Syrian refugees will add $563 million to B.C. economy

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A new study conducted and released by Vancity Credit Union says Syrian refugees will add $563 million to B.C.’s economy over the next 20 years.

Ververidis Vasilis /

SEE ALSO: Vancouver developer collects 24,000 lbs of food, clothing, and toys for Syrian refugees

The refugees are expected to arrive from now until the end of February 2016 and Vancity Credit Union says they will strengthen the economy through purchasing goods and services as well as starting small businesses. In fact, immigrants are 30 per cent more likely to start a small business than non-immigrants.

The purported economic growth brought about by Syrian refugees will be about 3.7 per cent per year.

In addition to economic stimulation, Vancity announced they will be providing interest free seven year loans of up to $50,000 to people who want to upgrade their homes to accommodate refugees.

“The range of needs and supports that these refugees will require when they arrive in B.C. are diverse enough that everyone can help by either hiring them, providing accommodation or donating to support organizations meeting these needs,” said CEO of Immigrants Services Society of BC Patricia Woroch.

In order to qualify for the loans, applicants will need to provide documentation by ISSBC to prove they’re sponsoring a refugee.

The credit union also will match every dollar donated to the Vancity Humanitarian Fund up to a maximum of $125,000. They’ve collected $30,000 in donations since September so far.

The research and data analysis for the report was conducted by SFU School of Economics PhD students Eric Adebayo and Ricardo Meilman Lomaz Cohn.

To read the full “From Crisis to Community: Syrian Refugees and the B.C. Economy” report, click here.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.

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