As a follow-up to B.C. Buy Local Week each year, we survey independent businesses to understand the effectiveness of buy local campaigns, and uncover the biggest policy issues affecting them. Here are the highlights:
- Many businesses see benefits: 75% of consumer businesses engaged in a campaign in their area report a positive impact. Specifically, businesses report that the top five benefits are:
- Awareness of the impact of their own local purchasing
- Increased media coverage
- Improved customer loyalty
- Attracting new customers, and
- Collaboration with other local businesses.
- Engagement is moderate: 35% of businesses are active promoters of the campaign (up 16% from last year); 32% passively participate through a BIA or Chamber but don't go out of their way to promote it, and 33% do not participate. The more engaged the business, the more likely it is that they report seeing benefits from the campaign.
- Public awareness is up: 66% report that public awareness of the importance of buying local has increased in the past year, up 11% over last year! 56% report that the buy local campaign in their area is largely or somewhat responsible for the increased awareness (another 21% said minimally responsible).
- Public policy issues affecting business: labour issues continue to be the #1 challenge for business, followed by commercial affordability, COVID-19 recovery/support, civic, provincial, and federal taxes (in that order), and permits, licenses & by-laws.