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.