Bruce Williams is the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
With so much misinformation making the rounds these days, businesses need well-sourced facts from reputable sources. The Chamber is a strong supporter of local media outlets, such as the Business Examiner, who have served Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island for generations.
We also produce our own content with a very specific focus on events and issues of interest to our members. We have well-read weekly newsletters that target business and community leaders. And we host dozens of events every year that provide our members with opportunities to question high-level subject experts and CEOs — including many top decision makers from industry and government.
In November, we launched a new initiative we’re calling Chamber Chats. You can watch this series of vodcasts on our website or through our social media channels. They offer fascinating insight into our economy and the path out of the pandemic. As we all know, we are generally shifting our information intake onto video platforms, and I do have some experience in interviewing people! Conversations like these offer genuine and engaging communication when you hear someone not just read their words.
So far, I’ve spoken with experts from the Victoria Real Estate Board, including president Sandi-Jo Ayers, president-elect David Langlois and executive officer David Corey. We discussed the fundamentals behind why real estate sales continue to set records in Greater Victoria. Our region saw 990 property sales in October — almost 60% more than October 2019.
And I spoke with a world-renowned expert on vaccine research who is an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of BC. Dr. Srinivas Murthy is also the co-chair of the WHO clinical research committee on COVID-19, and a critical care and infectious diseases physician at the BC Children’s Hospital. When will a viable vaccine arrive and will it allow us to go back to where we were before the pandemic? The short answer is vaccines will be a major milestone but we’re going to need to continue adapting our operations to stay safe for many months to come. I hope you take a few minutes to check out our conversation and hear directly from an expert on a topic we’re all curious about.
And that’s really the goal of Chamber Chats. We want to provide our members and the business community with trustworthy, locally sourced information on topics that will help you be successful.
All of the subjects we are exploring will help our members get a better perspective on how we’ll get through this pandemic together. We’ll look at what’s happening to help fill commercial offices and co-working spaces, as well as how you can enhance your home office.
We know there will be investment opportunities in emerging sectors. How important is the film industry to the Island’s economy? How are retailers adapting. What about financial services or our supply chain?
Of course, we want to hear from you as well. What topics do you think are important for the business community? Send your suggestions to email@example.com.
And go to victoriachamber.ca/events for the latest opportunities to connect with The Chamber network.
This column originally appeared in the November 2020 edition of the Business Examiner