Chambers Look to Combine Forces

The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce have agreed to work towards integrating their chambers, combining their resources to better serve their members.

“This integration proposal is consistent with the decision made last year by all regional Councils to combine our efforts on economic development,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Last year the two chambers created a joint task force to examine the benefits and feasibility of a common governance model. The joint task force determined that integration would provide increased benefits to the members of both organizations while reducing administrative overhead.

“This integration is about enhanced services for Esquimalt Chamber members,” says RJ Senko, Vice-President of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. “I am confident that through this merger, we can significantly increase the benefits to our members and become a more effective and efficient business organization.”

The next steps of the integration will be for the two chambers to consult their respective memberships, a process that is envisioned to be concluded by December 2016.

“In today’s increasingly integrated world, the segregated governance models of the past just don’t make sense anymore and are not in the best interest of our members,” says Al Hasham, Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “Combining resources will allow both chambers to take a more integrated approach to advocacy and serving our members.”

Barbara Desjardins, Esquimalt Mayor, see that “local businesses are not bound by municipal boundaries so this process toward integration of our local Chambers will help provide a more cohesive approach to economic development and voice for business.”