Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum stole Councillor Linda Annis’s political thunder Monday night as he announced the city’s Business Improvement Associations will be getting help to weather the pandemic.
“I am pleased to advise, and our finance department has advised, that all BIAs will receive their full business improvement collection for 2020 by August 31 this year,” McCallum announced during his mayor’s report. “This will help our BIAs work towards our economic recovery throughout the City of Surrey. So I wanted to just address that, because staff have been working on it very closely to see if we could do it. They have given us the green light that they can pay them early, and pay them in full.”
“I’m addressing it in the mayor’s part because this originally came to me from the BIAs in Surrey where they were feeling the effects of COVID,” McCallum explained, “the virus that has been going around, and was asking to not delay their payments that we give to them each year based on the taxes that come in this year.”
Annis’s motion has been expected to be dealt with later, toward the end of the June 29 meeting, but it did not appear on the agenda. She had presented a notice of motion at the June 15 council meeting that called on city staff to investigate paying out a portion of the BIAs’ assessment, based on what the city collects on July 2, and pay them that percentage by Aug. 15.
To do otherwise, she argued, would “create a financial hardship on our BIAs, forcing them to use lines of credit.”