Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Metro Vancouver and has the 2nd lowest municipal tax for business with over 2,000 new businesses each year. Surrey recently launched a new economic strategy, developed with $1M in partnership funding and consultation with our business community which outlines 4 pillars: investment attraction, innovation, workforce development, and building competitive communities, including 20 initiatives to support local companies. One initiative is SparkBiz which allows City staff to understand and develop solutions to a business challenge through outreach. After our program identified skills shortages as a critical challenge, the City partnered with 10 businesses to fund a marketing campaign to promote local talent and job opportunities. The City also partnered with KPU, SFU and local companies to develop a $225K labour market strategy to address skills shortages. In 2017 the City hosted 5 capacity building events with over 200 participating businesses.