Newsline Profile – bDigital Video Productions

bDigital Video Productions – Beth Ross

Beth photo, logo & contact
Business videos are like having an extra sales person. Once promoted and shared, they do the work of spreading the company’s message. At bDigital Video Productions, Beth Ross creates those videos, as powerful marketing tools for her clients.
bDigital works on a wide scale of projects, with diverse clientele. Solopreneurs often use video as a one-minute profile to use on their websites. Retail and other small business have used video to showcase their space and wares. Recent corporate productions have included a promotional story for the Port Alberni Port Authority, and a transportation piece for the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.
Moving pictures connect to people in a stronger way, because 80{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9} of people are visual learners. Video expresses emotion, and stimulates multiple senses. Whether they want to educate, enlighten, or entertain, Beth and crew can help clients express their message, using straight forward simple techniques, whiz bang special effects, or something in between.
Starting her fifth year as an independent video producer, Beth’s roots are from the ‘70s at Victoria Cable. She then built an impressive career over 22 years, at an island-wide community TV station.
Beth is connected and respected in the production world, and can call on many resources depending on the project. She often collaborates with others, as she recently did with fellow Chamber member, speech coach Joyce Tinnion, at Joyce A. Tinnion Productions.
Beth loves the business, loves helping people tell their stories, and uses video as an excellent tool for doing that. She’s thrilled to see excited and happy clients, and so proud of their video accomplishments, and individual efforts.
Beth invites Nanaimo Chamber members to contact her for a free consultation to see how video can work for their business. Call Beth at 250-228-2384 or email
Written by Bonnie Chomica

Business After Business – November

What a great crowd the Business After Business on Wednesday, November 25th at Coastal Community Credit Union. We had a cross-section of awesome Chamber members – email marketers, financial experts, realtors, skin care experts, educators and more. We all get to connect and do business together.  We really enjoy and appreciate all the work the hosts do – CCCU had a great party – and big thanks to 2 Chefs Affair for impressive food.

Here are a few pictures from the event.


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Business Before Business November


Thank you RBC and to Constable Gary O’Brien for an informative morning – learned a lot about fraud. Important information for all the members of our community.

It was great to have so many members and soon-to-be-members out to the event. It does mean a lot to everyone involved.


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TheatreOne – Eva Cassidy: How Can I Keep from Singing

TheatreOne presents Eva Cassidy: How Can I Keep from Singing  starring Cayla Brooke and Tom Pickett, on stage at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre Nov. 18-22. This hot new tribute to the beloved American songstress is not to be missed!
Tickets $25/$15 students from the Port Theatre Box Office 250-754-8550


Spirit of Christmas

Annual Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Christmas Decorating Contest & Residential Light Up

Download form here

Spirit of Xmas 2015

CEO Update – November 2015


I’m sure you’ve heard politicians, business leaders and small business operators recite the storyline in our title before, and probably several times. That’s because it is absolutely true.

In Nanaimo, around 90{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9} of our business licenses are held by micro and small businesses. They are the ones investing risk capital to start up and grow new businesses, to employ our Vancouver Island University graduates, intake entry-level employees and contract with more established experts in their field. We’ve noticed it at the Chamber of Commerce with over half of our new members this year involved in some kind of entrepreneurial practice from one-man service companies, to high tech start-ups.

The entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by these small businesses spills over to the rest of the community lending a sense of inventiveness and adventure to the local economy. Nanaimo was recently ranked on an ‘entrepreneurial’ scale as having risen from number 77 in Canada last year to number 39 this year. That’s an impressive single year jump in the ranks!

Measurement criteria included ‘Entrepreneurial Presence, Perspective and Policy’. Presence refers to the number of business establishments that can be called entrepreneurial. Perspective refers to places where business owners are most upbeat and Policy refers to centres where local governments support entrepreneurship and business owners rate their governments most highly. To land at #39 on the scale, a city must be placed in a moderate to good rating. To rank where Nanaimo did last year, its scores would have been in the ‘modest’ to ‘weak’ categories.

So what has changed? Certainly, there hasn’t been much movement in the area of ‘policy’ where we understandably scored in the modest range with little change in the past year from local government. ‘Perspective’ was rated in the moderate range which means that more business operators have an optimistic outlook about their future in this community. And ‘presence’ ranked strong meaning that entrepreneurs are becoming more recognizable and are contributing more to the economy than they have in the past.

We also learned last week from the 2015 State of the Island Economic Report release during the Economic Summit that new business formations and incorporations rose by over 15{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9} in Nanaimo, while inching up only 1{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9} in the CRD.

The impact of these positive ratings means that we will likely to continue to attract entrepreneurs because we are a great place for businesses to start. Our cost of living is not high, our quality of life is very high, and local resources like VIU, the Chamber of Commerce and the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation are in place to support entrepreneurialism. To take action and implement local government policy that further supports this economic model will help us continue to grow as a successful city. (Data Source: CFIB)

Kim Signature


5 Minutes for Business

5 Minutes

The Red Wave: What it Means for Canadian Business

In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, Hendrik Brakel, Senior Director, Economic, Financial and Tax Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, looks at what the election of a Liberal majority government means for Canadian business.

Canadians have spoken decisively and given the Liberals a majority that no one thought possible. But what does it all mean for Canadian business? Is it better to have a majority or a minority government? How will this affect the Trans-Pacific Partnership, infrastructure spending or even our taxes? How will this government work with business?

Read 5 Minutes for Business to find out.

For more information, please contact Hendrik Brakel.

Text Of Chamber Presentation To City Council

November 2, 2015


Thank you for welcoming the Chamber of Commerce this evening. We thought it was important to provide this update on our first Report to Council on February 16 shortly after your election to office. In that presentation we pointed out how much your individual platforms in the election were aligned with the Chamber of Commerce platform. We found the following commonalities:

  • A wish to use teamwork to provide better leadership
  • A commitment to Maximizing Core Service Efficiencies
  • The desire to seek transparency & community input in governance
  • Ensuring you are informed, engaged and acting responsibly and
  • Continually striving for community prosperity

Council was in general agreement that their values aligned with our platform points so we felt we were all ready to work in unison. We went on to identify six key priorities for your first year in office. Here’s a report card on those, ranking each priority as:

  • Not yet started
  • Project Initiated
  • Project Progressing
  • Project Stalled
  • Completed

Here are the priorities we identified at that time:

  • Updating the 2012-2015 Corporate Strategic Plan – not yet started
  • Green Tape Committee – stalled while we wait for Core Review
  • Reviewing development and building permit procedures – initiated
    at staff level, but not reached Council table yet.
  • Overhauling sign bylaws – not yet started
  • Core Review – initiated the RFP in the past month
  • Freezing Commercial Tax Rate hikes – completed by freezing tax increases across the boards – other than the asset management allowance of 1{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9}. Congratulations on that.

But take that list as a body of work and we don’t have a lot to celebrate. This is not the level of progress that Nanaimo needs and it should have been achievable as Council. We say, as the voice of business, that this community – all taxpayers — unfortunately aren’t getting their money’s worth today.

There are some who would say that an inability to define a shared vision, both short and long term, by this Council is causing a slow down and is, in fact, preventing any real progress. An impediment to defining a shared vision is Council’s apparent inability to communicate effectively and respectfully. That’s been very visible in these very chambers, never mind in the world of social media. Toxic relations exist at this table if one reads what is published on facebook or attends these meetings. Council needs to focus on removing this toxicity from the working relationships in order to begin effectively communicating. There has to be some shared responsibility to aim for that.

It’s been heard around the council table that you don’t have to like or respect somebody to work with them. How does thinking and speaking openly like that promote productivity and demonstrate a willingness to achieve GREAT things in ANY workplace? One would think that sharing common goals and working towards a vision would be much more productive if people working together would focus on what they shared, rather than what their differences were and how many reasons they have to dislike each other.

There needs to be respect, and the outward appearance of respect, for the office you hold, respect for the processes you manage, and respect for staff and the community when they stand up here to communicate with you. But most of all you need to show respect for each other. That certainly has not been standard operating procedure so far. That is noted not just by members of this audience but everyone who tries to do business here and everyone who watches these interactions on Shaw or on streaming video. Of course, the media also do a good job of reporting on the travails of Council.

Objectionable behavior and lack of decorum in this room by people in the gallery over the past year has resulted in delays that cost taxpayers money, creates frustration and certainly adds to the stress of your job. People shouting out, cheering and jeering, waving signs in front of the cameras and audience members leads to an atmosphere of chaos and disrespect. In fact, these experiences and leadership’s inability to maintain order is at least partly responsible for Council failing to meet quorum four times in 2015. I can’t remember that happening before.

This community needs a Council that is committed to an economic development vision and can point toward a path that will result in a city with full and healthy employment. We need agreement with, and a commitment to, Tourism Nanaimo’s vision and strategic plan. There needs to be a long term commitment to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, development of a complementary hotel, and a business plan to make those inter-connected projects succeed.

Or we need to know if somebody is sitting on Plan B? A realistic option to do something else that will reward our community the way we saw that project working for our us when we decided to go with it. And if you don’t like what you see as the plans for these projects now, we need to work together to come to an agreement on what will work because it is a product of our shared vision.

We need Council to build stronger relationships with external community groups. City Hall doesn’t function well in a vacuum. Commissions and committees aren’t enough to help elected officials and management make informed decisions. Partnerships need to be built or strengthened between Council and groups like the Chamber, the Port Authority, Airport Commission, DNBIA, YPN and others.

In the 2012 – 2015 Nanaimo Corporate Strategic Plan, a commitment was made to deliver ‘excellent municipal government’. That can’t be done without your vision defining what excellent municipal government is. We need an updated Strategic Plan to guide that. This can and should be done in parallel with the Core Review.

Finally, the Chamber strongly encourages Council to use the current opportunity of choosing a new city manager as a chance to come together with this common vision. Use this time right now to figure out how find consensus amongst the nine of you on what is best for Nanaimo’s future. Our new City Manager will need that to help set their goals and targets. Without Council leading the process, how will our new City Manager know what direction to point the ship?

Our new City Manager will be in charge of rebuilding a senior management team at city hall. These new leaders will make a major contribution to a new culture at city hall steering Nanaimo’s municipal management course into the future. This must be directed by the community’s shared vision and led by you. This can be delivered through an updated strategic plan with a list of exciting goals and excellent opportunities for the community to work on together.

That is why the act of working together to uncover this vision is one of the most incredible opportunities you will have in your four-year term. Doing this successfully would demonstrate true leadership and, this alone, could well be your greatest legacy as our City Council.

Thank you.