City hall needs to cut red tape, reduce fees and actively support patio program for restaurants and pubs
Surrey, B.C. (March 29, 2021): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis wants city hall to get behind the 2021 temporary patio program for local restaurants in a big way, cutting red tape, reducing application and permit costs, and letting restaurants and pubs access the city grant program that normally only allows for permanent storefront enhancements. Annis said new COVID-19 rules make the patio program even more urgent and important for local restaurants.
“Our hospitality businesses continue to be the hardest hit by the pandemic and we should be doing everything we can to give our restaurants and pubs a fighting chance, with tougher COVID rules,” said Annis. “When you compare our temporary patio program to Vancouver our application process is too cumbersome and the costs from city hall are too high. We need to get rid of the red tape, waive permitting fees, and let restaurants and pubs access the city’s storefront enhancement program which provides local businesses with grants of 30 per cent to a maximum of $3000. Normally those grants are for permanent improvements, but why not help our restaurants and pubs right now when they clearly need it most?”
Annis said she also thinks City Hall should work with Surrey’s Business Improvement Associations to host “how to” seminars that make it easy for the city’s pubs and restaurants to create outdoor patios, including being creative with the look of the patios. Vancouver added more than 400 temporary patios while Surrey had just a handful.
“Vancouver’s temporary patio program has attractive picket fences while we have industrial cement abutments,” said Annis. “That look speaks volumes about how our two cities have approached their temporary patio programs. Vancouver has thought outside of the box, meanwhile we seem to be treating temporary patios as a nuisance. But the fact is, when we help our restaurants and pubs succeed during COVID we’re helping our city and building up a sector of our economy that has been hit harder than any other by COVID-19 rules and regulations.”
Councillor Linda Annis