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.