Blog

  • 27 Sep 2019 by LOCO BC

    We're updating B.C.'s multiplier effects data, to demonstrate the economic benefit of independent businesses. Working with Civic Economics and communities across B.C., we'll demonstrate the recirculation of local spending. Our previous research shows that purchases made with local businesses circulate 2.6 times in the community, creating more jobs, supporting local suppliers and sending donations to local charities.     

    The Township of LangleyNewton BIA, Buy Social Canada and the Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES) (downtown eastside Vancouver area) have signed on as partners. 

    Our study will engage at least 10 restaurants and retailers in each study area to determine the recirculation of spending within B.C. by assessing the business' profits, payroll, purchasing and philanthropy. 

    Civic Economics (CE) has extensive experience in multiplier effect research, whose data have been quoted by well respected publications including The Economist and The New York Times. CE will collect business data and compare it with up-to-date recirculation data on multinational corporations, to determine the multiplier effect in B.C. Each community will also receive its own community report, and LOCO BC will conduct a deeper dive on the economic recirculation of businesses committed to local hiring and purchasing within Vancouver's downtown eastside (DTES). 

    If you're a business involved in the study, please fill out our survey. It gathers information on where your profits, payroll, purchasing, and philanthropy are directed. All data collected from individual businesses is completely confidential. We will only report information aggregated from each area, and B.C. as a whole. 

    Interested in becoming a partner community? Contact us immediately! There's not much time to gather data from retailers and restaurants before they get busy with holiday shopping. 

  • 06 May 2019 by LOCO BC

    Many of us will head out this week searching for the perfect gift or experience to show our Mums how much we care. On average, Canadians will spend $76 on gifts, or up to $184 on experiences like brunch, dinner, or spa days.(Source: Global News 2017) That's a lot of money circulating in the local economy!

    When you spend at a small or local business, or on locally grown or locally made products, that spending recirculates many times because those businesses hire more local workers, warehouse, transport and retail their products here, and support other local suppliers like banks, accountants, employee benefits providers, waste management companies and more. Local spending keeps 2.6 times the money in the economy! When you spend $100, $46 stays recirculating compared to $18 for big multinational chains. 

    Here are 4 ways you can Buy Local this Mother's Day:

    1. Shop in Store

    Visit your favourite storefronts and keep community shopping areas vibrant. 45 cents of $1 spent at local retailer stays in the community compared to 17 cents for chains.

    2. Buy local online & get local gift cards

    Support local businesses from the comfort of your home. 2 out of every 3 dollars spent online in Canada goes to a U.S. multinational. You can buy B.C. when you buy online. Many local businesses offer online shopping with in-store pick-up or delivery. You can also buy B.C. when you buy gift cards from local stores & restaurants; many offer electronic delivery.

    3. Eat & Drink Local

    Choose local ingredients for Mother's Day meals & dine at local restaurants. 40% of B.C. farms are small / 65 cents of $1 spent at local restaurants stays in the community compared to 30 cents for chains. Choose local wine, beer, cider & spirits. Local brewers provide 1 out of every 100 jobs in Canada & contributes $6B in tax revenue. 

    4. Buy Local Made

    Support talented BC artists, makers and manufacturers. B.C. has 1800 food/beverage & 600 apparel companies, and manufacturing is B.C.'s 7th largest employer. 

    Check out some of BC's best businesses and shift your shopping this Mother's Day, and please share our graphic below.

  • 19 Feb 2019 by Amy Robinson

    In January 2018, then-City of Vancouver Councilor George Affleck passed a motion to review small business policies and programs, and create a high-level "Small Business Policy Council" to advise City Council on strategic priorities relating to small business. One year later, today the City of Vancouver gathered a number of businesses and some representatives of businesses (BIAs, LOCO BC, Women's Enterprise Centre) on a Small Business Roundtable, to discuss key challenges, to hear what the City could be doing to support small business, and to provide updates on current small business support at the City. The Mayor was in attendance for the beginning of the event, and there was an impressive group of City staff at the event, including the heads of most pertinent departments. Attendees were split into discussion tables, and we discussed key challenges, and ideas on what the City can do as part of new or existing initiatives. 

    Challenges

    For our table taxation was the #1 issue, followed by the impact (decreased foot traffic or displacement) on business of development and infrastructure upgrades. Permit wait times, finding and retaining qualified employees and difficulty in financing growth were also discussed.       

    Support Ideas

    The main themes discussed related to permitting/licensing/inspection, taxation and the availability of space.

    Lowering the commercial tax rate to reduce the tax burden on small business was one of the main ideas discussed at our table. We also discussed rethinking where density is located in City plans, to decrease the amount of increased value and resultant displacement of commercial businesses. Finally, many businesses felt that City processes were inflexible and didn't reflect or respond well to a quickly changing economy. They felt the City should align its processes to be more flexible and responsive to co-location, new business types, allowing multiple uses like office, light manufacturing and retail all in the same space, etc. Lastly, our group felt that there should be some accountability at the City for the level of service for cost of business services. We discussed having some goals set for time limits on permits, licensing and other standard approvals. Other tables had the following ideas:

    • Provide real support for business - show pro-business in action with improved process, aligned regulations
    • Implement a cap on commercial property tax increases imposed by the City
    • Eliminate double checking by the City of professionals required on approvals to open a business (e.g. architects, engineers, etc.) 
    • Allow temporary use for small business on vacant City properties undergoing rezoning and development (e.g. Little Mountain)
    • Simplify regulations, use flexible definitions
    • Streamline City processes, improve regulatory clarity

    Next Steps

    The City says that it will produce a report from the Roundtable, which it will provide back to participants, and to Council. It sought participants interest in getting together again in 6 months or so to discuss outcomes.