As this is my first column of 2021, on behalf of the Chamber Board, and staff, I wanted to wish every¬one in the Cloverdale, Clayton, and Campbell Heights communities a happy, healthy, and successful 2021.

A new year brings new hopes, challenges, and opportunities. 2021 is no ex¬ception and it will be a year that is vastly different from the past. We continue to live with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We must remain vigilant, follow public health regulations, and continue to work together so that in the coming months we return to normal. I recognize that many businesses and non-prof¬its faced struggles in 2020, and the early months of 2021 will be filled with challenges. The Chamber remains a resource for our members and the wider Cloverdale, Clayton, and Campbell Heights communities. We will continue to update you on government programs, business support and any Covid-19 related information.

While we work to support our members facing difficulty from Covid-19, we remain focused on our role of advocating for the communities of our district. One pressing concern that I want to use this month’s column to draw attention to is transport, specifically transport to Campbell Heights. When you think of Cloverdale, the idea of Campbell Heights does not come to mind, considering its southern distance. However, it has been a part of the Chamber’s territory since our formation in the 1940’s and is a vital part of our business community.

The growth and development taking place in Campbell Heights is plain for anyone to see. It contains some of Surrey’s prime industrial and commercial lands. Each month we see new industrial warehouses and commercial offices rise from the grounds. This showcases the importance of the area as part of the ability of Surrey and Metro Vancouver’s ability to grow local business and attract Canadian and international business to our corner of the world.

However, this development has not been linked with a similar growth in transit. Campbell Heights remains woefully underserviced by transit. Over my three years being involved with the Chamber, one of the constant things I have heard from businesses is the lack of transit. Business owners have constantly advised how difficult the lack of transit is for their current employees commuting to Campbell Heights, and how it hinders their ability to bring employees there. The location of Campbell Heights, not near any major transit link and accessibly basically by vehicle only, creates a limit on what type of business can move to that area.

The Chamber understands this concern, and this is why we are continuing to press the City of Surrey, along with provincial and federal officials, to commit to bringing dedicated transit to Campbell Heights. All levels of government have commented on the importance Campbell Heights is to the future growth of Surrey and yet one of the most important components to any development and growth, transit, has been sadly overlooked. We will continue to press for transit options to be brought to Campbell Heights, whether this is a dedicated bus line, a park and ride scheme similar to that as exists in South Surrey or another option not yet discussed, we firmly believe that if the businesses and people in Campbell Heights are to grow and thrive, they need proper transit.

If you visit Campbell Heights you may be surprised at what you see and even find a business that you could do work with. When visiting, remember that these businesses are working hard, creating jobs, and providing valuable services. They have done and continue to do so much for Surrey and Metro Vancouver, the least we can do is provide them with the infrastructure and transit to help their business grow.

Submitted by Tyler Dennis, President Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce