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Surrey Relocation Guide: Doing Business in Surrey

Surrey's business landscape, growth opportunities and why it's a prime location for businesses


Surrey’s business landscape, growth opportunities and why it’s a prime location for businesses

Surrey is known for being one thing: a powerful, progressive economic engine of Metro Vancouver in which to do business and invest.

It could be the largest city in British Columbia in the next 20 years. Surrey’s population, which currently sits at almost 520,000, is projected to increase by an additional 250,000 people in the next 30 years. By 2041, one in five Metro Vancouver residents will live in Surrey. It has the highest median family income, it is centrally located between the commercial hub of Vancouver and the U.S. border (in fact, Surrey is a U.S. border city) and it is close to two international airports.

Surrey fosters a positive business environment and helps companies succeed—and as a result, over 16,000 businesses thrive here, from one-person independent firms to multi-national conglomerates.

All the elements necessary for success have been carefully nurtured over the years, from pro-business government initiatives that have helped earn Surrey the mantle of being the best place in British Columbia to invest (according to the Real Estate Investment Network), to the infrastructure, amenities and lifestyle benefits that have resulted in the influx of 800 to 1,000 new residents monthly.

Balanced Tax Base

Many other factors explain Surrey’s status as a business mecca: it has the lowest property taxes and the second-lowest business taxes in Metro Vancouver. Businesses make a significant contribution to the City of Surrey by paying taxes that fund community services and infrastructure. Surrey’s target ratio for property tax revenues is 60 per cent from residential and 40 per cent from business; currently, the ratio is 70 per cent from residential and 30 per cent from business.

Credit: BC Stats

Where Surrey Stands Within Metro Vancouver
Population by each municipality in Metro Vancouver (2011 v. 2015)

Growth – Construction & Development – Office Space

There’s more. Surrey’s large geographical size (316.4 square kilometres) has led to the development of one of the largest industrial centres within B.C.: altogether there are eight industrial parks within the city boundaries. Surrey has approximately one third of Metro Vancouver’s undeveloped industrial land inventory.

Not surprisingly, an increasing number of head and regional offices are moving to Surrey’s business parks and its new 600-hectare City Centre (the sparkling downtown core that has earned national media attention), including PwC, McQuarrie Hunter, Citizenship & Immigration Canada and Fraser Health.

But the best aspect of Surrey as a place to do business is that its growth continues at a remarkable rate. For example, in each of the past five years, development has exceeded $1 billion, and nine million square feet of commercial and industrial floor space was added during that time (in the same period there were almost 20,000 housing starts).

Moreover, Surrey’s town centres and surrounding areas will see a population increase of over 300,000 people in the next three decades—and with new residents and new investment comes almost unlimited new opportunities for more businesses to thrive.


Surrey Board of Trade Business & International Centre Trade Documentation