Surrey Business News
SURREY ECONOMIC RECOVERY – CITY OF SURREY UPDATE
Focus on Business
Surrey’s Businesses Investment & Innovation Impact Committee
The Investment & Innovation Impact Committee (“I3C”) will meet on an accelerated schedule to ensure quick and meaningful action is taken to help vitalize the local economy. The I3C will serve as a connector with business, industry, academia, the Metro Vancouver Regional Economic Prosperity Service, Surrey-based business associations and chambers of commerce, the Surrey
Board of Trade, and other entities related to economic development. The I3C will provide advice and recommendations to Council on actions the City could take to stimulate investment, support the local business community, and encourage sustainable job growth.
Current economic development priorities include understanding the extent of the economic impact of COVID-19, preserving Surrey’s business base and increasing local employment opportunities.
Actions already initiated by the City include the ‘Surrey Makes PPE’ program, which encourages and supports Surrey-based manufacturers to produce critical personal protective equipment and helps to identify buyers for their products. Companies are already benefiting from orders from other levels of government and private businesses.
Store to Door Campaign
In addition, the City launched the ‘Store to Door’ program in March. This program assists local businesses to move to an online sales and delivery model and promotes the businesses by providing heightened profile through the City-hosted Store to Door website.
This program has been well received by local businesses. Over 166 companies have signed up to the program and over 30,000 online connections have resulted.
Working with Local Business Associations
The City will continue to engage with our local business associations to provide updates on City actions and solicit feedback from their membership on ways we can collaboratively prepare for reopening our economy.
Unpaid Commercial Property Tax
The Province recently announced postponement of late payment penalties on unpaid property tax on commercial properties (Classes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) to October 1, 2020. This will represent a 90-day delay in penalties for these commercial classes from the current late payment penalties effective date of July 3, 2020.
Business License Late Penalty Fee
The City provided financial relief to businesses by deferring late business licence penalty dates. Currently, late penalty fees are charged if business licence fees are outstanding 30 days after their due date. Due to COVID-19, the late penalty fees will be applied 30 days after the day on which the Provincial State of Emergency comes to an end. This provides relief to businesses that are late in paying their business licence fees due to the financial impact of COVID-19.
Surrey’s Development Sector Economic incentives for large mixeduse high-density projects located in City Centre (the “City Centre Economic Incentive Policy”).
Beginning immediately, new and in-stream projects that have a construction value of greater than $25 million benefit from a 50% reduction of many fees relating to the development. The terms and criteria for the City Centre Economic Incentive Policy are as follows:
• To be eligible, the project must be a construction of a new improvement which is located within City Centre:
• The eligible project must have a building value in excess of $25 million, as determined by the City.
• All fees relating to processing the eligible project must be paid in the normal course as per City bylaws.
• A 50% discount to the following application fees will be provided as a set-off to the Building Permit fees when the Building Permit is issued for the eligible project, if the Building Permit is issued on or between May 5, 2020 and June 1, 2021.
• Concierge service for all eligible projects. o Rezoning; o Development Permit; o Development Variance Permit; o Servicing Agreement; and o Building Permit.
This will help to develop a project timeline with key milestones and will ensure the City will meet the agreed project schedule.
This collaborative approach with the development industry will allow qualifying projects to move quickly through the application and approvals process, thus ensuring these important investments can move towards construction phase rapidly and help the economic recovery.
In addition to the Economic Incentives for City Centre, staff are proposing a series of process improvements that would help the development and construction sectors citywide. Proposed improvements include:
• Streamlining the Road and Right-of-way and Traffic Obstruction Permit processes;
• Expanding the use of the Surety Bond Pilot from 12 to 20;
• Waiving the requirements for water connection replacements for Tenant Improvement permits and single-family home building permits;
• Streamlining the Tenant Improvement permitting process;
• Implementing fixed timelines for processing of simple permits; and
• Expediting the review and processing of Environmental Development and Erosion Sediment Control Permits.
The City reserves the right to determine the eligibility and final discount amount of any project.