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  • 22 Oct 2021 by LOCO BC

    The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) lottery products deliver benefits to their retail partners by driving traffic and generating revenue for their business. BCLC lottery products are sold at a variety of retail, hospitality, and gaming establishments across the province of BC. Learn about all of our retailers and find the nearest lottery retailer to you.

    BCLC is working to support lottery retailers and other small and local businesses. In February 2021, LOCO BC worked with BCLC on Spread The Local Love, a campaign to raise money for local charities by purchasing products and gift certificates from local businesses, and auctioning or selling them online. All proceeds went to 10 B.C. charitable organizations. The program raised ~$25,000 and won the GOLD award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign from the Canadian Public Relations Society in 2021.

    LOCO BC is helping BCLC and local businesses measure and communicate about the positive impact that lottery retailers can make on their communities. Check out the stories of how lottery retailers create good jobs, support local businesses through their purchasing, and donate to charity.

  • 14 Oct 2021 by LOCO BC

    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: 54% of businesses report a positive impact from buy local campaigns in their area. Specifically, businesses report that the top five benefits are: 1) awareness of the impact of their own local purchasing, 2) municipal government awareness of the importance of local businesses, 3) collaboration with other local businesses, 4) increased media coverage, and 5) attracting new customers to their businesses. 
    • Engagement is moderate: only 19% of businesses are active promoters of the campaign; 52% are promoted through a business group they are part of but don't go out of their way to promote it.
    • Public awareness is up: 45% report that public awareness of the importance of buying local has increased this year.
    • Co-ordination is needed: buy local campaign managers have work to do to coordinate messaging and engage businesses to actively participate in the campaign. Only 54% of businesses could name the campaign in their area, 17% didn't know the name, and 27% didn't respond to the question. 
    • Public policy issues affecting business: besides the supply chain and labour issues that continue to affect businesses in 2021, businesses report that commercial affordability, permit/license fees, credit card fees, provincial taxes, and community development are the top five issues affecting businesses. Respondents were heavily weighted in the lower mainland.

  • 21 Sep 2021 by LOCO BC

    The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the understanding of the key role that small and local businesses play in their communities and the B.C. economy. As the pandemic exposed the disparities in our economic system, it also highlighted the need for a “new normal”, an imperative to build back to a more just and equitable economy. As part of this effort, LOCO recognized the opportunity to help shape a vision for rebuilding the economy to focus on increasing local business resilience and a strong recovery for the sector. We set out to develop a framework based on key principles to support local business resilience and recovery, in the hopes of supporting local businesses in a more strategic way. The goal of this work is to start to define key principles, as a starting point for follow-on activities to promote, pilot, and implement solutions. They are by no means hard and fast rules; we hope that this is the beginning of an iterative process, informed by many. Download the framework.

  • 07 Jul 2021 by Amy Robinson

    LOCO BC is looking to expand our network of contractors. We are a small and nimble BC-registered non-profit organization. We work with contractors on a variety of projects and tasks on an as-needed basis. There are a variety of tasks listed here that we require support with throughout the year. We don’t expect all the tasks to be performed by the same person; let us know which tasks interest you and skill set. Through this process we hope to create a short roster of consultants we can call on when we need them. Some work will begin immediately.

    You will be contracted on a part-time basis, and will be expected to determine your own hours, work from your own workspace, and use your own equipment. You must operate your own business or sole proprietorship, charge and pay GST (if you exceed the income threshold). LOCO will provide access to subscriptions, tools, etc. to help facilitate completion of the work. 

    Download & Share 

    Tasks 

    1- Communications & Partner Engagement: 

    • Membership management 
    • Member communication 
    • Social media planning & content development
    • Campaign development & execution
      • Partnership engagement (may include developing proposals, outreach, etc.)
      • Event management (currently online via Zoom, in person potentially one day again)
      • Business engagement
      • Development of communications materials (stories on businesses, social media collateral)
      • Campaign management:
        • Communicate with partners
        • Communicate with businesses
        • Interview businesses
        • Fill out Community Impact Assessment based on business interview
        • Develop business stories
        • Develop campaign collateral (posts, ads, videos)
        • Plan social media posts

    2 - Research Work: 

    • Proposal writing
    • Research partners and allies to work on various projects
    • Primary and Secondary Research on topics that may include: 
      • Economic impacts of independent businesses 
      • Government policy (tax, development, etc) affecting the enabling environment for independent businesses to thrive
      • Development and commercial affordability 
    • Report writing
    • Manage development of report outcomes like infographics (from outside contractors) based on research reports
    • Media relations (press releases, develop key messages)

    3 - Business Engagement

    • Outreach to independent businesses to:
      • Attend workshops 
      • Organize and conduct interviews to complete Community Impact Assessment and develop business stories as part of campaigns
      • Provide business stories for media

    4 - Outreach to Partners

    • #BCBuyLocal campaign management 
    • Outreach to #BCBuyLocal and other research partners for research purposes, surveys, focus groups, program development, etc.

    Skills

    • Able to juggle a variety of tasks at once
    • Strategic thinker
    • Good writer
    • Good grasp of social media tools
    • Good grasp of business technology tools (g suite, etc.)
    • Good communication skills
    • Project management skills
    • Social media planning & content development
    • Relationship development & management skills
    • Marketing skills

    Rates

    Rates are negotiable, and depend on skill level and experience. They range from ~$25-100 per hour. 

    Other Things to Note

    You will be responsible to provide all your own equipment (computer, cellphone, etc). LOCO will provide all software tools and user licenses necessary to complete the work (Stock photos, Canva, Animoto, etc.). 

    All applicants will be considered without attention to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability status. Our goal is to work with consultants of all ages, that reflect the rich diversity of our Province and the country.  

    How to Apply 

    Fill out this form to apply. 

  • 17 Jun 2021 by LOCO BC

    LOCO Vancity Digital Marketing Pilot tech support local business BC

    Since 2017, Vancity and LOCO BC have been partnered with on area-based #BCBuyLocal campaigns. These campaigns have focused partially on the importance for small local businesses to capture more of the online market by improving their online presence through digital marketing and e-commerce. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumer shopping behaviour towards online ordering, and at the same time helped contribute to a cultural shift to support small local businesses. While Business Recovery and Launch Online grants have helped many businesses develop their online channel, few have the technical support they need, some did not qualify for grants, and others may be too cash-strapped after contributing 25% of their technology build out to budget for digital marketing.

    In order to compete effectively online against multinational corporations with big marketing budgets, LOCO and Vancity are conducting a pilot project to provide technical expertise to businesses, an action plan, along with expertise and cash for implementation. The goal is to get some exposure at a time when the province is slowly lifting restrictions following the third wave of COVID-19. Consumers who are sitting on savings will begin to spend and travel more, and it’s important that we support local businesses to capture that spending to support a local recovery and the resilience of small local businesses.  

    The pilot will offer 10 businesses the opportunity to:

    1. Book a one hour one-on-one session with Crisp Media to workshop questions on: 
      • ecommerce
      • digital marketing / online lead generation and/or 
      • technology/software to streamline operations
    2. Receive an action plan
    3. Receive up to $1000 in funding to implement the action plan 
    4. Receive support for implementation if required

    The program starts immediately. The pilot will be offered on a first come/first served basis to businesses in the 7 areas in which Vancity and LOCO BC have partnered since 2017:

    • Commercial Drive/East Vancouver
    • Burnaby Heights
    • Point Grey Vancouver
    • Mission
    • Ambleside-Dundarave West Vancouver
    • Langley
    • Squamish (ongoing June 2021)

    Priority will be given to: Vancity members (required) and LOCO members (not required but preferred).

    What's the process? 

    1. Fill out the application - should take less than 10 minutes
    2. We will contact you to book a one-hour coaching session
    3. Receive your list of action items
    4. Receive your funding 
    5. Implement - yourself, or with support from Crisp Media

    Apply Now

  • 12 Jun 2021 by LOCO BC

    First Nations communities across the country are grieving. Here are 6 ways settlers can support them.

    6 Ways to Support Indigenous People* .

    In honour of Indigenous History Month, here are 6 actions we can each take to support Indigenous Peoples:

    1. Support Indigenous Business ~ seek them out and discover their beautiful offerings 
    2. Learn about the colonial history and ongoing impacts of colonization in Canada ~ read Indigenous authors
    3. Learn the Indigenous names of the places you live and the places you visit
    4. If you are non-indigenous and non-minority, recognize your privilege and how you can mobilize this for good
    5. Have a conversation with your children, other family members and friends about the ongoing legacy of residential schools
    6. Also have conversations about the Indigenous leaders, innovators, scholars, politicians, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, authors, doctors, lawyers, land defenders, elders and knowledge holders who bring their indigeneity into the world.
      *reprinted with permission from Sḵwálwen Botanicals. Folllow them on instagram, read their #BCBuyLocal impact storyshop their website, or buy at local retail partners.

    Indigenous Businesses to Support

    1. Sḵwálwen Botanicals (skwall - win) is an Indigenous business creating botanical skin care products. Honouring traditional Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) plant knowledge, they incorporate sustainably harvested plants and organic, high quality ingredients. Check out their #BCBuyLocal impact story on our website.   
    2. Ravens Brewing Co. is a family-owned award-winning brewery and distillery in Abbotsford. Proud of their heritage and community, Ravens Brewing is an Indigenous Corporation focused on developing partnerships with local suppliers and businesses in the development of beers, spirits and other similar products.
    3. Aboriginal & Eco-Tours offers you authentic Aboriginal cultural and eco-tourism experiences in and around Vancouver, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast. We also offer on-line Live virtual tours via Zoom, including corporate tours for your employees. Check out their #BCBuyLocal impact story on our website.   
    4. Irondog Books is an Indigenous-owned bookshop and booktruck dedicated to bringing low cost reading to Səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories (Metro Vancouver). 
    5. Sister Sage is a producer and online retailer of wellness products made with traditional Indigenous ingredients. They hand craft beautiful modern self-care & wellness products including soaps, bath bombs, salves and smokeless smudge honors our ancestral teachings of sage, cedar, sweetgrass, lavender and more.
    6. Satya makes products to soothe your dry, itchy and inflamed skin. It's more than a moisturizer. Whether you're dealing with eczema or simply stressed out skin, Satya is a proven effective topical anti-inflammatory that soothes + restores all types of skin.
    7. Skwachàys Lodge is an Indigenous Arts Hotel in Vancouver, with rooms designed by local Indigenous artists and Vancouver interior designers and a gallery that features Indigenous artwork mostly from local artists. It is a social enterprise that provides the funding for 24 living and work studios for an “Artist in Residence” program in the building, and is owned and operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society, which is governed by an all-Indigenous Board of Directors.
    8.  Salmon and Bannock is Vancouver's only Indigenous owned and operated restaurant. They use traditional ingredients with authentic flavours to create wonderful and delicious modern dishes.
    9. Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine is a food truck in North Vancouver that includes menu items including the bannock taco, bannock burgers, and Bannock eclairs. They've partnered with local and Indigenous businesses to build the menu, including Spirit Bear Coffee and One Arrow Meats.

    10. The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre is a three-story, 30,400-square foot award-winning cultural centre designed to blend the traditional Squamish Longhouse with the Lil'wat Istken. Cultural Ambassadors share their knowledge and stories with guests, augmenting the information shared throughout the centre's curated collection of artifacts and contemporary pieces. The Centre includes Whistler's largest Indigenous gift shop, and Thunderbird Cafe, an Indigenous inspired eatery. 

    Other ways to discover Indigenous-owned businesses:

    For other ideas, check out our blog post on supporting BIPOC-owned businesses

  • 28 Apr 2021 by LOCO BC

    The City of Vancouver has released the long-awaited results of its 2019 study of the health of retail-zoned businesses in key neighbourhoods.

    Even before the COVID-19 crisis, many of Vancouver's neighbourhoods were facing increased commercial property taxes as high as 45% and businesses vacating stores at a rate of 40%. It's unfortunate but not surprising that the report found there are now fewer independent businesses and more chains. Commercial buildings are also being bought up by numbered companies and developers, who may not always have the best interests of their commercial tenants in mind.  

    The research found that:

    • Chains have grown 24%, while independents have reduced 13%*
    • Vacancies have increased 40%
    • 67% (4 of the 6 study neighbourhoods) have vacancies higher than considered "healthy" 
    • Commercial building ownership is becoming concentrated in the hands of developers (71% increase) and numbered companies (45% increase)
    • It's getting more expensive to do business. Property tax increases in the 6 study areas range between 15% (South Granville) and 47% (Marpole) with a mean of 30%

    What can be done?

    According to the report some core factors for healthy retail nodes are:

    • Fair and predictable property taxes and rents
    • Presence of anchor tenants, including one or more retail grocery stores (or equivalent)
    • Relatively low vacancy rates (typically under 10%)
    • A complementary tenant mix that is appropriate for a given local shopping area’s community role
    • Strong leadership and proactivity from the BIAs, including regular interface between leadership and key anchor tenants and landlords
    • A clean, safe, and friendly public realm
    • Accessibility by all modes, with appropriate parking supply geared to the customer base
    • A sufficiently sized local trade area with a residential population and density to support local businesses
    • A supportive regulatory environment including timely permitting and licensing, sufficiently flexible zoning, and streamlined points of contact between businesses and City administration

    *One thing to note is that this study uses Statistics Canada's definition of a "chain" as a business with four or more locations. We don't agree with this definition, and consider any privately owned, B.C.-based independent business to be "independent" based on their local economic impact and ability to make local decisions. 

    Check out the Executive Summary, Full Report and Report to Council

  • 29 Jan 2021 by LOCO BC

    British Columbia Lottery Corporation's #SpreadTheLocalLove campaign kicks off today. This online fundraising event supports local businesses & charities. From Feb 1-15, bid on great products from local businesses & the proceeds go to the deserving local charity of your choice. Check out all the great local products & bid now!