Surrey, BC: Business organizations in Surrey and White Rock, comprising the Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force, are echoing a call to action urging city council to reconsider costs associated with the Parking to Patio Program, to support local businesses facing dire economic circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coalition, which includes every major business organization in Surrey and White Rock, is imploring City staff to re-examine the current proposed sidewalk patio program to mirror those of neighbouring municipalities like Vancouver and Port Coquitlam.

These organizations are: Surrey Board of Trade, Newton Business Improvement Association, Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, Fleetwood Business Improvement Association, South Surrey/White Rock Chamber of Commerce, Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, White Rock BIA and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented every region with its own set of unique challenges and circumstances, and many Surrey businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water,” explained Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force spokesperson Laura Ballance. “Finding ways to ensure that these businesses are able to survive the fallout from the pandemic is paramount. This begins with giving local business owners the chance to adapt and change to the current climate without having to worry about additional costs, particularly when they’re already dealing with huge revenue losses.”

The implementation of temporary sidewalk patio programs is meant to assist cash-strapped businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic by offering a way to accommodate additional seating, while also adhering to physical distancing protocols recommended by Canada’s health professionals.

In order to satisfy current city guidelines, Surrey businesses looking to set up temporary patios face exorbitant costs. These include a nominal $500 damage deposit; $200 application fee; $500 traffic control fee for local and low-volume roads; and $1400 per parking stall on busier roads for the installation of jersey safety barriers, split 50/50 with the City.

The Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force has committed to work with its extensive network and member-businesses to ensure its broader business community is included in the development of a Surrey economic recovery plan that will be focused on providing on-the-ground support and communication to businesses and their workplaces.

The Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force represents over 9,500 businesses in Surrey and White Rock across a wide variety of sectors.

For more information, contact Laura Ballance: