Daniel Caicedo

Victoria restaurant owners win $15,000 prize from Chamber

Basket of services aims to help restaurateurs boost their business

Daniel Caicedo and Beatriz Carmona, owners of La Fogata Latina at 749 View St., were all smiles recently as they accepted the $15,000 prize in the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Boost Your Business contest. The basket of goodies they received from Chamber board chair Darlene Hollstein was filled with certificates for professional services provided by Chamber members, including advertising, training and travel.

Call for nominations for building awards

Projects completed between June 1, 2012 and May 31 of this year are eligible for the Victoria Real Estate Board’s 22nd annual Commercial Building Awards. Last week the board announced the call for nominations for the 2013 competition, which culminates at the awards gala Nov. 22 at the Union Club. Nomination forms and criteria are available at cba.vreb.org. Entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17.

Vancity recertifies as living wage employer

Vancity Credit Union has extended its certification as a living wage employer to Greater Victoria and the Fraser Valley. The organization was recognized recently by the Community Social Planning Council, whose Community Action Plan on Poverty calculated the 2013 living wage in the region to be $18.73 an hour. “Paying a living wage – one that reflects the actual cost of living – is an important and achievable poverty reduction strategy for us and many employers,” Vancity senior vice-president of operations, Ellen Pekeles, said in a release.

Security firm expands downtown protection

Themis Security’s recent purchase of Capital Region Protection Services has helped Themis create more of a presence in the downtown core, said owner Mirko Filipovic. Themis is developing a new model for working with a group of more than 50 downtown merchants who have come together to address their security and safety challenges. The joint model is more economical than individual businesses taking on the task themselves, Filipovic said, adding that response time to calls so far has averaged less than six minutes.

Baby shop opens at Mattick’s Farm

A Greater Victoria couple is hoping to turn their experiences as parents into business success. Momease Baby Boutique is the brainchild of Lyra McLean and husband, Adam, who are offering what they call “innovative and well-researched products” for the modern family in their new shop at Mattick’s Farm in Cordova Bay. The emphasis is on Canadian suppliers and unique, common sense items that make life easier for new parents. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Downtown designers open new green studio

Technology reigns supreme at the newly opened Studio 531 design space at 531 Herald St. in Chinatown. Moore Architecture has teamed up with Monk Office Supply and DIRTT, the sustainable international design firm, to create a flexible-use, high-tech integrated workspace that not only is home to Moore’s team, but also has room for independent designers to rent on a weekly or monthly basis. To find out more, email Tom Moore at info@studio531.ca.

Mobile phone-based renter info hits town

Vancouver-based Manaya, which has created software to allow potential renters to view available suites on their smartphone, is teaming up with property managers in Greater Victoria to offer the service here. After sending a text message to the code found on For Rent signs in front of buildings, people receive a text with information about the available suite on their smartphone. For more information, visit manaya.ca.

Names in the news in Victoria business

Ralph Nywening has joined Victoria investment firm Cooper Pacific as a new investment development manager, bringing with him more than 15 years’ experience in sales and financial services … Victoria chartered accountant Lindalee Brougham has been elected to the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of B.C. for 2013/2014. She joins local CA Michael Macdonell, who is also the treasurer, on the council.

Send your business news tips to ddescoteau@vicnews.com.

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