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Consumers are 80% more likely to buy goods and services from a Chamber member. Your Membership means business. Join today.

With one of the strongest economies in B.C., Greater Victoria is a region of business opportunity enhanced by a rapidly growing knowledge-based economy.

Greater Victoria’s business community – comprised of mainly small and medium-sized companies representing a wide range of sectors – is experiencing strong growth.

Greater Victoria’s largest sectors – advanced technology, tourism, marine, government, and education – as well as other sectors, including construction, retail, agriculture, and arts and culture, contribute to the overall strength of the economy and demonstrate the healthy diversity of the business environment. Moreover, a number of business sectors are poised for growth: oceans and marinespace, clean technology and renewable energy, life science technologies, tourism services, and retirement industry services.

The Chamber is committed to enhancing the region’s competitive advantages and positive business climate. Using a hands-on approach, we are furthering the success and growth of existing businesses, helping small and medium businesses grow their markets. 

Working from the Trenches

Do you have a plan for what to do with your business in case of natural disaster? The state of emergency in the province is a good reminder that every business owner needs a plan now for how best to shut down in the event of a natural disaster and insight into the wide range of issues you may face in trying to reopen.

Saving your business from the consequences of an earthquake, flood or fire is critical not just to you and your employees, but to restoring a community. When I was on a tour of Fort McMurray last fall, we heard that businesses re-opening was essential to the ability of people to function (groceries, pharmacies, banks) and also to their sense that their community still existed (coffee shops and restaurants, hair stylists and barbers, clothing and entertainment).

Adam Legge, CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce documented the steps their chamber took to help businesses during and following the 2013 flooding disaster. He boiled his lessons learned down into a three step approach: analyze, mobilize, energize. His fascinating and informative report "Calgary's Flood Recovery Story - The Business Perspective" is applicable to any place that could face a natural disaster - which is any place. It should be mandatory reading for business owners.

The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has a list of the top 10 most important steps to prepare businesses for evacuation - also essential reading. The BCEDA has also set up an Economic Disaster Recovery Page with a link to "The Recovery and Resiliency Roadmap - a Toolkit for Economic Preparedness" for more complete information.

Take one thing off your to do list this summer - start your plan. Read these reports and talk to your insurance agent (hopefully a Chamber member like you). One day you may be very thankful you did. 
                                                                                               Message from Catherine Holt, CEO, The Chamber


Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan University of Victoria Co-operative Education Program and Career Services