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Surrey’s First Coworking Space Has A New Purpose

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It was five years ago that the coworking movement first made its debut in Surrey. Beta Collective founders Jason Wong and Elvin Cheung were uncertain whether or not a collaborative workspace concept would fly in a fast growing city of big houses (and even bigger home offices). But its mission back then was simple: to be a flexible and affordable workspace in Downtown Surrey for startups and entrepreneurs who were tired of working from home or at the coffee shop.

Fast forward to 2019, and Beta has proven that the coworking concept is not just a flash in the pan. So much so that its 5th anniversary on Friday April 12th will mark the official opening of its new expansion. Beta Collective has now doubled in size to 8,000sf, complete with multiple meeting rooms, hotdesks, and more than 30 private offices available for rent on a non-committal basis.

But Beta is also entering its 5th year with a new sense of purpose. With the rapid economic growth that’s happening in the Downtown core and surrounding areas, the Surrey community is seeing a tremendous need for more services and resources to support its swelling population. Families, immigrants, youth, and other residents are all requiring assistance in some capacity.

As a result, Beta Collective is making it its mission to be Surrey’s central hub for COMMUNITY IMPACT.

Whether an organization is non-profit or for-profit, whether they are an aspiring 4-person startup or a seasoned solo entrepreneur, Beta Collective is the place where groups and businesses can come together to innovate, create change, and make a difference in this City. Currently, more than 100 companies use Beta for a variety of services, including office rental, desk rental, meeting room rental, and mailing address.

The list of non-profit members includes:

  • RainCity Housing and Support Society
  • John Howard Society
  • Baobab Inclusive Empowerment Society
  • SurreyCodes Foundation
  • Beyond the Conversation Society
  • reGrow Foundation
  • Youth Transforming Society
  • Afro Canadian Positive Network BC
  • Open Heavens Society
  • SEEDS BDC
  • Sewaarat Society
  • Barbados Cultural Association of BC

“I would love nothing more than to see the number of non-profits using our space to double in size, because that would undoubtedly increase the level of social impact on this community exponentially,” says Wong. “The organic relationships and collaborative opportunities that are forged in an environment like Beta Collective can’t really be duplicated anywhere else. Why not see if this space can be utilized for your new head office, a regional outpost, or even just an AGM?”

A special celebration and grand opening of its new office wing will be held on Friday April 12th, sponsored by Vancity. For more details and to RSVP visit: www.betaturns5.eventbrite.com

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.

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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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Uber Connect: Easier than ever to send packages to others

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As we learn to live in the new normal, Uber wants to help you navigate through this new life and make your life a little bit easier. Uber is launching a new product, Uber Connect, to make it easier than ever to send packages, items, and goods to others.

Uber Connect allows users to send packages to others. It’s an affordable same-day contactless delivery solution.

Whether it’s a care package for a loved one, a gift for a friend’s birthday, an item you sold online or an important business document, you can send it by requesting “Uber Connect” through the Uber app. Now you can have the kids create a work of art for Grandma and get it over to her house before dinner.

Matthew Price, General Manager of Uber Canada, said Uber Connect was designed to make it easier for people to deliver things to others and stay connected.

“During this challenging time for Canadians we wanted to create an affordable and quick way for people to send items to each other. This feature minimises the need to travel, while helping people stay connected. We know Canadians want to help each other out and have seen a tremendous sense of community rise up in the recent weeks. By focusing on helping to safely move people and the delivery of items, we want to participate in the collective effort to tame the new normal”.

How it works:

Uber Connect is now available in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

  • Package the items in a sealed box or bag, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.
  • Tell your driver ‘Where to?’ in your Uber app.
  • Choose Uber Connect as the ride (you may have to swipe up for the option).
  • Follow the notifications: You’ll get notifications providing instructions on how to help ensure a smooth pickup and when your driver is arriving, just like a trip with UberX. As you see the car approach in the app, you should head outside and load your item into the car’s trunk.
  • Share the trip status with up to 5 people in your contact list. Unless it’s a surprise gift, one of these should be the recipient so they can easily monitor the delivery’s progress.

Uber Connect is one way for Canadians to move what matters most. As part of Uber’s commitment to Moving What Matters in Canada, Uber has pledged over $6m in free rides, meals, and food deliveries for Canada – providing those to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need.

Starting with organizations like Breakfast Club of Canada, AdvantAGE, CBI Health, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, and Montreal’s Children’s Hospital, it’s our small way of helping during this challenging time.

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Most popular Indian brands in Surrey

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Today, we travel internationally more than ever before. The decrease in travel costs eased visa procedures enable millions of people around the world to travel freely across a diverse range of interesting destinations. Yet, international travel is not only for entertainment purposes. It has an important role in the process of global migration which represents a driving force for many economies.

Traveling around the world was not always as easy. Trains and other means of land, as well as water transportation, took days and sometimes even weeks to cover short distances and were extremely inefficient and inconvenient. Therefore, only very few people traveled back in the day. The picture is drastically different today as jet planes can take you to the opposite side of the world in a matter of hours.

The airline industry truly revolutionized the world we live in today. This particularly is important in regards to the commonwealth of nations that are closely affiliated with the United Kingdom, both culturally and economically. Millions of people travel to Britain from countries like India, Australia, and Canada, thanks to the modern airline industry, this process is easily possible without any complications.

The Australian flag carrier Qantas even launched its iconic, first-ever UK to Australia regular service back in 2017. The flight operated with Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes passengers from London’s Heathrow airport to Perth in just over 17 hours.

Migration of Indians within the commonwealth and beyond

India has the second-largest population on earth with over 1.3 billion people residing in the country. Despite its rapidly growing economy, many Indians strive to flee for other nations in efforts to find better living, education, or work. The migration of Indian populations is nothing new as they have been leaving for other nations in Europe and later in the United States for centuries now. However, with the rise of the 21st century, the migration waves became bigger and more significant.

The traditional destinations for Indian migrants are typically some of the most fortunate commonwealth nations. The top choice naturally is the United Kingdom, which has been offering flexible visa procedures and a diverse range of workplaces to Indians for a long time now. However, other nations like the United States also have their well-deserved place at the top of the list.

Indians in Surrey

Canada has not always been a desirable place to migrate to for Indians. The Northern American nation is one of the richest and well-off across the globe. Nevertheless, up until recently, their vis procedures remained complicated, expensive, and extended in time. Therefore, only very few Indians migrated to Canada.

However, the rise of digital technology helped many people find jobs in Canada and now there even is an Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, working on advancing economic relations between the two countries.

The gambling industry became one of the leading employers for Indians. Many of them worked remotely for Canadian companies to develop new casino games for Indians. Such platforms are of particular popularity within Indian communities across the world for their convenience and accessibility.

Remote jobs soon turned into residents permits as Canada eased migration procedures amid the lack of workforce and aging population. As a result, Indians are now a major migrant group among many represented in the country. Surrey has been a favorite spot for Indians as 30% of the city’s population is now South Asian. In this article, we present some of the most interesting Indian brands in Surrey.

Little India - shopping for the Indian community

According to the latest census, over 37% of all migrant populations in Surrey were born in India. This is a fast-increasing number which stood at roughly 30% back in 2001. This soaring Indian community needs more businesses providing them with specifically tailored products and services. Without such facilities, the thriving Indian population of Surrey will struggle to sustain their daily lives in this moderately-sized city.

Little India is a prominent shopping center chain that operates branches in a handful of locations around the world. Surrey was an obvious next destination for the company when it opened its shopping mall there back in 2016. The building offers a vastly diverse range of shops from clothing to groceries and stash. This shopping center has quickly become a bloodline for this major community across the city.

Many people have commented on the opening that this mall could be a lifesaver in terms of shopping. Some people needed to commute to Vancouver in order to visit Indian shops. It also boosts the migration process into Surrey as Indians who consider moving to Toronto, Vancouver or Ottawa will turn towards a more affordable option with a well-supported community.

Punjab Milk Foods - serving Indian dairy products across Canada

The dairy is an important part of many Indians’ lives. The country’s national cuisine offers a number of famous dishes for which dairy products such as cheese, sour cream, and milk are essential. However, the community members in Canada are not always able to find suitable products in local stores.

Punjab Milk Foods is the largest federally-approved and therefore regulated dairy product producer in Canada. Their factory and office are located in Surrey with the production line being sustained with state-of-art facilities and technology. The company’s products are created thanks to the extensive experience in dairy production and an incredibly diverse workforce.

Bollywood Banquet hall & conference center

The Indian culture is unimaginable without mass gatherings and grand banquets with hundreds of attendees. Such gatherings occur during traditional weddings, religious celebrations, and in case of the migrant community, during weekly or sometimes monthly meetings. Such big-scale gatherings are very frequent for Indians and venues that can uphold the intensity of these events are rather limited in some smaller cities like Surrey,

Bollywood Banquet Halls that often unite conference centers are very common in foreign cities with significant Indian populations. Such centers serve as community gathering spots, wedding venues, and celebration host facilities. Surrey is not an exception and most certainly has one of its own.

Bollywood Banquet Hall & Convention Centre is located in downtown Surrey and offers traditional services to its customers from the city and beyond it. Members of the Indian community in Canada sometimes even come from other nearby cities such as Vancouver and Edmonton to attend events held at this venue.

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Belgian Moon recently launched an initiative in support of Canadian artists that have been impacted by COVID-19.

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From live outdoor murals, interactive painting classes and custom art giveaways, Belgian Moon is supporting creators from coast to coast by commissioning their projects with one objective in mind: to remind Canadians that we’re all #UnderTheSameMoon. The projects will be showcased on Belgian Moon’s social channels throughout this period of physical distancing featuring local artists including Tierney Milne of Vancouver, Curtis Van Charles of Calgary.

Art has the power to inspire positivity and unite people from all walks of life and, while the entire world is experiencing this pandemic collectively, Canadians could use a little inspiration to remember that we’re in this together. Each project is unique and aims to inspire positivity, all while giving artists the platform to bring art into the world when it’s needed most.

#UnderTheSameMoon Project Gallery:

Name: Curtis Van Charles

Region: Calgary, AB

Project: Pints & Pastels

Curtis hosted a live Instagram painting tutorial last Friday, May 8 to teach his followers how to paint with his unique style. Curtis facilitated the assembly and delivery of paint kits to the first 10 followers who reached out to him on Instagram. Although there were a select amount of kits, Curtis

shared what you needed to pick up from his favourite art store offering curbside pickups to ensure anyone could get involved and follow along.

Name: Tierney Milne

Region: Vancouver, BC

Project: We All See the Same Moon Mural

Tierney painted a typographic mural on the exterior of Plenty on Robson inspired by the line from Haruki Murakami about coming together despite distance: “We’re both looking at the same moon, in the

same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line.” This temporary artwork features the words “WE ALL SEE THE SAME MOON” in bold, colourful, light-hearted beveled typography.

The goal with this piece is to help inspire a sense of both local and more broad connectedness while we’re all apart in our respective homes. This project was a part of an effort by the Vancouver Mural Festival, City of Vancouver and Vancity Credit Union, with support from Belgian Moon, to beautify boarded up businesses across the city during this unusual and trying time.

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Introducing FLIK, the First Female-Focused Apprenticeship Portal

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Two GenZ Women Found FLIK: Connecting Female Founders / Leaders and Ambitious Female Students via Apprenticeships Globally During COVID-19

Ravina Anand and Michelle Kwok, two recently graduated Canadian students, launched FLIK, the first female-focused apprenticeship portal, allowing verified female talent to apprentice under innovative female founders and leaders across the world. FLIK’s mission is to advance women’s economic participation and accelerate women-led ventures globally.

So far, FLIK has received 1800+ applicants from 26+ countries, and is rapidly growing each day. Apprentices gain experience in an industry they are passionate about while being mentored by an established female founder, while female founders, notoriously under-resourced, have access to ambitious talent helping them scale their businesses quickly. All programs can be completed virtually and remotely.

During the challenging times of COVID-19, FLIK is supporting female-founded businesses with free access to the FLIK platform, giving businesses that sign up verified helping hands on their company at no cost. We recognize that female-founded businesses will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are amplifying the mission we have at FLIK, especially throughout this period.

In addition to championing female-founded businesses, FLIK is now focusing on connecting female entrepreneurs working to help those affected by COVID-19 with verified STEM students, bridging the gap between needed intellectual capital and valuable work experience during this critical time. One of the female founders FLIK supports is Cassandra Hui, Founder of Heal Mary; she connects COVID-19 patients to necessary global clinical trials. Hui was able to onboard verified STEM apprentices through FLIK to connect her patient base to 100 more trials around the world.

Co-Founder of FLIK, Kwok states, “In times of crisis it is important that we come together and support one another. This is an opportunity for us to get creative and think outside the box to combat the issues we are collectively facing. FLIK gives apprentices a chance to learn practical skills, apply their knowledge, and learn more about entrepreneurship, while navigating a crisis period.

FLIK is a safe space for womxn of all backgrounds to find opportunities that align with their values while interacting with new and emerging industries beyond their theoretical classroom education. With each apprenticeship, a young woman gets exposed to entrepreneurship a little earlier, a female-led business accelerates to success, and the needle is moved forward a little more.”

FLIK has seen a spike in students from universities such as Duke, Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UChicago, UToronto, UWaterloo, UBC, and others applying for FLIK to gain invaluable experiences alongside female founders in their newfound free time. Similarly, a wave of female founders have come on board to virtually take on these ambitious young women who train remotely for 10 hours/week or less in a meaningful project.

Founders include leaders in tech, AI, marketing, and more, such as Kim Kaupe (Co-Founder of The Superfan Company, Forbes 30 Under 30) and Anna Piñol (Co-Founder of Jupiter, Y-Combinator Alum). Past projects apprentices have taken on include event management, UX UI design, web development, backend development, marketing, sales, business development, amongst many other areas.

Anand states, “We recognize that women and girls are more vulnerable to downturns in social and economic situations. While students are working hard to build a career for themselves, many of them are having their summer opportunities rescinded due to COVID-19. FLIK helps female leaders discover these ambitious students who are keen on learning and growing to facilitate well-matched apprenticeships.”

By combining the forces of media, social impact, and entrepreneurs, FLIK is passionate about inspiring and empowering young women to become the next wave of entrepreneurs and helping them navigate the barriers and challenges specific to women in business. By allowing established founders to find amazing talent and scale their businesses quickly, FLIK is able to support women of all ages to be their own bosses.

On the other side, 50% of Gen Z say they learn by doing and want to see a difference in traditional education and skills training. With FLIK’s Apprenticeship Portal, there is a real, tangible solution. We look to you to join us in our mission to support diverse and underrepresented women across the globe and welcome readers to share FLIK with any women who would benefit.

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