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New ‘Surrey Strong’ campaign urges local spending to boost businesses ‘shattered’ by pandemic

Surrey Board of Trade received $230,450 in funding to develop and launch the 2022 campaign
Logo for the new “Surrey Strong” campaign launched by Surrey Board of Trade. (Image courtesy SBOT)

A new “Surrey Strong” campaign aims to boost local spending in the city.

Surrey-area businesses continue to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Surrey Board of Trade, and many require support to survive and thrive, especially now that large, online retailers have put smaller businesses at risk by offering online shopping, home delivery, discount prices and other services.

“This is particularly serious for small businesses that are unable to sell their goods or services online, unable to compete with prices, and/or have limited ability to market themselves,” SBOT says in a backgrounder.

The business organization received $230,450 in funding to develop and launch the 2022 Surrey Strong campaign, in an effort to build on last year’s “Thank You Surrey” business promotion.

The primary goals are “to inspire and educate the community to shop local, why it is important and to provide local businesses with marketing tools to increase their market share to help them with their bottom-line profitability.”

Funding is from Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development through an agreement with the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, locally-owned businesses have been “shattered,” SBOT says, “but they are the backbone of our communities. By supporting local businesses, your purchase has 4.6 times more impact.”

Among other statistics sourced by SBOT, locally-owned businesses keep 63 per cent of revenue circulating in our community compared to only 14 per cent by multinationals, the board says. Also, locally-owned businesses create eight times more jobs, and donate 25 times more to charities.

“Surrey businesses are not only employers, but they are also consumers who spend money at other local businesses,” SBOT’s background notes.

“Buying locally helps create jobs for friends and neighbours, contributes to improved public infrastructure, and invests in the community – both socially and economically.”

A webinar will explain Surrey Strong this Friday (Feb. 11) starting at 10 a.m., on For details, call 604-581-7310. Free to view, the online event will feature Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, and also Fiona Famulak, BC Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

Also, a 90-minute “focus group” session is planned Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m.

Employing a #SurreyStrong hashtag on social media, the campaign will put a spotlight on businesses that have been resilient throughout the pandemic.

The campaign will kick off with a shopper survey, created to provide insight on local shopping habits and preferences. A social media and advertising campaign will feature businesses in each of Surrey’s six town centres, and a multi-lingual Surrey Strong promotional tool kit will be distributed to businesses throughout Surrey.

Meantime, following the release of the 2022 B.C. government budget, Finance Minister Selina Robinson will virtually join Surrey Board of Trade for a talk on Friday, Feb. 25, starting at 1:30 p.m. Robinson will share “key highlights from the B.C. budget and discuss how it will help our economy in its recovery,” an event advisory says.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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