Government Relations

  • A number of City bylaws or business license provisions have been adopted due to advocacy:
    • Revitalization Tax Incentive Program – to encourage property owners who carry out exterior improvements over $25,000 by not incurring increases in property taxes for the improvements for five years. This is the best such program in BC. The incentive period was extended to 2011.
    • Our request for a minimum distance between pharmacies for the BIA area was adopted and expanded to include all of Surrey. This will help limit the number of methadone Dispensing pharmacies in the BIA area which act as magnets for antisocial behaviour and open drug dealing.
    • Our request for the use of Good Neighbour Agreements for Community Service providers in the BIA area was adopted by the City and is also being used with pharmacies and other types of businesses to help insure that if community members have concerns with activities at or around properties that businesses are required to work with the community to resolve issues.
  • Hosted candidate forums for Federal Election in 2011 & 2008; Provincial Election in 2005 & 2009; and Civic Election in 2008
  • Presentations to individual politicians at the Civic, Provincial and Federal Levels to advocate for New City Centre Library, Performing Arts Centre, and funding to address concerns regarding housing & homelessness.
  • Hosted public forum on Methadone Dispensaries in February 2005 – attended by MLA Brenda Locke, BC College of Pharmacists and Fraser Health Authority
  • Presentation to BC Standing Committee on Finance in support of increased support for SFU Surrey Campus
  • Presentations to City Council and/or Committees
    • Annual submissions to Finance Committee since 2004 regarding the City’s Capital and Operating Budget. Encouragement of infrastructure investments in BIA area as well as appropriate staff levels in policing, bylaw enforcement and planning. The BIA was either the only, or one of only 2 or 3 groups making presentations.
    • Other presentations include: Level of Social Services in Whalley; Concerns regarding King George Boulevard and 135A Street.

 

Economic Development and Land Use

  • 2011 Media FAM Tour resulting in several high profile articles in regional newspapers.
  • 2011 Joint Association Reception including BOMA, NAIOP and UDI organized by the DSBIA.
  • DSBIA participated in the REIN Bus Tour of City Centre in 2011.
  • 2010 FAM (Familiarization) Tour: guided, narrated Coach Tour of invited developers, builders, businesses with potential regional office relocation, restauranteurs, Green Energy & High Tech targeted Companies. Mayor Watts guest speaker.
  • 2010 marked the birth of the Surrey International World Music Marathon – the inaugural run to be held September 30, 2012.
  • The DSBIA is represented as numerous economic/business events sponsored by Surrey Board of Trade, Vancouver Board of Trade, REIBC, BOMA, UDI, CREW, NAIOP, SFU Advisory, etc.
  • The highlight of 2010 was the Olympics: Surrey’s Celebration Site and an opportunity to showcase who we are and what we have to offer future investors. DSBIA participated and attended events as part of the Mayor’s City of Surrey Business & Economic Host Team.
  • In 2010, a new City Centre website was launched to provide additional information to developers www.surreycitycentre.ca
  • In 2008 & 2009 we participated in the Real Estate Conference in Vancouver. In 2009, this was followed up with a presentation on “Surrey, The BC’s Next Great Metro Centre” at SFU Surrey by Robert Dominick (DSBIA/WestStone Developments), Michael Heeney (Bing Thom Architects), Gordon Price (SFU), and Councillor Barinder Rasode.
  • In 2009, we organized a presentation on “Surrey, The BC’s Next Great Metro Centre” at Real Estate Investor Network in Coquitlam with Robert Dominick (DSBIA), Michael Heeney (Bing Thom Architects), and Murray Dinwoodie (City of Surrey).
  • In 2009, we organized a presentation on “Surrey, The BC’s Next Great Metro Centre” at Fraser Valley Real Estate Board with Mayor Dianne Watts, Robert Dominick (DSBIA), Michael Heeney (Bing Thom Architects), and Joanne Curry (SFU Surrey).
  • In 2007, we hosted the Annual Conference of Business Improvement Areas of BC. The keynote speaker was Fred Kent of Project for Public Spaces, based in New York. As a result of a workshop we hosted for City Council and senior staff the concepts and benefits of “place making” were adopted by Council as part of their planning tools.
  • Participation on City Task Forces and Committees
    • City Centre Marketing Team
    • City Centre Transit Village
    • Surrey Agreement/Charter
    • City Centre Plan
    • Economic Development Strategy
    • Sustainability Charter
    • Employment Land Strategy
    • Transportation Strategy
  • Participation in regional stakeholder processes
    • Metro Vancouver Forums on land use and transportation
    • South of Fraser Transit Advisory Panel & Charette
    • Traffic Management during construction of Surrey sections of South Perimeter Road, Hwy. 1 and Port Mann Bridge construction.
  • Active participation in Surrey Board of Trade Transportation Committee ensured that issues, such as Patullo Bridge and internal transportation routes were promoted.
  • Active participation in the Surrey Board of Trade Industry Committee
  • Hosted Annual Executive Roundtables in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to highlight the BIA area to significant property owners, elected officials and brokers
  • In 2006, we collaborated with City staff to ensure that people applying for business licenses are aware of the City’s requirements regarding tenant improvements
  • In 2004 we hosted a real estate tour with local realtors and investors.

 

Safety

  • In collaboration with the City of Surrey, a perception of safety study of riders and businesses in and around the three City Centre Skytrain Stations conducted in February 2011
  • Community Safety Breakfasts with DSBIA members and a guest speaker are held twice per year
  • The security patrol program has evolved from an evening car-based program to a day-time, 5 day per week, 2 person bike patrol team in February 2008. The service hours increase from May 1- August 31, 2009 to 7 days per week. This program gains credibility with members every month and has increased interaction with the RCMP.
  • Participated in stakeholder meetings for City’s Crime Reduction Strategy for three of four strands: Prevent & Deter; Apprehend & Prosecute; and Reality & Perceptions of Crime.
  • Participated in the Safe Streets Coalition which advocated for stronger penalties for aggressive panhandlers and updating the Trespass Act.
  • Active participation in Surrey Board of Trade Crime and Justice Committee ensures the BIA concerns are heard
  • Annual Safety Audits started in 2005 and over 150 street-level business are now surveyed each summer
  • In 2006, the BIA, in partnership with Surrey RCMP, created the ground-breaking theft prevention website. This allowed police and private security firms operating within BIA member businesses to share information about chronic and violent retail thieves. In 2008, this site was handed over to Downtown Victoria BA and will be going province-wide.
  • Ongoing participation in RCMP Whalley Integrated Services Team (WIST)

 

Area Enhancement

  • Initiated a very successful graffiti removal program that is still the standard within Surrey. An average of 1,200 tags are removed or painted each year. The value of this “bulk” purchase program cannot be achieved by individual members.
  • Developed effective process to ensure maximum cooperation & timely response by Bylaw staff regarding unsightly properties within the BIA area
  • Currently contract with Surrey Community Resources to provide the “Clean Streets” Program from April 15-October 15.
  • Work with the City of Surrey Beautification Coordinator to identify projects within Downtown Surrey
  • For three years the BIA had a planter project in the area of 108 Avenue and King George Boulevard. As of January 2009, our 13 planters were gifted to the City.
  • Since 2007, a Clean Streets Program to pick up litter on selected sidewalks has been in place with Surrey Community Services Society.
  • A street banner program for light poles on King George was started in 2006.

 

Events

  • In the absence of entertainment venues, the BIA has used special events in various locations in an effort to create a sense of place in downtown:
    • The Movies Under the Stars program started in 2005 to demonstrate that families could enjoy a social evening outside during the summer. This grew to three movie nights in 2008 and four in 2009, 2010 and five planned for 2011. This event is supported by the RCMP, Surrey Crime Prevention Society, Volunteer Bike Patrol and our own patrollers.
    • The BIA has been the major sponsor of the Surrey Fest Downtown since 2004. This is the largest and most successful community festival in Surrey with annual attendance of 5,000+ and is held at Central City Plaza.
    • The BIA has participated in a number of City-sponsored events as First Night (2 years); Winterfest (2008,2009,2011); Fusion Fest (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Canada Day (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011); Party for the Planet (2011), Stanley Cup Comes to Surrey (2010), Stanley Cup Play-offs Fan Site (2011) and the Lantern Procession (2006, 2008).
    • In 2010 and 2011, the BIA partnered with TienSher/Quattro Development to hold a Block Party called Q Fest held in the North/East area of the DSBIA area.
    • In 2010, 2011, the DSBIA participated in the Gay Pride Festival  at Holland Park.
    • In 2010, the DSBIA was involved in the “Santa arrives at Central City” event, Christmas Movie Day at Digital Lightyear Theatre at SFU and the Lighted Truck Parade at Holland Park.
    • The BIA has also participated in the RCMP Block Party (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008). In 2011,  the BIA coordinated a 60th Anniversary BBQ to celebrate the RCMP’s 60th Anniversary in Surrey.
    • In 2006, the BIA supported the Canadian Little League Championships hosted by Whalley Little League with marketing supports, commemorative banner competition and banner costs.
    • In 2006, the BIA partnered with Canadian Tire and A & W to hold a Show & Shine.

 

Communications

  • Its News Downtown is a monthly electronic email sent to DSBIA members approximately sixteen times per year.
  • Effective January 2011, The New View is sent out elctronically approximately six times per year to community and business contacts.
  • Repositioning program that ultimately resulted in a new name and image for the BIA that reflects the area served, a new corporate identity and image.
  • The creation of The New View publication and City Centre Scene (now View Downtown) in March 2006 has provided a unique vehicle to showcase businesses, residents and events in the BIA area. In combination, they produce 1.5 million impressions per year.
  • In 2006, promotional and communication collateral (video, folders, content for recruiting & media packages) were produced and also used by City staff.
  • Website has undergone two major updates in look & feel.

 

Research

  • Retail and Service Business Study, June 2005 (Hudema Consulting & Colliers International)
  • An Analysis of Social Services in Surrey 2006 (Erin Harron)
  • What to do about Whalley: Homelessness in Surrey’s City Centre, 2007 (Erin Harron)
  • [Truck] Traffic Survey [King George at 104 and 108 Avenues], 2007 (various)
  • People on the Street Survey, 2007
  • City Centre Plan Update – Parking, December 2007 (DSBIA paid for a portion of this component of the City Centre Plan)
  • The 10 Percent Solution: The Cost of Not Taking Action, 2007-08 (various)