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How Surrey Residents Can Help Small Businesses During COVID-19.



Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many people and businesses in B.C. have been impacted. With over 600 cases announced in B.C., many are beginning to distance themselves from others, and businesses are closing down.

The Government of British Columbia just announced the closure of bars and restaurants, and keeping gatherings of people to no more than 50. This is obviously going to affect big restaurant chains as well as small family or single person owned restaurants in Surrey.

However, there are ways to help out the restaurants that choose to stay open. Since the B.C. government has allowed some restaurants to stay open if they can limit their number of customers or move to takeouts.

Surrey residents can help out their local restaurants by ordering take outs or calling for their food to get delivered. This way residents can continue to practice social distancing while supporting the small restaurants that can’t afford to lose too many business days. Fiona Brinkman, SFU professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry writes about the safety of ordering in food, in an email.

“If the food is handled by someone uninfected, they are very safe. This is not a virus transmitted via food.”

For the small businesses that aren’t restaurants. Perhaps a gift shop, clothing store, nail or hair salon. You can always call them up and ask for ways to support their business.

One popular way that’s been trending all over Instagram is purchasing a gift card and using it at a later time, or ordering merchandise online. This way small businesses get some profit, you receive your items while distancing yourself from a large crowd, and you get to spend your gift card at your convenience.

We need to make sure we’re supporting our local businesses during this uncertain time. If there’s a local grocery store in your community that offers online orders or delivery, try to get some stuff from them. During this time it might feel easier to shop from large chain retailers, but we should try not to forget the small local businesses that have helped with the economic growth of the Surrey community.

While we’re using these tips to help out restaurants and small businesses, we should also remember the vulnerable residents living in our community. It’s important to remember that anyone can get infected with the virus, especially when that person isn’t listening to government and health officials. There are people in our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Like children, seniors, those with a compromised immune system, etc.

We need to keep our community safe by listening to the guidelines set by the Government of Canada. Making sure to avoid unnecessary travels, and if you’ve returned to the community from abroad, listen to the government and isolate yourself for 14 days.

With the question of possibly contracting the virus twice, Brinkman writes,

“A person will develop immunity eventually after infection – usually about two weeks later – so a person can’t get infected with the same virus twice. If a new strain of the virus emerges [it’s] possible to get that virus if [it’s] different enough, but then [it’s] really a different virus infecting the person.”

“The biggest worry though is people, either sick, or not displaying symptoms, unknowingly transmitting virus to others in the meantime. Again, [it’s] critical we reduce the spread of this virus. If we don’t, people of a wide age range (not just the elderly) will die needlessly. Hospitals will become overwhelmed and unable to properly help people with other ailments,” she adds.

Let’s also make sure we’re not buying out everything in the store and leaving others with nothing to help them during this time. There are people who can’t stock up on their essentials at one shopping trip, we need to think of them. We also need to shop smarter. Buy what you need and consider others during this time. It’s a time for us to work together.

Esther Amankop Udoh is a Journalism and Creative Writing student. She enjoys reading and creating dramatic scenarios that usually end up in one of her many short stories. Along with her love for words, Esther loves seeking new adventures and spending time with family and friends.


Most popular Indian brands in Surrey



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.



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



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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Support Our Surrey (SOS): Atkinson Landscaping



I was excited to make the call into Atkinson Landscaping to let them know that, not only will they be the first business to be featured in Support Our Surrey, but they were specifically mentioned by a Surrey604 reader, who wanted to see a shout-out given to this wonderful team.

Founded 5 years ago by Matt Atkinson and David Endacott, Atkinson Landscaping  is a team of 14 professionals who specialize in commercial, residential, and strata landscaping in Surrey and Langley. They were recently recognized for their work at the 2019 ‘Clovies’, winning the award for “Best Medium Sized Business in Cloverdale” – this award honours medium-sized businesses that exemplify “superior customer service while embracing innovation and providing a positive work environment for its employees to grow and develop.” A list of 2020 nominees and past award recipients can be found here .

I spoke with co-founder, Matt, to discuss the social distancing measures he and his team are taking to keep themselves, and their clients, safe – team members drive to sites in separate vehicles, sanitation supplies are all stocked up in their cars, schedules are staggered to minimize crowding, work requests and details are all confirmed electronically so the team can come and go from site, and invoices are emailed and can be settled via credit card or e-transfer. If you need any work done, Matt and his team are well prepared and ready to go! You can request a free quote here

Although this is usually their busiest time of year, the impact of COVID-19 has reduced their workload and in wanting to keep their team fully employed, they are doing so by giving back to the community. Atkinson Landscaping is offering a one-time complementary lawn mow to a resident in need, by nomination. Their focus is on medical care workers, and those that are unable to maintain their yard due to age or health, in the Surrey/Langley area – you can find more details, and their nomination form here! Their thoughtfulness for their community is why one Surrey resident felt they deserved a shout-out!:

Huge SHOUT-OUT, and THANK YOU to Atkinson Landscaping for continuing to Support Our Surrey – your actions to support the health of your team, business, and community have not gone unnoticed, and we’re ever so happy to have you in our corner.

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5 Local Businesses Finding New Ways to Reach Their Customers



Joseph Richard Group (JRG)

Self Isolation just became more interesting, thanks to Joseph Richard Group’s quick response to the new COVID-19 Environment. The brand has implemented several new offerings that bring the restaurant experience one step closer to your own home. JRG is proud to announce the launch of their new liquor delivery app, LIQR. LIQR’s virtual store offers a huge selection of beer, wine, and spirits to choose from, as well as a variety of craft cocktail kits that can be delivered right to your door.

The kit comes with the spirits and ingredients required to create craft cocktails at home. In addition to the LIQR app, JRG is releasing a new range of deliverable DIY meal kits. These kits are a way to serve up a home-cooked meal without having to go purchase ingredients. Meal kits include a range of customer favourites, safe to create and enjoy in your kitchen.

Aldor Acres

If you grew up in the lower mainland, chances are you have made the trip to Aldor Acres farm. The family farm has been finding new ways to reach their loyal customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic after they were unable to open their doors over the Easter long weekend, as they do every year. Aldor Acres has made the generous choice to open their services in partnership with the community that has supported them throughout the years in a new service called “Pasture Side Pickup”.

These community partners include those who raise pork, beef, chicken, and lamb on the farm – as well as making jams, jalapeño & cranberry jellies, & pumpkin marmalade. They also bake fresh garlic & chive, rosemary, & plain sourdough loaves daily. Aldor Acres will be taking orders by email ( or by phone. Support them and their farming community by placing an order today.

Innovative Fitness

With self-isolation being the new normal, many of us are finding ourselves slumped in front of the couch surfing through Netflix every day. The team at Innovative Fitness has made it their mission to break people out of this slump by offering at-home personal training and fitness programs. After 25 years of putting the health of their client and community first, Innovative Fitness is not about to let COVID-19 stop them.

After temporarily closing its studios, Innovative Fitness has created a new “Beat the Bug” Challenge that helps customers stay fit, healthy, and stress-free while stuck at home. Join them in their 30-day challenge, which includes equipment-free workout tips, nutritional advice, and a motivating support network.

Arts Nursery

If you have ever been looking for the time to start gardening, the time is now! Embracing your inner green thumb has never been easier than being stuck at home with sunny spring weather. The only issue – getting the supplies. Local plant nursery, Arts Nursery, has been hard at work to revise their services in a way that provides safe, touch-free pickup and ordering.

Gardners can view all products online and order for parking lot pickup, offering a safe and accessible service for their customers. Arts Nursery is mindful of keeping both their guests and staff safe while enabling customers to still garden during their time at home. If you require indoor or outdoor products, they will have you covered!

Dead Frog Brewery

Nothing says springtime like sipping a pint of fresh craft beer on a brewery patio. While the patio part may have to wait a bit, you are still able to pick up a case of fresh craft beer from your local breweries. Dead Frog Brewery has made its products accessible by setting up weekend drive-thru beer pick-up.

Customers are invited to drive by the front of the brewery and pick up a case of their favourite craft beer – all while maintaining a safe social distance. The process is a safe and touchless way to score some new brews. As with many breweries, Dead Frog has also added same-day delivery to their services provided – making their beer more accessible than ever.

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