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Local Entrepreneur Teams up with Covenant House and Youth Unlimited to Fight Homelessness

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Local entrepreneur Ryan Moreno and The Joseph Richard Group are gathering together the movers and shakers from across the region to combat homelessness. To kickoff Homelessness Action Week, October 7th to 13th, The Joseph Richard Group is teaming up with Covenant House Vancouver and Youth Unlimited to launch fundraising efforts for the 2nd Annual JRG Sleep Out.

Each year, Homelessness Action Week brings together communities and organizations throughout the region in an effort to raise awareness and rally together resources for one of Metro Vancouver’s most prevalent issues. Any given night, over 1000 youth can be found living on the streets across the Lower Mainland. These youth are exposed to the elements, afraid and left without hope. Ryan Moreno, CEO, and Co-Founder of The Joseph Richard Group has been committed to this cause for many years. Moreno spearheaded last year’s 1st Annual JRG Sleepout that fundraised over $116,000, supporting Covenant House Vancouver by providing hope to homeless and at-risk youth in the community.

“Last year, we felt that together we could make a larger impact and encourage our guests and everyone in the Lower Mainland to get behind us and support Covenant House. This annual event is intended to inspire other businesses, organizations and people within our communities to get involved” explained Moreno.

This year, The Joseph Richard Group will be partnering with Covenant House Vancouver and Youth Unlimited for the 2nd Annual JRG Sleepout. For over 20 years, Covenant House Vancouver has been a safe haven for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver. Funds raised support those who have fled physical, emotional and sexual abuse, been forced from their homes, or have aged out of foster care.

“The impact the JRG Sleepout has had on our community is incredible. We are so grateful to their commitment to our programs and bringing awareness and resources to efforts that support homeless in the community” explained Kim Wing, Development Officer at Covenant House Vancouver.

Youth Unlimited will also be supported by the fundraising efforts, helping youth throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley discover their potential. The organization helps vulnerable or marginalized individuals learn life skills and discover their true potential through a variety of support programs.

The Joseph Richard Group’s 2nd Annual Sleep Out in support of Covenant House Vancouver and Youth Unlimited takes place November 5th from 8:00pm – 7:00am. To find more information about how you can get involved, raise funds and build awareness, visit jrgsleepout.com.

About The Joseph Richard Group

The Joseph Richard Group (JRG), is British Columbia’s fastest growing hospitality organization. Founded in 2009 by childhood friends Andre ‘Joseph’ Bourque and Ryan ‘Richard’ Moreno, JRG is made up of 25 public houses, restaurants and liquor retail outlets in BC and Alberta. For more information, visit jrg.ca

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

Business

Surrey Board of Trade Receives Over $400,000 in Funding to Build and Support Surrey Employer Capacity to Respond to COVID-19 Workforce Needs

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SURREY, BC | The BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is providing up to $402,105 to the Surrey Board of Trade to deliver a Labour Market Partnership project that will immediately build and support Surrey employer capacity to respond to COVID-19 workforce needs.

With this project, more Surrey employers will have the capacity to manage and respond to workforce challenges and address other COVID-19 related issues. Surrey service providers, the Surrey Board of Trade, employers, and industry groups will be enabled to work together in a more coordinated and collaborative approach on workforce priorities in a real-time, rapid-response structure to help with economic recovery.

“The Surrey Board of Trade is honoured and pleased to have received this funding from the BC Government to deliver on a real roadmap to economic recovery for Surrey employers through this pandemic” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Employers need help to develop capacity to be nimble and agile while responding to ever-changing workforce and economic conditions. The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased to continue its support to the business community in Surrey.”

The project commenced on July 27, 2020 and will conclude on July 23, 2021. Project actions include:

  • More Surrey employers being prepared and able to respond to the workforce-related impacts and opportunities resulting from the pandemic;
  • More Surrey workers impacted by COVID-19 to be connected to re-employment, re-deployment, re-skilling and sustained employment;
  • More unemployed members of equity-seeking groups in Surrey becoming employed.
  • A real-time Back-to-Work Strategies Playbook that can be adapted and used by other communities and tailored to specific industry sectors;
  • Ongoing real-time labour market Intelligence to support employer and service provider decision-making; and,
    Better use of and connections to government supports.

Funding for this and other projects is provided through the Province of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP’s goal is to increase employment and work experience opportunities in communities across BC through partnerships, shared information, technology and innovation.

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Business

Uber expands ridesharing service to Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Langley Township

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Uber is expanding its ridesharing service to Abbotsford, Aldergrove and all of Langley Township. Residents across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley now have expanded access to a safe, reliable and affordable transportation alternative at the touch of a button, and drivers will have additional flexible earning opportunities.

Uber has implemented new safety features and policies to keep riders and drivers safe as we navigate this new normal together including:

  • Go Online Checklist: Riders and drivers will confirm safety precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 including a selfie confirmation to ensure drivers are wearing a face mask or cover
  • Driver Screening: Everyone who drives with Uber is screened before their first trip. In addition, Uber reruns these driver screenings every year and uses technology to look for issues in between.
  • 24/7 Safety Support: If you need safety support or assistance, Uber’s dedicated and trained support team is available at all times to provide help
  • Phone Anonymization: Privacy is a top priority at Uber. The Uber app conceals driver and rider phone numbers so they are able to securely call/text each other through the app without revealing their information
  • Emergency Button Access: Both riders and drivers can contact 911 directly from the Uber app and provide a GPS location and trip details with authorities in emergency situations

In addition to these new features and policies, Uber is distributing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help keep delivery people and drivers safe as they serve their communities. We are sending in-app notifications to active drivers and delivery people in each city – providing guidance on how to request health and safety supplies (screencap below).

Drivers and delivery people can request those supplies and have them shipped directly to their home. So far, more than 55,000 PPE supplies have been distributed in the Lower Mainland.

To see the updated service area map, please visit here.

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Business

How BC Resorts and Hotels are Reopening for Phase Three COVID-19 Restrictions

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BC premier, John Horgan announced the plan for the province to move to phase three of reopening. This phase includes the reopening of hotels, motels, cabins, RV resorts, etc. According to the BC government website, “The accommodation industry was not ordered to close by the Provincial Health Officer.

Many operators closed voluntarily and are now preparing to welcome guests in Phase 3.” Opus Vancouver plans to welcome back customers in August and released the safety changes that have been made to welcome guests back.

Opus Vancouver mentions that guests are required to stand six feet apart from guests who aren’t travelling with them in all areas of the hotel, they have also installed plexi glass screen at the front desks, and the hotel plans to “introduce a contactless check-in and keyless entry program over the coming months.”

As BC’s Centre for Disease Control advises handwashing and hand sanitizing when water is unavailable, OPUS Vancouver plans to provide guests, employees and visitors with hand sanitizer; as well as providing dispensers around the hotel. OPUS Vancouver has also released a detailed explanation in regards to the cleaning of the hotel amenities.

They mentioned limiting the number of guests in the fitness room to one and cleaning up after each guest is finished. The buffet eating will also be halted for the time being “and replaced [with] alternative service styles such as individually plated and served meals, to customized individual grab and go boxes.”

Other hotels in Surrey are assisting customers with their bookings and reservations. Like Sandman Suites Surrey-Guildford mentions their offering of full credits for future bookings until 2021 for all prepaid non-refundable reservations past July 1.

The Civic Hotel, Autograph Collection is also aiding new customer bookings by allowing “reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before … scheduled arrival date.” This is for reservations “for any future arrival date” and … “reservations with prepaid rates.” According to their website, this is available till July 5.

BC’s phase three reopening also includes travelling within the province so for residents who are planning to visit one of BC’s many beautiful towns and cities, the government has some rules in place. Residents of British Columbia are asked “to be respectful of the communities [they] plan to visit and be safe as [they] enjoy the many beautiful locations across [the] province.”

Visitors from other provinces and territories are also asked to follow the same guidelines in place for British Columbians. The BC government website also includes a list of guidelines for people thinking about traveling this summer. The government asks that residents “consider the health and safety of people in [their] bubble, and whether [they] want to take any extra risks.”

Residents are also asked to follow the safety rules in place. That includes washing of hands, physical distancing, staying in small groups, and cleaning of space. Many RV parks are accepting guests and have put up rules in regards to covid-19. Livingstone RV Park in Langley announced the closing of its office to the public and appointments can be made by calling the number on their website.

They have also closed the showers and washroom to the guests and they ask that guests “have no outside visitors during [their] stay and that [they] maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet between [their] camping neighbors until the ban is lifted.”

Other RV parks like Pacific Border RV Park in Surrey, Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground in Burnaby are also open for guests.

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Business

Support Our Surrey (SOS): Team of Justin and Trace

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I’ve seen so many members of our community helping each other out during COVID-19, that it makes my heart swell. I’m so happy to be giving another Support Our Surrey shout-out to longstanding members of our Fraser Valley community – the real estate team of Justin and Trace, from Macdonald Realty.

Justin Glasser and Trace Sowerby have been active realtors in the Fraser Valley for over 15 years. Maybe you’ve seen their friendly faces in the mail? As downtown Surrey began to grow and burgeon approximately 15 years ago, Justin and Trace have not only been growing with the city, but they’ve been growing with many of the young residents and families that call Surrey their home.

During COVID, they’ve used their marketing platform and resources to support and highlight other local businesses in the community, by hosting an Instagram series called QUARANTINE 15 – a “weekly segment updating our community on local business in 15 minutes or less”. You can follow Justin and Trace on Instagram at justin_traceteam to find these segments, as well as here.

Businesses they've featured are:

If you ever get the pleasure of meeting Justin, Trace, or their colleague, Bethany, you’ll know immediately that the care and respect they have for their community and fellow residents, runs deep. It’s their personal care, whether as their clients or someone living in the same community as them, that really make the Justin and Trace Team, shine and standout. Get to know them a bit on Facebook: facebook.com/justinandtracehomes

You can also learn more about the Justin and Trace Team on their official site, here, and be sure to check out the businesses they’ve highlighted so that we can all continue to keep this spirit of community going!

Dear readers: As BC begins to re-open, it’s a great opportunity for business to welcome us back – please reach out to share local businesses that are now open so we can feature them and make sure our community knows how we an Support Our Surrey.

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Business

How Barbershops and Retailers are Welcoming Customers during BC’s Phase Two Re-opening

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Giant Retailers, Hudson Bay and Sephora have opened their doors to customers in Surrey. While both companies spoke about their excitement to welcome back customers, they have also released information on the new store hours and how they plan to enforce safety guidelines and social distancing rules. Sephora released a post which detailed the changes they planned to make to their stores while ensuring the safety of their customers. The company plans to maintain the two metre distancing rule and limit the amount of customers in the store.

The company is also making sure hand sanitizers are made available “at the front entrance and key areas throughout the store” They also plan to “sanitize baskets before giving them to [customers], disinfect products and tools, and clean surfaces every two hours or after every use.”

As the beauty company is known for having testers made available, this will no longer be the case and the company also plans to take the temperature of their staff at the beginning of their shift and in the middle of their shift.

Hudson Bay, another retailer that has opened its doors to residents of Surrey has introduced a way for customers to receive their items in a safe way. The company has introduced curbside pickup. The company mentioned the pickups being ready in “as little as 3 hours”

This is made available everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and when customers arrive, they are asked to remain in their car while an associate helps them load the item. The customer can also “advise” the associate on where to place the item if they do not want it loaded in their car, according to the company. Some other new changes from the store is, allocating Tuesdays for senior shoppers and Thursdays for frontline workers.

Along with other retailers and businesses, Hudson Bay has introduced sanitizers around the stores, increased cleaning, physical distancing, and touchless pay. BC’s second phase of reopening doesn’t include only retail stores. Barbershops and salons are now open to the public with guidelines in place.

Lookin’ Sharp Barbershop is based in Richmond BC, and it recently opened doors to customers. Co owner and founder of the shop, Bebo, spoke about the safety guidelines in place as he and his staff welcome back customers.

“Right now we are not allowing [anyone] without a mask and [we also] have … guidelines and protocols before the client [enters the shop],” says Bebo.

Some of the new guidelines Bebo spoke of was having clients make appointments before their haircuts, as before the pandemic, the shop took walk-ins only.
“We removed all the chairs [in] the waiting area, so there’s no waiting inside the shop,” says Bebo.

“When [a] client comes, they need to wait outside until their scheduled appointment, and [we also] put … a hand sanitizer station [for clients],” says Bebo.

Bebo also mentioned his shop giving out masks to customers who come without one. He spoke about the safety guidelines for his staff, saying they had to wear masks and gloves, and disinfect their whole workstation before and after each client. Bebo also mentioned his shop terminating 80 per cent of their services.

“… Hair [wax], threading, face masks, and facials … are no longer available,” says Bebo. “Basically right now we are only providing the haircuts and hair wash,” he added.

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