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  • 27 Nov 2023 by LOCO BC

    Earlier this year LOCO BC worked with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to assess the economic impact of BC’s independent retailers. The full report contains data for all of Canada; our summary released this month focuses on the results for BC.

    The survey found that BC independent retailers recirculate 66% of their revenue within the province, equal to the Canadian average, and the second highest in the country. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) with physical stores in Canada were found to have a recirculation of 11% and large online platforms with no retail stores were found to have a recirculation of 8%. In comparison, independent retailers in BC have 6 times the economic benefit of multinationals with retail stores in the province, and 8 times the economic benefit of big online platforms with no retail stores.

    Two-thirds of every dollar spent with BC’s independent retailers is recirculated locally:

    • 5 ¢ in profits/dividends to BC owners
    • 22 ¢ in wages/benefits to BC employees
    • 27 ¢ for goods from other BC-owned businesses
    • 8 ¢ for services from other BC-owned businesses
    • 4 ¢ to local charitable causes

    A public opinion poll conducted as part of the research found that 83% of BC consumers feel it’s important that the money they spend is redistributed in their communities. However, they underestimate the amount that local businesses recirculate by almost 1/2, while also overestimating the amount that MNCs and online platforms do by up to 3.4 times. Although 83% of BC consumers would like to do more shopping at independent businesses, 53% report doing more of their shopping at multinationals and large online retailers than they did 5 years ago.

    In Canada, 13% of consumers report shopping more at small independent retailers, while 87% report shopping more at big businesses. In BC, consumers are more supportive of independent retailers. with 18% of consumers reporting that they shop more at small independent retailers, while 82% report shopping more at big businesses.

    Download the BC Summary here and the Canada-wide report  here.

  • 31 Oct 2023 by LOCO BC

    In 2023 we worked with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and our buy local partners across BC to assess the impact of independent retailers, in the first pan-Canadian study of the impact of local business.

    Small and local retailers make important contributions to their communities, and to provincial and Canadian economies.. They add to the vibrancy of the local areas they operate in, provide employment, buy local goods and services, and support local causes, organizations, teams and events. Unfortunately, they face many challenges competing with big, multinational retailers and online giants, and in dealing with consumers undervaluing the significant economic benefits of shopping small. This report analyzes how Canadian small businesses in the retail sector make direct financial contributions to their local economies and how these contributions set them apart from multinational retailers and online giants. 

    Key Findings:

    • On average in Canada, purchases from Canadian owned retail businesses recirculate 66 cents of every dollar within the provincial economy where they are based, compared with only 11 cents of every dollar for multinationals with physical locations in Canada, and only 8 cents for every dollar for online giants.
    • The average recirculation for independent retailers has been determined for each Canadian province. It ranges from a low of 59 cents per dollar in Quebec, to a high of 70 cents per dollar in Ontario. The average in BC is 66 cents per dollar, the same as the Canadian average. 
    • Consumers underestimate the recirculation impact of independent businesses (by almost 2X), overestimate the recirculation impact of multinational retailers with brick and mortar locations (by more than 3X), and overestimate the recirculation impact of online giants (by more than 2X).
    • Nearly all (97%) of independent retailers contribute to their communities in some way, 3/4 donate cash,  goods/services or time to local causes, and more than 1/2 support local organizations, teams, and events.
    • 55% of consumers say they shop more now at large retailers than they did 5 years ago. 84% say they would like to do more of their shopping at independent businesses, and 4 in 5 report that consumers should do what they can to support small businesses. 

    Download the report here. 

    CFIB Graphic Representing Local Retail Recirculation Compared to Multinationals

  • 15 Sep 2023 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 in the province, and uncover the biggest policy issues affecting them. Here are the highlights:

    • Many businesses see benefits: Many businesses report a positive impact from buy local campaigns in their area. Since campaigns are aimed at consumers, it's not surprising that consumer businesses report slightly higher levels of impact. The highest impact is reported by consumer businesses who are engaged in the campaign. This tells us that you get out what you put in - the more engaged a business is in promoting the campaign, the more likely they are to report a benefit. 
    • There are many important benefits: Businesses report that the top five benefits are: 1) Increased local purchasing in their business, 2) Increased awareness of their business' impact, 3) Increased media attention, 4) Collaboration, purchasing and mutual support among local businesses, and 5) More customer traffic. Answers vary slightly based on business type. 
    • Engagement is up: Active promoters of campaigns have increased to 33%. A further 22% are passively involved through a campaign partner or business group, however, 44% still say they do not participate.
    • Public awareness is up: 47% report that public awareness of the importance of supporting local businesses increased in the past year.
    • Public policy issues affecting business: Businesses report that the top five policy issues affecting them are: 1) Inflation, 2) Labour Issues (including a lack of affordable housing), 3) Supply Chain Issues, 4) Credit Card Fees, and 5) Commercial Affordability. 


  • 16 Jun 2023 by LOCO BC

    There are so many places to find Indigenous-Owned Businesses in BC. Here are a few resources. Let us know if there's any we've missed.


    Port of Vancouver

    Greater Vancouver Harbour Authority

    South Island Directory

    Native Women’s Association of Canada

    Stó:lō Business Directory

    NA wide directory

    Consumer Businesses

    Small Business BC Marketplace
    Shop First Nations

    Indigenous Tourism

    Indigenous Tourism BC

  • 24 Mar 2023 by LOCO BC

    Help us measure the impact of Buy Local Campaigns in B.C.! Our annual survey is a key resource to help LOCO BC, and other campaigns in the province continue to support independent businesses.

    Please fill it in below or here. It should take only 10 minutes, and we offer two gifts for your time. We are so grateful for your time!