The Surrey Board of Trade views the announcement of the increases in BC Hydro’s rates with concern in that the nine and six percent increases in the next two years (and lesser amounts in subsequent years) will be a significant challenge to many businesses in a time when the economy is still not strong.
“The economy is still struggling as are many of our members and increases to electricity rates will be a difficult challenge for many businesses including public institutions,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “At the same time we recognize that the aging grid and power generation infrastructure across the province must be addressed.” The question is how much infrastructure is being added and how is the administration of independent power suppliers proceeding.
“The fact that the rate increases are known well in advance may afford businesses time to make the necessary adjustments to meet these increases,” she said. It was noted though that most business that are major consumers of power have already completed their plans and pricing and booked sales for next year. This is a little late for these big firms to have any agility to offset these increases in the short run.
Additionally, such plans as the greater investment ($1.6 million) in the Power Smart program, along with the launch of a rate design review process to examine ways to provide industrial customers with more options to reduce their electricity costs, are welcome.
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At yesterday's Ronald McDonald Family Room (at Surrey Memorial Hospital) Fundraiser hosted by Kultar Thiara and his partners at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall and the Surrey Board of Trade, $30,000 in total was raised last night. Thank you to Bijoy Samuel, of REDFM and the Surrey Board of Trade President for MC'ing this event on a Sunday night! He was fabulous! And of course we could not have done this event without the great support from our friends at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall! The Family Room is set to open with the Critical Care Tower in June. The Ronald McDonald House is at around $400,000 of their $700,000 goal. These monies will go towards appliances, furniture etc that are needed for the family room.
Photo's from last night are at this link:
On Wednesday, November 27th at the Surrey Arts Centre (13750 88th Ave) from 7:30 – 11:00 a.m., the Surrey Board of Trade and the City of Surrey hosted the Creative Economy Dialogue, Part 2. In this focused dialogue event, attendees contributed ideas to an action plan on building Surrey’s Creative Economy, Attendees heard from the business community to determine what arts and culture can do for Surrey’s economy, and what business can do for arts and culture.
1. Successful creative new initiatives/entrepreneur panel:
a. Glen Chua, Festival Director at Surrey International Film Festival
b. Kashif Pasta, Director, Editor, Writer, Co-Founder at dunya.ca
c. Candace Radcliffe, Department Head and Artistic Director/Producer, Beach House Theatre Co.
2. Cultural Hub panel:
a. Elia Kirby, President of the Arts Factory Society & Marietta
Kozak, Treasurer of the Arts Factory Society
b. Justin Langois, Emily Carr Professor/Co-founder and Research Director of Broken City Lab
c. Sandee Moore, Artist, and former Director of Video Pool Media Arts Centre in Winnipeg
This event included breakout dialogue sessions on four discussion topics:
- Transforming unused spaces for creative industries
- Creating and promoting existing creative industries in Surrey
- Supporting young entrepreneurs in creative industries
- Attracting the creative class
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