7th Annual BC Buy Local week highlights affordability challenges faced by local businesses, encourages shoppers to spend money in their communities
(December 3, 2018 – Vancouver, BC) The seventh annual Buy Local Week in BC kicks off today to encourage consumers to do their holiday shopping in locally owned businesses, highlighting the affordability challenges faced by local business in finding staff and affording space and taxes.
“The growing lack of affordability has had a big impact on local businesses, so it’s more important than ever that shoppers think about buying locally as the holiday shopping season ramps up,” says Amy Robinson, founder and executive director of LOCO BC, which coordinates Buy Local Week in the province. “With high housing costs, local businesses are finding it harder to find and keep staff. They’re also hit with rising property taxes. Buy Local Week encourages BC consumers to shop locally, because every dollar spent locally keeps 45 cents in the community, creating 2.6 times the economic impact.”
BC Buy Local Week 2018 runs from December 3rd to 9th and is a partnership of leading BC municipalities, business groups and businesses across the province. Buy Local Week has been proclaimed by the Province of BC and is being celebrated in communities across BC, including the Township of Langley, Newton, Surrey, Burnaby, Port Moody, Vancouver, North Vancouver, Bowen Island, Squamish, Pemberton, Sidney, Comox Valley, Kelowna, Northern BC, and the District of Wells.
“Local businesses are the core of our communities, and we are working hard to help them thrive,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “Celebrating B.C. Buy Local Week is important because it recognizes the achievements of local business owners who are creating thousands of jobs for people throughout B.C. and contributing significantly to our economy.”
“In an era of increasing challenges to small businesses, we got involved in Buy Local Week to show solidarity on the challenges they are facing, and highlight their importance to our economy and community,” says Charles Gauthier, President & CEO, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Area (DVBIA). “Despite the challenges facing small businesses, we are still seeing new and innovative enterprises throughout the city. The Downtown Vancouver BIA is committed to making downtown a place where local businesses can thrive.”
LOCO BC also today released the results of its annual survey of independent businesses, highlighting the increasing challenges of affordability.
“Six of the top eight challenges for independent businesses are related to the high cost of running a business-labour, property taxes, supplier pricing, and payment processing are among them,” says Robinson. “The challenge - availability of labour - is related to the lack of affordable housing in many areas. Consumers should understand that businesses need their support more than ever, and governments need to act quickly to lower taxes and eliminate red tape.”
As part of the Buy Local campaign, participating local BC businesses will be promoting their local owned businesses, local grown and local made products with bright pink stickers online and in-store to make them easy for consumers to identify, and using the hashtag #BCBuyLocal on social media. Consumers are encouraged to share photos of their favourite local products and businesses on social media, and look to bcbuylocal.com as a resource for BC products and businesses and holiday shopping events.
For more information about BC Buy Local, visit www.bcbuylocal.com.
About LOCO BC
LOCO BC is a non-profit organization building stronger communities with applied research of the policies and practices of a fair and just economy, contributing to a world where resilient communities are based on shared economic prosperity. They engage businesses and educate consumers on the importance of supporting independent businesses, research the challenges faced by independent businesses, advocate for reducing these barriers, and work to build bridges between businesses and policymakers.
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