Local businesses need to regain market share as 5th annual Buy Local Week launches in BC
(November 28, 2016 – Vancouver, BC) The fifth annual Buy Local Week in BC kicked off today, celebrating local businesses and the big impact buying locally has on communities across the province. Organizers warn that independent businesses need to regain market share against international chains to stay viable and keep local economies growing in BC.
“Local independent businesses need support to help them regain a greater share of local spending, and BC Buy Local Week is a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of shopping at locally owned stores, and buying local made and locally grown goods” says Amy Robinson, founder and executive director of LOCO BC, which coordinates Buy Local Week in the province.
BC Buy Local Week 2016 runs from November 28 to December 4 and has been proclaimed by the Province of BC and many cities and regions around the province. Participating communities include the City of Vancouver and the Hastings Crossing, East Village and West Point Grey business districts, the City of Victoria, the City of Richmond, the City of Surrey, the City of North Vancouver, the Municipality of Squamish and the Township of Langley.
“Our research shows that BC businesses have been losing market share at a greater rate than the national average, slipping to 33.7% recently. In fact, independent businesses in BC have the third lowest market share in the country,” adds Robinson. “This means that governments need to step up efforts to ease burdens, financial and bureaucratic, on local businesses, and consumers need to shift spending where they can to local businesses to keep our local economy thriving.”
LOCO BC encourages shoppers to support independent businesses by purchasing from local producers and businesses during BC Buy Local Week and throughout the year. For every dollar people spend with local businesses, that money recirculates in their community and creates $2.60 of economic impact for their region. Consumers are being encouraged to shift some of their holiday spending to locally owned businesses, and to look for local grown and locally made products wherever they shop.
“Most consumers in Canada spend about $1,500 on food, alcohol, gifts and travel during the holiday season. If they shift 1% of their spending – just $15 – to local business, their money will multiply locally to create more jobs and stronger communities,” adds Robinson. “BC Buy Local Week is a great opportunity to show your support for BC business owners and help spread the message that shopping local has tremendous impact on your community.”
Throughout the year, participating local BC businesses will be promoting their local owned businesses, local grown and local made products with bright pink stickers to make them easy for consumers to identify, and using the hashtag #BCBuyLocal on social media. Consumers are invited to participate by sharing photos of their local shopping and the pink stickers on social media for a chance to win prizes, and by looking to bcbuylocal.com as a resource for BC products and businesses.
In efforts to entice more independent businesses, LOCO BC will be working in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver BIA (DVBIA) this coming year to assess the barriers and burdens to small businesses operating downtown.
“We’re excited to launch new research with LOCO BC to understand the challenges of independent businesses and encourage them to locate downtown,” says Charles Gautier, President & CEO of the DVBIA. “We’ve worked with some independents recently to help them locate along Granville Street and would like to see more successes.”
LOCO BC will also be collecting information on the potential to reduce municipal red tape and improve business friendliness for small business in several municipalities by engaging municipalities to play a bigger role in supporting the success of independent businesses to ensure affordable leasing opportunities are maintained.
For more information about BC Buy Local, along with resources to help consumers find local businesses and products, visit www.bcbuylocal.com.
About LOCO BC
LOCO BC is a non-profit local business alliance in British Columbia working to strengthen communities, grow the local economy, and build strong, sustainable businesses. LOCO BC coordinates Buy Local Week, an annual celebration of local business to promote the contributions that BC businesses make to our economy and our communities. The goal of the BC Buy Local Campaign is to illuminate the local market, making BC-based businesses, products, food and wines more visible to consumers.
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