Businesses in White Rock and all areas of Surrey have banded together to create the Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force, aimed at helping jump start the local economy after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. (File photo)

Businesses in White Rock and all areas of Surrey have banded together to create the Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force, aimed at helping jump start the local economy after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. (File photo)

Coalition of local business groups preparing for post COVID-19 comeback

Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force includes White Rock-South Surrey organizations

Business organizations in Surrey and White Rock are preparing to jump start the local economy when COVID-19 health and safety restrictions are finally lifted.

A newly created Surrey Economic Recovery Task Force is aimed at providing practical back-to-business support and communications for businesses and workplaces throughout the area.

Among the organizations that have signed on are the Surrey Board of Trade, the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce, Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce the White Rock BIA and the Cloverdale BIA – as well as business improvement associations in Downtown Surrey, Newton and Fleetwood.

Represented are more than 9,500 businesses in Surrey and White Rock, encompassing a wide variety of sectors.

READ ALSO: More than half of Canadian companies seeing sales drop at least 20%: StatCan

Task force spokesperson Laura Ballance said that while social and economic impacts of the pandemic will be profound and long-lasting, “the Surrey-White Rock corridor is a vital component of B.C.’s economy – it has a diversified industry base, which includes the greatest number of manufacturers in B.C., all of which contribute to national and global supply chains.

“We’re looking at ways we can support our businesses across the spectrum.”

She noted that such an unprecedented coalition of groups represents a realization that local businesses – particularly small- and medium-sized companies (which she described as “the backbone of our economy”) – must be “ready to hit the ground running” when government and provincial health authorities signal the time is right for a safe return to work on a more normal basis.

“We are blessed to have great experts who can address the when,” she said. “We have to do our part by addressing the where and why and how.”

And that, she said, includes understanding and communicating up-to-date information on the “protocols and best practices both regionally and nationally.”

Close contact with all members means the task force can also play a vital role in reacting to specific needs of local businesses, she said.

“We can be an important conduit,” she said.

“We can address our businesses on a hyper-local basis – large government is not going to be able to drill down to the needs of members in the same way.”

READ ALSO: ‘Group effort’ by four BIAs in Surrey to help businesses hit by COVID-19 pandemic

But Ballance said the task force is not about working “at odds” with government, but rather working closely with all levels in “allowing Surrey’s diverse industry base to be part of the broader solution, and ensuring the strategy and support takes place in a responsible and timely manner.”

She added that she has been heartened by the spirit of co-operation that she is seeing generally among businesses during the current crisis.

“I get to work with a lot of companies, and a lot of very passionate competitors, and I’ve seen a lot of long-time competitors on the same phone calls saying, ‘What can we do to help each other’ – a lot of sharing of information between larger, national companies and smaller regional and local ones.”



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read