The Surrey Board of Trade presented the 9th annual SBOT review of the Surrey Budget to Mayor Linda Hepner, Chair Tom Gill and Council at the Finance Committee meeting late last week at Surrey City Hall. The City’s Utilities Budget was released in November 2015 and the City’s Operations/Capital Budget was released in February 2016. Each year, as part of its mandate, the Surrey Board of Trade reviews public sector spending and, where appropriate, suggest ways to maximize productivity of the local economy and encourage growth in the private sector.
“The Surrey Board of Trade, as the independent voice of business in Surrey, is cautiously supporting the increased property tax rate that Council has to vote on this year,” said SBOT CEO Anita Huberman. “The Surrey Board of Trade supports the expenditures that Surrey is undertaking in terms of social investments for additional policing costs and investment in infrastructure and community amenities to enhance Surrey’s livability.”
For 2016 the Surrey Board of Trade used the extensive membership network in the SBOT Advocacy Teams to provide detailed recommendations to Council on Red Tape Reduction, Affordable Housing, Transportation Infrastructure, Arts and Culture, Crime Reduction, Finance and Taxation, International Trade and Manufacturing. All recommendations were debated through the advocacy team structure throughout 2015 then approved by the Surrey Board of Trade Directors.
“While some of our advocacy team recommendations call for increased expenditures or staffing levels, we appreciated Council’s supportive comments and willingness to dialogue on our suggestions for improved services for business and residents in Surrey as well as improved amenities for Surrey taxpayers. Our goal is to ensure that Surrey is the destination of choice for businesses,” said Huberman.
The Surrey Board of Trade, in Surrey since 1918, provides businesses and organizations with economic opportunity, workplace development and education, international trade, government advocacy and business connections. The Surrey Board of Trade has 2,100 business members, representing 6,000 business contacts and over 60,000 employees. We support business, attract business and improve economic efficiencies for business through government lobbying. The Surrey Board of Trade is the go-to place for business resources and information. We believe that transportation and education are the two economic foundations of building a city.