Buy Local

Local businesses strengthen communities, build resilience and foster innovation. They create good jobs, support local charities, contribute significantly to our tax base and re-circulate the dollars they make many times locally by using other local businesses as suppliers for marketing, financial, legal and other services. See our info-graphic for all the reasons to buy from local retailers, restaurants and coffee shops, and our resources section for our studies on buying from local suppliers.

To see our current campaign visit www.bcbuylocal.com

LOCO Increases Local Purchasing

LOCO’s overarching goal is to increase the market share for local business in the province by shifting purchasing towards local, independently owned businesses. We are focused on the flow of dollars towards local business and the flow of dollars between local businesses that create the economic multiplier effect. We work to create a shift in local purchasing by consumers, businesses and institutions/government. Here’s what we’re doing to increase local purchasing by each of those groups of purchasers:

Consumers

We engage consumers in creating stronger, more diverse and vibrant communities by shifting some of their purchasing towards local businesses. We do this by celebrating local businesses and the contribution they make to our communities and our lives. We educate, inspire and bring our message to the media to reach consumers across the province. Here are some of our activities in this area.

Buy Local Week and the BC Buy Local Campaign

LOCO launched Buy Local Week in B.C. in 2012 to celebrate the unique contribution that local businesses make to our communities. Buy Local Week is timed for the first week in December, to counter all the madness surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and as a kick-off to the holiday shopping season. We highlight local retailers, products and entrepreneurs and heighten consumer awareness of the benefits that local businesses bring to our communities. We focus on the positive, encouraging consumers to find unique gifts, triple the impact of their charitable giving, create more local jobs, reduce environmental impacts, support their community, meet neighbours and most of all…have fun!

In 2014, BC Buy Local Week will kick off a year-round BC Buy Local campaign. Research shows that effective, active campaigns can result in a 3.5% increase in revenue over communities where no such campaign exists.

Find out more about the BC Buy Local Campaign

Find out more about Buy Local Week 2014.

Find out more about Buy Local Week 2013.

Find out more about Buy Local Week 2012.

Media, Social Media & Advertising

LOCO has been fostering media attention to increase local purchasing. Here are a few of the ways we’re promoting local business and the “why buy local” message:

  • We seeded a series of articles on connections between local businesses with The Tyee to highlight how local businesses work together.
  • We offered free advertising to 40+ local businesses and get the message out to consumers about how local businesses keep our communities strong. We had a regular series of ads and several video ads featured on The Tyee throughout the year. 
  • We organized several social media contests to engage consumers in highlighting which local businesses they can’t live without and why. We’ve received almost 2000 letters from consumers across the province.

Find all our media articles, social media and advertising on “LOCO in the News”.

Businesses

We encourage businesses to buy from local businesses by highlighting the benefits, celebrating local success stories, fostering relationships and facilitating member-to-member discounts.

  • Our monthly business mixers feature one of our members, so that local businesses can get to know the unique people behind the business and hear how they are contributing to a better world.
  • Our members offer each other special packages and pricing to encourage working within the community.
  • We make direct connections between businesses.
  • Our advocacy and consulting work encourages bigger businesses and public corporations to buy from businesses local to their offices to drive community investment and deliver on their corporate social responsibility goals.

Institutions

In Canada local governments and school districts spend more than $65 billion annually purchasing goods and services. Many cities also spend millions on economic development, but don’t align those efforts by supporting local businesses with their purchasing. In order to harness the power of institutional purchasing dollars, in 2013 LOCO produced The Power of Purchasing: The Economic Impacts of Local Procurement, a report that proves that double the economic impact is possible when purchasing from local suppliers.

We produced a companion report Buying Local: Tools for Forward Thinking Institutions to help guide institutions in moving more of their spending towards local business. We have recently started to do presentations for institutions and are working to put together a BUYLab Local Purchasing group of institutions that will work together to define local, baseline their existing local purchasing, and work to create best practice within the existing legal framework of Canadian and international trade agreements. Contact us for more details.

You’ll find copies of our reports available for download on our Resources Page.