Imagine you are a new small business. You have saved up all your money with years of sacrifice. There has been no family vacations, no eating out at restaurants and your family has felt the pinch as their peers have indulged.  This is your dream. A deep-down passion to be your own boss with unlimited potential. You know its going to be demanding work but if you just bare down you can make it.


What some new businesses do not realize is that they are doomed before they even open their doors.


Recently the City of Surrey received a glowing article. “Perhaps the biggest advantage the city enjoys is its ability to lure companies with cheaper commercial rent, smaller leasing costs and lower land prices, plus reduced red tape compared with Vancouver. Building permits from the City of Vancouver can take six to eight months due to a backlog at city hall, while average wait times in Surrey are around four to six weeks, according to a report from the Fraser Institute free-market think tank.”  – Business in Vancouver


Talking with local property managers the reality is that tenant improvement applications can take up to 12 weeks or longer. This is a game changer as the lease that most new businesses sign does not cover the financial burden of this delay. Usually a 4 week fixturing period is allotted. As a result, the business owner must begin lease payments long before they are open for business. As the debt builds up their dream begins to slip away even before its allowed to flourish as the crippling debt never allows them to get their feet under them. People always say that you need deep pockets to open a business but when the government institution prohibits a fast turnaround do new small businesses even stand a chance?


The Fraser Institute ranks the City of Surrey 17th out of 19 communities in the lower mainland on their red tape rankings. Can we improve the City of Surrey’s red tape ranking from languishing near the bottom to the regions most progressive and efficient City? We talk about housing affordability as a priority, but we add countless dollars in cost as projects sit idle waiting for some of the regions worst delays.


Is the City of Surrey going to be a leader in red tape or a municipality that talks a big game and achieves very little?