & Bar Munro’s Books ScanDesigns Furniture Sharp’s Audio Visual Ltd. AON Reed Stenhouse Inc. Best Western Carlton Plaza Boorman’s Real Estate & Insurance Fotoprint Ltd. Jones Emery Hargreaves Swan McConnan, Bion, O’Connor & Peterson Proline Management Ltd. Rona Home Centre

ScotiaMcLeod Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites Canem Systems Ltd. Colliers International Columbia Fuels Inc. Executive House Hotel Grant Thornton LLP Island Savings - Mayfair Jenner Chevrolet Buick Corvette GMC Ltd. Ming’s Restaurant Murchie’s Tea and Coffee Ltd. Royal Scot Hotel & Suites Victoria Airport Authority Campus Honda Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites Colonial Countertops Ltd. Huntingdon Hotel & Suites / Gatsby Mansion Megson FitzPatrick Inc. - Shelbourne Service Canada Connect Hearing - Downtown Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites Monk Office Supply Ltd.

Expert Cleaning Service

Canada's innovation leader providing cleaning services to Victoria and Area

Recruitment with great taste!

Staffing professionals who go “Canada's in the extra mile to match the right cleaning serv candidate with the right employer. Over 40 Years Experience And Canada’s Largest Janitorial Service Provider

Certified • Experienced • Sustainable Industrial Commercial Institutional Educational Retail

Main Floor, 1124 Fort Street Victoria, BC

For more information: Victoria Office: 526 Comerford Victoria B.C. phone:250-381-7566 fax:250-381-7570

Call us today 250.381.3254


Celebrating 15 Years of BusinessCertified • Exper in Victoria - September 2012 THE CONTRACTORS’ CHOICE

40 Years Experience & Canada’s La New Look. New Site. Check usOver out online.


100% C



greater victoria business awards 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:00 p.m. Reception - 7:00 p.m. Dinner The Fairmont Empress


Business Leadership Capital Iron Island Savings

Innovation Fortis BC Pet Loss Care Memorial Center

New Business Signature Tire Plus Inc. UC Life Chiropractic Centre

Outstanding Customer Service Robinson’s Outdoor Store Serenity Home Care Ltd.


Business of the Year (1-10 Employees) Patriot Electric Ltd. Williams Moving & Storage Ltd.

Sustainable Business Practices Inn at Laurel Point Digital Direct Printing Ltd.

Business of the Year (11-25 Employees) Body Dynamics Headquarters Triangle RV Centre Ltd.

Business Person of the Year David Rogers, BC HAZMAT Management Ltd. Kevin Walker, Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Business of the Year (26-75 Employees) Grant Thornton LLP Prince of Whales

Young Entrepreneur Jessica Cruise, Vibes Fitness Tim Teh, Kano/Apps

Business of the Year (76+ Employees) Cold Star Freight Systems Inc. Vancity SPONSORSHIP AVAILABLE!

Employee of the Year Matt King, Robinson’s Outdoor Store Mercedes Lopez, Arbutus Inn

Venue Sponsor:

Employer of the Year Horne Coupar Peninsula Co-op

Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Keith Dagg

Founder & President, Keith Dagg Consulting Inc.

BE THERE. 250.383.7191

tickets available online at BUSINESSMATTERS 23

150th Anniversary Ball Photos


Thank you to our members for your continued support and to our sponsors for helping make our 150th Anniversary Ball an evening to remember!

With performances from

the Time Benders!


NEWDecember MEMBERS: 8 - February 7

2Think1 Solutions Inc.

Information engineering – We develop learning tools and techniques for academic and professional settings by analyzing and structuring information for effective communication. (250) 884-5141

AC Design

Design is art that works for a living. AC-Design is a small design studio specializing primarily in branding, web and print design. (250) 385-2039

Action Motorcycles

The Motorcycle Guys – Honda, Suzuki, KTM, Yamaha and Victory Motorcycles. Your one stop store for parts, service, repair and riding accessories. (250) 386-8364

AIDS Vancouver Island

Getting to zero new HIV infections on Vancouver Island is within reach. Help us get there by Dining Out For Life on April 25th. (250) 384-2366

BC Yukon Command | Royal Canadian Legion

For the past 81 Years, The Royal Canadian Legion has been devoted to caring for Canada’s veterans and their families, to preserving the ideals they represent and to perpetuating the memory of the Fallen. (604) 575-8840

Berlin Eaton

We provide management consulting services to visionary leaders across the country in both public and private sectors, helping them build stronger futures for their organizations. (250) 472-3767

Body Dynamics HQ

The difference between a regular gym and BDHQ, besides the appearance, is that you don’t workout on your own here. No equipment, no machines. Green turf floors fill the open space full of kettlebells, monkey bars, battling ropes, TRX and tires. (250) 370-9983



Bound Above Marketing Inc.

We provide the Victoria area with budget marketing directed to the 35,000+ student population. We specialize in hands on marketing in the form of handouts, events, and brand awareness. (250) 514-0997

Clinic 805 Cosmetic and Skincare Centre

Clinic 805 is a fully accredited cosmetic surgical centre and skincare rejuvenation clinic under the direction of certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Smith. (250) 595-3888

Community Savings Credit Union

Community Savings is known as the union’s credit union. Our doors are open to anyone who enjoys personal service and a wide range of financial products. (250) 385-8431

visit us on the web at Chinook Business Brokers is a full service Business Brokerage offering businesses for sale on Vancouver Island. We specialize in valuating, packaging, listing and selling existing business opportunities, new business opportunities, and franchise opportunities. Chinook Business Brokers provides comprehensive personal support to our clients through every stage of the transaction. From the initial business valuation, through the due diligence process, to signing the final documents, Chinook Business Brokers offers guidance every step of the way. We create an environment where you can access the information necessary to make decisions, enabling you to maximize your investment and minimize your risk.

For a free, no obligation Courtesy Business Valuation please contact Keith MacKenzie, CBB at (250) 710-3265 or email


NEW MEMBERS Dactyl Applications Inc.

We work with you to conceptualize & design your app so that it looks great & stands out in the online marketplace. Whether you already have your design planned out or require branding & UI storyboarding, we’ll do what needs to be done. (250) 483-5722

De’lish Fine Foods & Catering

Whether it be lunch, the perfect espresso, a tarte au citron to die for, or food to go that nourishes the body and soul, de’lish caters to the senses.

Catering menus are customized - each occasion is unique. We work from the heart. The standards are the same - the difference is style. At every level it is about ingredients and execution. (250) 598-5614

Downsizing Diva Victoria

Owners of Downsizing Diva! — A company of “kindred spirits” helping people with the often-overwhelming challenges of moving from a family home to a condo, retirement residence or care community.

Easy Job Quote

We simplify the contractor selection process for home owners, and we amplify the customer acquisition process for contractors. We do this by getting great contractors to compete for your home improvement job. (250) 590-8182

Elk Lake Auto Centre Ltd.

Locally owned and operated for your complete automotive repair services! We have courtesy cars for you we’ll come pick you up in our wrecker if you need us! (250) 385-8431

Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals serves local businesses with both full-time and temporary staffing and job placement in addition to providing human resource services and consulting. (250) 853-3300

Glenwarren Lodge We offer a comfortable environment that supports and respects the needs of each resident as well as a range of programs and services to help you to be your best in mind, body and spirit. (250) 383-2323 Graeme’s Irrigation

Graeme’s Irrigation specializes in landscape lighting and irrigation. We install the highest quality products and offer the best warranties in the industry. Our technicians are certified by the Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia. (250) 294-9787

Happy Campers Child Care

Offering quality childcare since 1992 — caring for children up to 12 yrs old. Every day at Happy Campers is a busy day filled with activities that will foster individual, social, physical, emotional & cognitive growth in a nurturing, fun atmosphere. (250) 391-0909


NEW MEMBERS Herold Engineering Ltd.

Herold Engineering Limited has earned a reputation as one of Vancouver Island’s leading civil and structural engineering firms. (250) 590-4875

Hospitality Training Plus

Hospitality Training Plus is committed to providing the best training and consulting in hospitality, tourism and food service industries at the management and entry levels. (250) 474-5596

iD2 Communications

Our clients are helping to build a better world by reducing waste & pollution, by leading their industries, by educating the public & by truthfully walking the talk. iD2 specializes in the ethical management & production of communications. (250) 598-1999

James Bay Denture Clinic

Life is too good to go without a smile!


(250) 995-1663

K-Bro Linen

We are proud of our international reputation for excellence in laundry and linen services. K-Bro’s major business areas are the health care, hospitality and commercial sectors. (250) 474-5699

KMI Columbaria

It’s simple. Hire a student. See results.

KMI provides full service to cemeteries, funeral homes/mortuaries, municipalities and church organizations from design to installation as well as assistance to promote your new structure. (250) 370-2552

L.A. Limousines Inc.

L. A. Limousines has been serving Victoria and Vancouver Island for over 19 years. We are the largest, fully diversified ground transportation company on Vancouver Island. (250) 391-9000

Become a member today to enjoy* Unlimited access

Hiring this summer? Business Co-op Speed Networking event March 25 - 27, 2013 3:30 - 5:30 pm Interurban Campus Pre-register at: Students are available from May to August

Express entry Discounts at partner organizations 10% off events and programs and more …

Co-operative Education and Student Employment 250.370.4100

* some restrictions apply see website for details. Haida house frontal pole, RBCM 14679 a-c (detail).


Lab Salons

Lab Salon is more than just Victoria B.C.’s number one hair salon — it’s a growing community of people who care about fashion, art, music, design, social responsibility, the environment, and YOUR HAIR! (250) 386 6183

LASIK MD Victoria

LASIK MD surgeons are among the most renowned, highly trained and experienced refractive surgeons in the world. With a LASIK MD surgeon your eyes are in good hands. 1-866-216-4331

Limbic Media

Interactive real-time interactive media control technologies. (778) 430-5123

M3 Construction Ltd.

M3 Construction offers a wide range of services from residential and commercial renovations to new construction. (250) 507-2962

Mark Imhoff Group

When you make the important decision to buy or sell a home, we’re committed to going the extra mile to ensure that all of your needs are successfully met in a professional and honest manner. (250) 590-1775

Mulroney and Company Barristers & Solicitors

Mulroney & Company is a firm which takes a win-win approach to dealing with clients. We listen to you and think outside the box. We have the right tools to meet your needs and goals. (250) 389-6022

Pacific Business Intelligence Ltd.

We provide cost effective, innovative solutions to enhance their potential for success domestically and in the international marketplace. We work hard to provide objective, independent analysis & evaluation to enable them to make informed decisions. (250) 656-9173


Benefit Check

Pacific Centre Family Services Association

By encouraging healthy patterns of living, Pacific Centre Family Services enhances and promotes the quality and dignity of life of individuals and families within our diverse community. (250) 478-8357

Patriot Electric Ltd.

The power to illuminate, to warm, to entertain. Patriot Electric is dedicated to providing the seamless technology that powers your home, office and business. (250) 883-8777

Pavilion Business Services

Selling or purchasing a business is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Allow Pavilion Business Services’ talented team of professionals to guide you through this important decision to ensure that the sale of your business is successful. (250) 508-1222


Offering cutting-edge online payroll services & employee scheduling. Using our modern & intuitive interface, employee pay information is effortlessly entered & we handle the rest. Whether you have 10 employees or 10,000,

More Than Ink on Paper,

IT’S ABOUT YOU For Over 30 Years.

Group insurance tips for employers and employees Planning a holiday? You may not need to buy travel insurance. Chambers Plan health benefits include travel health coverage, providing you the protection you need when you’re travelling outside your home province. Coverage includes emergency medical assistance and consultation, medical evacuations, meals and accommodations, and more. Brought to you exclusively by your Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan ® advisor.

Jack Insurance & Financial Services (250) 383-9866

Proud printers of


Hillside Printing 3050 Nanaimo Street 250-386-5542 •


PaySavvy is the simplest way. (604) 336-8893

Pearson College

Pearson Scholars are dedicated to making change happen in diverse and powerful ways. They share a determination to make a difference and work in their communities as a positive force for peace. (250) 391-2479

Peninsula Co-Op

Peninsula Co-op is a Vancouver Island based co-operative with our core business in grocery, petroleum and convenience stores. We are entirely owned by our members who share in our financial success through an annual Rebate. (250) 652-5752

Pet Loss Care Memorial Center

Specializing solely in pet death care, the Greater Victoria Pet Memorial Center treats you and your pet with the compassion and respect any family should be given upon the death of a very special member of the family. (250) 984-1933

Silk Road Tea

Located in Victoria’s Chinatown, SILK ROAD creates the world’s finest, freshest, organic teas, skin and body products, and operates an all-natural spa. (250) 704-2688

Tatum & Olivia

Tatum and Olivia, a women’s boutique geared towards women over 40 and is packed with high quality luxurious fabrics at surprisingly affordable prices. (778) 351-2493

Treasure Island Collectibles and Thrift Gallery Discover past treasures and present loves at reasonable prices. (250) 880-2002

Vancouver Island Printers

V.I. Printers provides onsite repairs and the sale of printers, faxes and copiers in Victoria British Columbia and in the greater Victoria area. We also sell toners and stock many of the parts needed for common repairs. (250) 883-8560

MacMhaol-onfhaidh (‘Macaloney’) Brewers & Distillers Ltd.

We’re establishing the Victoria Caledonian Distillery, offering Scotch, Irish & Rye style whiskies, real ales, custom casks & personalized bottling’s, tours, tastings, hands-on experiences. Individuals interested in ownership please see our web site. (250) 634-2276

WSI Digital Marketing Agency

Explore our internet marketing agency services, and discover why so many business owners have relied on WSI for timely, effective, and affordable digital marketing strategies. (250) 656-9452

Yates Street Taphouse & Grill

Here you’ll find over forty great beers on tap — from local favorites to foreign flavors. You’ll also find great foods made fresh with a local twist to add flavor and fun to your snack or meal. (250) 590-5253

Pomponio and Company

Accounting firms need to be proactive, ask the right questions, acquire a deep understanding of businesses & become contributing members of their management teams. Our firm exists to increase, preserve and sustain the net worth of our clients. (250) 478-3230

Rio Strategies

Rio Strategies is an event management company that provides reliable, innovative and organized solutions for all your event needs. (250) 508-8363

Santé Gluten-Free Café

Victoria’s First Completely Gluten-Free Café! Committed to exceptional quality and using only carefully researched gluten-free products, Santé features the season’s best, freshest produce. Healthy food never tasted so good. (250) 858-1255


Directing Traffic Online Numbers you need to know. 644,275,754 active websites online. 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.

16,000 page views monthly

focusing on The Chamber Directory. You need to be able count on your website as an online sales person for your business. In this global environment your business isn’t just competing with over 14,000 businesses in Greater Victoria, you’re competing with the 644 billion businesses online. The Chamber can help. There is no question that in today’s wired world, an online presence that keeps your business front and centre is essential to growth. An important part of your online marketing mix is your Chamber Online Business Directory. It provides a powerful marketing opportunity for your business – and best of all it’s just one of the many benefits of your Chamber membership. Beyond providing a reputable list of local businesses that you can feel confident in using as suppliers and partners, The Chamber Directory also

provides search engines like Google and Bing with that same level of confidence as they sift through a million other results to decide what goes on top. The result - your business is much more likely to appear in the first page of results, instead of page 59 or 100. The same reasons that make The Chamber a powerful advocate for policy change make all the difference online. We are seen as local, authoritative and relevant. In “tech talk” terms, we provide the perfect recipe for search engine popularity. The ingredients: rich content in a directory environment from a credible local source; keywords relevant to your business; and, links (the oft coveted inbound links) leading search engines back to your site. For the rest of us, that translates into your business simply being much more visible online, providing you with more opportunities to connect with potential customers.

for any of your other marketing pieces. Is your logo in place, does it look good? Is all the contact info correct? Test your links (email, Learn More, Visit Site) did they all work? You’ll see that the email link goes through a form in order to protect your email address. When you click on the Learn More link – you’ll see your detail page. On this page ideally you want key info about your business that will help someone

How do you leverage your online listing? Go to – on your computer or on your mobile phone – click on Directory, then search for your business name or click on your category to see what other businesses like yours have done with their listing. Go through the same checklist you’d do

choose to do business with you. To help promote what you have to offer you can also include a photo and video. The member listing shown above is a great example of using all those elements to talk about your business. If you don’t have a website, your detail page is critical to your online success. Beyond your marketing message, if you’re a retail location, don’t forget to include hours of operation and specialities that set you apart from other like businesses. You can easily update your listing yourself when you log into the site or if you’re not tech savvy, email us at the Chamber – chamber@victoriachamber. ca – and Erin, Miranda or Cheryl will be happy to lend a hand polishing up your online listing. Looking for more tips on how to leverage this part of your Chamber membership? Recent issues of our e-newsletters contain articles on adding Special Offers to your membership listing, recent website stats and much more. With your support, we look forward to building business in Victoria for the next 150 years.


Jack Insurance & Financial Services (250) 383-9866

A HELPING HAND WITH Business assistance services According to Statistics Canada, the failure rate for small businesses in Canada is alarmingly high. While 85 per cent make it through their first year of business, only 51 per cent survive through year five. Small business owners know that they can use some help, with two-thirds wanting help with financial planning or tax payments and over half wanting to learn more about cash flow, as reported by the 2012 Sage North America’s financial literacy survey. The survey of 300 also revealed three quarters of owners do their own invoicing and over half of owners do their own payroll and accounting.

to professional accounting, legal and human resource experts who understand the challenges small business owners face. The Chambers Plan BAS is a free service built into every Chambers Plan benefit program. Owners simply contact BAS by telephone or email, and a trained specialist will ask some basic questions to determine which services will best resolve the issue. A counselling appointment will then be arranged for the owner with a Certified Accountant, Certified General Accountant, professional lawyer or Human Resource specialist.

Expert opinions can be expensive, and most small businesses can’t afford to have a fulltime accounting specialist on hand to solve financial issues and offer advice on how to manage company finances.

Advice from a professional enables owners and managers to strengthen management and control functions through expert counsel. BAS can help owners obtain the answers and recommendations to solve business accounting challenges, make informed compliance decisions and resolve employee issues. And all at no cost; a part of every Chambers Plan package.

That’s where the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® Business Assistance Service (BAS) can help. BAS is a confidential service that provides up to six hours of access

One-on-one consultation is often financially out of reach for many businesses, but with the Chambers Plan BAS, owners have access to expert advisors able to help their business grow.

Calling all hometown heroes. Victoria is a great conference destination. Help us fill our city with delegates who stay in our hotels and shop in our stores. By connecting us to your business, professional association or volunteer networks, you can make a big difference in helping us bring conference business home. Qualify to win an iPad or iPhone when your lead turns into a Citywide conference!

Every delegate spends $450+ per day in our community. Help us to identify future business. Call me and become a Business Ambassador. Brenda Anderson, Director of Sales & Marketing Direct: 250-361-1035 PREPARED FOR: VICTORIA CONFERENCE CENTRE PUBLICATION: CHAMBER BUSINESS MATTERS INSERTION DATE: MARCH 2013




SCOTT PLASTICS The Chamber and the GVDA visited Scott Plastics for their latest Industry tour in January. Participants got an inside look at how tiny plastic pellets come to life as the products we see every day through injection molding. Business Matters was onsite learning more about this global success story and interviewed Product Promotion Coordinator Alexandra Scott. Alexandra is also founder Blayney Scott’s granddaughter.

have a fantastically loyal staff, and have grown from a local BC company to a worldwide company.

In a nutshell: Scott Plastics is a family business that’s been around for 60 years. We have our proprietary product lines, as well as do custom injection molding and tool and die making. We

Primary Product/Service: We have evolved to produce thousands of products under the Scotty Trademark which are sold in worldwide fishing, outdoor and firefighting markets.

Number of Employees: There are 85 permanent employees. 53 of which have been here for over 10 years. Industry Sector: Manufacturer of Fishing, Outdoor and Firefighting Products Area of Town: The Saanich Peninsula, near the airport.

Annual Revenue: $13 million Scott Plastics Ltd. in 30 words or less: From design, tooling, mold production, assembly, packaging, shipping to sales and marketing, Scott Plastics Ltd. does everything under one roof. We are proud of what we manufacture, and we believe in it. Business Matters: What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria? Alexandra Scott: I think one of the nicest parts about doing business on the Peninsula is that everyone around us is friendly, helpful and engaged when it comes to growing and strengthening our economy, as well as creating and maintaining jobs. Businesses small and large have a sense of community and really try to be involved on a local scale, not just globally. BM: What is the best thing Scott Plastics is doing for Greater Victoria?

The Employment Program of BC (WorkBC) includes many services and programs dedicated to assisting employers. Let us help you! For further info contact Garth 250.708.2462 The Employment Program of British Columbia is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.


AS: We support almost 100 local charities on an annual basis as well as participate in a number of community events like the Heart and Stroke Big Bike Ride and the recent Community Corporate Rowing Challenge. Scott Plastics is also committed to the environment. We don’t use any Styrofoam for our packaging; it’s all recyclable paper and cardboard which we’ve redesigned to use around 80% less than before. In addition, our fishing downriggers come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty so we don’t just produce goods that end up in landfills. We have literally had people bring in a 45 year old downrigger for repair, which we happily service so they can continue fishing with it. BM: What is it like working at Scott Plastics?

AS: We employ close to 100 residents from all over the region and offer fair wages, bonus packages, extended health and dental benefits, and a pension plan. We are a family business, and all of our staff is like one big family. Our staff’s loyalty speaks volumes but it’s probably better to ask a non-family member, like Genevieve who’s sitting here next to me. BM: Is this all true Genevieve? Genevieve Primeau (Graphics and Image Coordinator): I come from Alberta and I’ve worked for some major big businesses, the big difference here is that everyone cares. There are three shifts in the molding division, but even as the early morning shift is leaving, we’re arriving and we take the time to say hi and check in with everyone. Despite the large number of employees we really do all know each other. It helps that the Scotts genuinely care; we all mean something. We feel like what we do is important, and the company reflects that. I’ve been here nine years and the company has always been supportive of me. Like all families, we don’t always get along; we can disagree as easily as brothers and sisters, but at the end of the day we care about each other and doing a good job.

a big difference in our competitiveness, because new ideas for improvement can be implemented throughout the manufacturing process. If we aren’t satisfied with the way a product turns out, we grind it back into plastic pellets and start over. BM: What is Scott Plastics proudest of? AS: We are proud of our amazing dedicated staff, and our products. Our commitment to quality, fair pricing and unmatched service has taken us to where we are today and will hopefully serve us well for many years to come.

Interested in participating in an Industry Tour? This month we’ll be visiting Prototype Equipment design on Wednesday, March 27th. Reserve your space online at

BM: Are there any other fun facts we should know? locally owned and operated since 1993

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BM: What are three things few people know about Scott Plastics? AS: Not many people realize that since we do custom molding, we can manufacture almost anything. In the past 20 years we have shifted from 95 percent BC based sales to 65 percent export, shipping all over the world. In that same period our revenues have grown four times over. Since foreign manufacturers are capable of knocking off products very quickly these days, we have to continually come up with innovative designs that we can produce quickly, while ensuring our products are of high quality. Having everything under the same roof makes

AS: On top of our brands, we offer custom molding which in turn means we have had a variety of funny requests over the years… From a set of plastic wings, to bathtubs, to a single custom molded bucket, we’ve heard it all. Although we do custom work, it is typically only on a high volume basis.

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Advocacy in action The Victoria Chamber works to have a constructive influence on public policy for 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.

approach to regulating commercial electronic messages (e.g., all emails, SMS texts, and social media sent in a commercial context). The broad scope of this legislation meant that every business, association, club, charitable organization or foundation would require permission before sending commercial electronic messages, and permission could not be sought through electronic messages.

Canadian anti-spam legislation In February, Industry Canada published the Canadian anti-spam legislation regulations, requesting any feedback before moving forward in the ratification and enforcement process. Although the overarching goals of the legislation and regulations are essential in limiting the amount of spam Canadians must deal with on a daily basis, some specific details spell trouble. The regulations took a “ban all”

The Chamber, in conjunction with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce,

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responded by issuing a policy alert and creating an email writing campaign. The campaign resulted in 155 individual emails sent to Industry Canada, addressing the concern of the strict regulations. In addition, a great number of members responded with questions for clarification as many had been completely unaware of either the proposed legislation, or its impact on business.

Destination BC: an advocacy success story The Chamber and Tourism Victoria recently partnered to outline tourism as Greater Victoria’s top barrier to competiveness last February. Although this effort was timed to coincide with Canada’s overall Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness (see page 13), tourism has long been a policy priority for The Chamber, as evidenced by Destination BC’s board of directors announcement at the end of January. When Tourism BC was shutdown in 2009, the Chamber and a number of stakeholder organizations began work to restore stable funding for tourism marketing in the province. A policy was created, which was then passed by the BC Chamber at its Annual General meeting; other local chambers followed up by engaging local politicians, partner tourism industry associations, MLAs and members to raise awareness. The Victoria Chamber also reinforced the need for funding during two presentations to the Provincial Standing Committee on Finance. The creation of Destination BC is a direct policy success for the Chamber of Commerce network in BC. The BC Chamber policy Predictability for Provincial and Regional Destination Marketing Organizations, created by the Victoria Chamber, contains several recommendations which are in the process of being implemented. This policy win not only represents the power of advocacy, but also the power created when a number of organizations collaborate together.

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Profile for Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Business Matters March 2013  

This edition of Business Matters assesses public infrastructure management and Canada’s top 10 barriers to competitiveness. Learn about the...

Business Matters March 2013  

This edition of Business Matters assesses public infrastructure management and Canada’s top 10 barriers to competitiveness. Learn about the...

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