What’s Local?

At LOCO our work is centred on the economic impact of local. And as an organization that coordinates a Buy Local campaign, ‘What’s local?‘ is often the first question we’re asked.

We know the greatest local economic value is created by businesses who are locally owned and operated. Based on our research study, the Power of Local Purchasing, we know these businesses re-circulate dollars in our local economy 2.6 times more than their non-locally based counterparts. For every $100 dollars spent with a BC-based business, $46 will stay in our economy (vs $18 for non-local counterparts).

At LOCO we’ve been working on creating a definition of local that centres on maximizing the local economic impact consumers and purchasers can generate. These definitions are at the centre of the BC Buy Local campaign.

When asking ‘what’s local’, follow these guidelines.

Local Owned: 

Local owned businesses are:

  • Private companies (ex. single owner or partnership, employee owned, co-operative or social enterprise/non-profit)
  • Headquartered in BC
  • > 50% of owners residing in B.C.

Local Made*

  • A product that is wholly or largely (>50%) manufactured or processed in B.C.

*Can include products produced without local materials or ingredients. Local made products with local ingredients or materials can add “Local Grown” if applicable.

Local Grown

  • An agricultural product grown in BC (ex. food, plants, fibre, wood)
  • A manufactured product with >50% materials grown in B.C.

Local Champion

Anyone who purchases from Local Owned businesses or buys Local Grown and Local Made products can be a Local Champion. Let your customers know you value them as Local Champions.

 

 

LOCO Businesses are hiring

Work for a LOCO Business

Potluck Café Society seeks Executive Director. 
We are seeking a driven, innovative and highly entrepreneurial Executive Director to provide strong leadership to our team of 30 staff and 20 volunteers to take our organization to the next level. As Executive Director, together with an effective management team, you will manage a $1.3M annual operating budget to sustain and lead Potluck Café Society’s innovative community programs and oversee Potluck Café and Catering Inc.’s business operations. Find out more here.

Live for Tomorrow (LFT) seeks Business Development & Marketing Intern
LFT is seeking an enthusiastic, articulate, and highly motivated university graduate to fill the role of Business Development and Marketing Coordinator (the “Coordinator”). The Coordinator will be a proactive, team-oriented, go-getter with a passion for people, the environment and an entrepreneurial spirit. S/he will be responsible for implementation of marketing and communication initiatives and driving sales through account development and customer service to help grow the business. As a team player the ideal candidate is prepared to roll up their sleeves and work on any aspect of the business. This role consists of travel and some work on weekends. Find out more here.

PaySavvy is hiring Sales and Support personnel
PaySavvy prides itself on being a desirable place to work. We offer a progressive, team-spirited culture that rewards hard work and initiative, a collective approach to building a leading company, and freedom to contribute in meaningful ways to our growth and success. We’re currently seeking a Sales Development Representative, a Client Success Representative, and a Manager, Client Success. Find out more here.

The Cleaning Solution seeks Program Manager of Employment Support
The Cleaning Solution is a growing Vancouver-based, contract cleaning social enterprise that employs work ready people living with mental illness. Focusing on post-employment support, this new position is responsible for the wellness of our workforce. As a fun-loving, goal oriented professional, you’ll bring care, compassion and resourcefulness to this position. You understand people and how work contributes to wellness and want to work in an organization where job accommodation is more than just a duty; but the key ingredient to success.  Find out more here.

The Tyee is hiring a new Director of Community Development
The director of community development will stay engaged with our current Builders, and oversee strategies to grow the community.The director of community development will also plan events including our Master Classes, which contribute resources that help sustain our operations and pay our talented writers. Applications close August 5th. Find out more here.

Remarkable Clean looking for new Team Members
Are you an environmental steward who also love to clean? We’re looking for new team members at Remarkable Clean. Apply if you love the environment, serving people, have a great eye for detail and love working with amazing people. Send CV and cover letter to careers@remarkableclean.com

 

Vote for LOCO Members in Best of Vancouver

Vote for LOCO members in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver. Here are some members to vote for in the different categories. Find the entry form here.

City Life

Dehoney Financial Group
PacBlue Printing
Mills Basics
Frogbox
Saul Good Gift Co.
Fairware
Lunapads
Tacofino
8.5 Restaurant
SHIFT
Salt Spring Coffee Co.
Olla Flowers
Vancity
Recycling Alternative

Travel

Ocean Village
University Golf Club
Cycle City Tours

Mind, Body & Soul

Mental Fitness
Mental Fitness
Mental Fitness

Living

Vancity
Vancity
Modo
Seriously?
Olla Flowers
Gamla Studio
Gamla Studio
LaLa’s on the Drive
Saul Good Gift Co.
Homesteader’s
Womyn’s Wear
Conscious PR
Toy Jungle
http://www.toyjungle.ca/
Rob Beckwermert
Stephanie Orr
Blair Smith
Vaune Kolber
Kearney’s Funeral Services
Sweet Pea & Me

Style

BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORE (INDEPENDENT)
Nicole Bridger
Hazel & Jools 
Nicole Bridger
John Fluevog Shoes
Dayton Boots
John Fluevog Shoes
BEST FASHION ACCESSORY STORE
sh Design Works
BEST BABY/TODDLER STORE
Hip Baby
Monny’s Envision Optical
Granville Eyeland

Food & Drink

Tacofino
Aphrodite’s
8.5 Restaurant
Rocky Mountain Flatbread
Nuba
The Three Brits Public House
The New Oxford
The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar
Library Square Public House
Granville Room Cocktail Tavern
Tavern at The New Oxford Public House
The Bimini Public House
The Butcher & Bullock
Tacofino
A Bread Affair

BEST BAKERY (PASTRY)
Cookies of Course
Cartem’s Donuterie
Living Lotus Food & Nutrition

BEST GROCERY STORE

SPUD

BEST PRODUCE STORE

SPUD

BEST ORGANIC PRODUCE STORE

SPUD

BEST GELATO/ICE CREAM SHOP
Earnest Ice Cream

Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Salt Spring Coffee

Salt Spring Coffee

Clos Du Soleil

Donnelly Group (any)

Donnelly Group (any)

G&T Fridays Long Table Distillery
Odd Spirits Tasting

Q&A with Sandra Garcia, Conscious PR

LOCO is all about promoting its members and facilitating partnerships between members. When we learned  Sandra Garcia of Conscious Public Relations Inc had landed a contract with a LOCO follower within a week of joining the organization, we wanted to learn more about the story behind getting the contract, what motivated Sandra to join LOCO, and what advice she would offer new members to help them get the most out of belonging to the LOCO community.

What inspired you to join LOCO BC? How long have you been a member?

Sandra: I first heard about LOCO BC near the end of 2011; around the same time I was exploring rebranding my company. I rebranded the company in 2012. Along with wanting to work with ethical companies, I also wanted to support local businesses and the local economy, so when I launched the rebrand, toward the end of 2012, I joined LOCO BC. I’ve been a member now for about a year and a half.

You had your first contract with a LOCO follower within a week of joining LOCO. Could you tell us a bit about the contract and how LOCO was involved in the process?

Sandra: LOCO BC sent out a message through their social media platforms, welcoming me as a new member. A business owner, Colin Bell who was following LOCO BC on Twitter, saw the tweet and contacted me about doing a PR campaign for his business franchise, VIP Bin Cleaning Vancouver. After we connected on Twitter, we connected through email, and signed an electronic contract for the project. The company cleans residential, commercial, and industrial waste containers using recycled water and environmentally friendly cleaners and deodorizers. The owner wanted to coordinate a PR campaign with the City of Vancouver’s launch of its Green Bin program in 2013. The project lasted for three months.

Have you had other contracts, or developed other partnerships with LOCO members or followers since then?

Sandra: I’ve been working with Saul Good Gift Co to send gifts to my clients. It’s good to know what’s out there locally.

What do you value most about belonging to LOCO BC?

Sandra: I love the sense of community and going to mixers where I get to meet people who share the same values.

What suggestions or tips would you give to new members for getting the most out of belonging to the LOCO community?

Sandra: Go to the mixers and meet people. Reach out and connect with other members through social media. Stay involved with the organization and share ideas or suggestions for a venue or a Lunch & Learn topic. It’s a close community, and Amy and Julia are easy to reach, so if you have an idea it’s easy to get an event together.

What services do you offer LOCO members?

Sandra: LOCO members receive 10% off on most of my services, which include three-month Publicity campaigns, Social Media set up or three-month campaigns, writing website copy, or strategy consultation. For a list of services and pricing, click here.

Interview by Susan Chambers of Sage Editing &Research. Have a LOCO story to share with us? Let us know! Contact us.

LOCO Founder This Month’s Featured BALLE Fellow

BALLE Featured Fellow Series: An Interview with Amy Robinson

Balle - featured

BALLE Fellow Amy Robinson shares new definitions of “local” and “sustainable,” the entrepreneurial spirit that distinguishes Vancouver, BC from the rest of Canada, and the four areas of work that have her most energized.

BALLE:   What was your personal path to doing sustainable local business work? Was there a defining moment that turned your life in this direction?

Amy Robinson:  I worked for a while in the environmental field and ended up working with businesses of all sizes – a local dairy (now Saputo), BC Hydro, and then overseas with the UN Industrial Development Organization. As the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) began to take hold, I began to ask myself whether or not the world would really be that much better if a place if Walmart and other big corporations were as “sustainable” as they could be. I saw Judy Wicks speak and she inspired me to think about the economic and social sides of sustainability. I turned towards small businesses – and discovered the unsung heroes of sustainability – the hard working local business owners who devote their lives to building community and prosperity in their places.

BALLE:   There are lots of different notions about what makes a business sustainable, versus not sustainable. What specifically distinguishes sustainable businesses from unsustainable businesses from your perspective?

AR:          I’m pretty done with the word “sustainability.” Sustainability is so often equated with green initiatives, and what inspires me is the people behind a business. The social and economic aspects – and the aspirations of sustainability – get lost in our current understanding of it. Right now it’s all about managing risk and doing less bad rather than creating more of what we want to see in the world.

The best businesses I know are those that have a sense of purpose, who are determined to strengthen their communities and support other great businesses through partnering or purchasing. They are helping to retool the future with a vision for something better. Sustainability is a useful framework to ensure that businesses are addressing all their impacts, but it isn’t often used as an inspiration for what we want to see more of in the world. I think if we had more businesses that deeply cared about their employees and their communities, they would naturally look at the resources they use, the waste and emissions they create. I’m not sure it’s as easy to build in a deep sense of caring for people – one of our businesses got evicted from his retail space of 27 years and even in his devastation found the 5 employees he had to fire jobs elsewhere; another wouldn’t accept the resignation of an employee with baby twins and found a way to create work-life balance that benefitted them both (she still works for him 17 years later). When we celebrate those businesses, it’s a lot easier to convince them to do the green improvements. That can flow from a celebration of hard work on the social and economic side of sustainability.

BALLE:   What is unique about the political and economic climate in Vancouver, and in British Columbia, that distinguishes it from the rest of Canada in terms of sustainable local business work? What distinguishes your context from that of The United States? Is there some historical background to Vancouver and British Columbia that make them more or less open to this kind of work?

AR:          They say mountains make good fences, and so I suppose we’re a little distant from the rest of Canada in some ways. We’re certainly influenced by our wild surroundings, so I think we have a greater sense of freedom and possibility, and that helps create a feeling that we can determine the future right now. There’s a bit of the “wild west” mentality, so maybe we’re willing to take more risks. We are the most entrepreneurial province in the country. One thing that’s hard about Vancouver is it never seems to stand still. There is so much development that neighbourhoods are changing so fast – it’s dramatic. We’d like to make sure that local businesses have some affordable spaces and that our city doesn’t get overtaken by chains in the rush to densify.

BALLE:   There has been some active debate in your area lately about whether or not ‘Buy Local’ campaigns are helpful or harmful, and what the definition of “local” even is. What are your go-to responses to folks who challenge the value of ‘Local First’ work? How do you define “local”?

AR:          We’ve thought our main challenge was to educate consumers about why to buy local, but we realized we’re also teaching businesses how they are local. This is especially true when businesses grow beyond what we think of when we hear the term “local”. We are working to show how businesses big and small create local economic impact-even corporations that make an effort to support local suppliers create local impact. We start with the current economic reality: we live in a globalized world, and many local businesses have global supply chains, and many of them can’t sell only to other small businesses. They need large customers. Every local food producer seems to dream of selling to Whole Foods, so how can we leave them out of our work? We’ve developed a working definition that includes three degrees of local and includes large companies that make a commitment to support local business. We base this on many studies that show where the multiplier effect of local businesses comes from (see our infographic below). We specifically haven’t included local supply chains because we’re trying to drive the understanding of ownership and employment, but you can imagine if a business also has a local supply chain, the benefits are huge.

BALLE:   Is LOCO BC an acronym for something? Any secret meaning behind the name, or is it just catchy?

AR:          It stands for Local Company (Co.). Given that Lululemon and Hootsuite are from Vancouver, we thought we’d follow suit and pick an acronym that everyone might not get right away, but would become synonymous with local company. We know it means crazy in Spanish. Maybe we’re a little of that too.

BALLE:   What are you working on that is getting you down?

AR:          We need research to have a deeper understanding of the value that local businesses create, and how businesses of all sizes can create local impact and support local businesses. It’s frustrating, however, how little funding there is for research. It seems that some foundations share our goals, but since we’re not a charity, we can’t apply for their funds. We produced the first Canadian research on the multiplier effect of local suppliers in 2013. It took more than two years to put together a partnership to deliver that research, and even then we had to pony up our own operating funds for a portion of that work.

Related to our work on the definition of local, there is some movement in purchasing around local food in Vancouver and BC. Unfortunately, though, there seems to be very little concern about the ownership of the companies that supply that food. Most often it is big distribution companies. Those who are showing leadership on local food are ignoring the potential for economic impact that comes along with any purchase.

BALLE:   What are you working on right now that has you most energized?

AR:          We are working on four important areas – defining “local” based on economic impact, promoting economic development through institutional purchasing, research on the economic impacts of certain businesses/sectors, and ensuring that development and “eco”-density provides affordable spaces for local businesses to maintain a place in our economy. It’s an exciting direction that has us learning every day, seeking new partners and working on new and different sources of funding. We’re also excited to introduce some of the first programs to our 200+ members to help them measure their local impact and work to reduce their environmental impact by moving towards zero waste.

Amy Robinson is a 2013 BALLE Local Economy Fellow and the founder of Vancouver-based LOCO BC, an organization that engages local businesses in building an economy based on relationships and self-reliance. 

Changes to EI, CPP and Provincial Health Benefits

The Team at the Dehoney Financial Group has prepared a 2014 bulletin outlining recent legislative changes affecting the following government programs for LOCO Members:

  • Provincial Health Care premium adjustments
  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

Download the bulletin for an explanation of the EI premium reduction program, and the potential benefits this could provide to your organization.

If you have any questions regarding this information, or the LOCO Business Network benefits plan, please do not hesitate to contact Dehoney Financial Group.

Buying Local: more than a nice idea

An interesting opinion piece on the rationale of buy local campaigns appeared in the Globe and Mail last Friday titled ‘Buy Local’: Nice idea, but does it make sense?. The article gives a take on the local economy movement and buy local campaigns, ultimately leading to the conclusion that they can be dangerous to our own global competitiveness.

This opinion piece is a gift. It clearly spotlights the concerns and reservations that many have about ‘buying local’ including questions like: what is local?; what would happen if everyone ‘bought local’?; can I be a local economy advocate and still want to buy products not produced here? If I desire to scale my business to other markets am I still a local business?

These are the questions we at LOCO think and talk about every day. While we agree with the author that ‘local’ needs to be better defined, we don’t agree that focusing on local is hypocritical or takes away from global competitiveness. For us, the goal is to increase the benefit to our local economy by looking at how we can recirculate more dollars to local businesses in the province and within Canada. A small shift in dollars can have large economic impacts. Research shows that a 1% shift in consumer spending towards local businesses can result in 3100 jobs and $94 million in additional wages to the BC economy. This is a huge local economic impact that does not have a proportionate impact in national or global spending. In fact, one could argue that this economic impact strengthens consumer spending to benefit everyone.

This also leads us to consider a bigger question, how can national and international organizations contribute to the communities and economies where they operate? How can they support the communities that contribute to their revenues? How can they support the economic, environmental and social resilience of these communities so those communities can continue to contribute to their revenues over the long term? In our view a focus on local purchasing and increasing the percentage of dollars that they spend in the communities where they operate should be a key focus.

As we consider these questions at LOCO we’ve started working on our definition of local from the perspective of local economic development. We are soliciting feedback and we’d love to hear your thoughts. As a shopper or purchaser what does this model mean to you? As a business owner how does this model apply to how you want to grow your business?  How can we develop this model further? Send us your thoughts, LOCO wants to know!

LOCO Degrees Of Local Business

 

1,100 holiday greetings written to local businesses!

Over 1,100 holiday cards were written to local businesses for Buy Local Week 2013! We asked people to send a holiday card to their favorite local business in BC. We all know local business owners work really hard so we thought let’s give their customer’s a chance to let them know what makes their favorite local business special. You can read all of them on The Tyee. Here’s a few cards written to LOCO members and other great local businesses….

 

Dear Soap Dispensary, Vancouver
I absolutely love the soap dispensary! Before I discovered the shop, I was reliant on Lysol wipes and other chemical cleaners. I had been composting and recycling in a conscious effort to reduce my waste. I knew I wanted to “green” my cleaning products– because it would be better for the environment and my own health– I just didn’t know where to start. Then I found the soap dispensary! Now I only use natural cleaning products, detergents and soaps and I refill all my containers, eliminating a good portion of unnecessary waste. I’m so grateful for this local business: for the fantastic (mostly locally made) and environmentally friendly products they carry, and the kind and helpful owner and employees.
 - Anonymous

 

Dear Caffe Divano, Port Moody,
Caffe Divano is a locally owned and operated caffe. They really care about their local clientele with taking our suggestions to heart. They do everything they can to be an environmentally responsible business not to mention they best brunch in Port Moody. It is a place you can go to in your sweats and runners and feel right at home. Thank you, Divano’s!! I’m proud to live down the street and call you my regular caffe. -Anonymous

 

Dear Saul Good Gift Co., Vancouver
Thanks for offering such unique and delicious gift options!! A wonderful thing to give and receive for the holidays. - Jennifer M.

 

Dear Cartems Donuterie, Vancouver
Cartems makes the best donuts ever. The people are refreshingly nice and love being social. I never go home to Saskatchewan without a box, or quite frankly I wouldn’t be let in the door. Thanks Cartems, love everyone you do!
 - Anonymous

 

Dear Cocoa Nymph, Vancouver
Cocoa Nymph is a really awesome local chocolaterie. Beyond the chocolate being amazing, particularly the Sea Nymph chocolate bar and superlative drinking chocolate, the owner, Rachel, supports local initiatives and culture.
 - Anonymous

 

Dear Earnest Ice Cream, Vancouver
Happy Holidays Ben and Erica, makers of the best ice cream around! I’ve been a fan of yours since you guys first rolled up in your trike at the Main St Farmer’s Market! So glad to see that you use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients — it really shows in the quality of your product!
-Anonymous

 

Dear Fluevog Shoes, Vancouver
Happy holidays! I love coming into your store. It’s full of creativity and colours. It always brings a smile to my face. People are all so friendly. A big thanks for brightening up Gastown! 
- Anonymous

 

Dear Homesteaders’ Emporium, Vancouver
Amazing resource for mindful, sustainable, down-to-goodness living. They have an amazing, inspiring mix if products — from jam-making to chicken-raising and everything in between — and they are toughing it out in a not-so-lovely part of E. Hastings! Friendly, knowledgeable, fantastic resource for Vancouver. Love it! Will get lots of my Xmas gifts from there this year. - Anonymous

 

Dear Cookies Of Course, Vancouver
I’ve been a loyal fan since I’ve been working at SFU harbour centre. Your cookies always brighten up my day, and everyone who works here is so nice. I was very sad when your harbour centre store closed. I will definitely be getting some cookie dough from you for this Christmas. I hope you’re able to reopen a retail location soon. - Anonymous

 

Dear Nicole Bridger, Vancouver
It’s so exciting to know about a local, like Nicole who has been so successful. I love her genuine belief in supporting her own community and being eco-friendly. What a great leader in eco-fashion design to have so close to us in Vancouver! - Gail F.

 

Dear Tao Organics, North Vancouver
I love Tao Organics for what they stand for: healthy, vegan and organic foods. Their foods and treats are superb and amazingly creative. I feel so grateful to access places like this. - tasleem b.

 

Dear LaLa’s on the Drive, Vancouver
Lala (originally located in Deep Cove), has a nice store on Commercial Drive. This store carries lots of cool gifts and food items. It’s my favorite place to shop for party favors and holiday themed items. - Anonymous

 

Dear Salt Spring Coffee, Vancouver & Salt Spring Island
I’ll never forget the campaign you guys ran where you surprised random Twitter followers with a Wake Up Gift, delivered to their door. It’s refreshing to have such an incredibly unpretentious coffee company who wants to live and breathe the community mantra. Already looking forward to the next brew! 
- Anonymous

 

Dear Twigg and Hottie, Vancouver
Greetings We3 from Scotland. Thank you for your wonderful shopping experience in Main Street and via the internet. Your natural fabrics, ethical sourcing and flair for design is superb. I love all the purchases I have made with you and enjoyed the craic. Have a happy holiday. - Armida T.

 

Dear Vancity, Vancouver
Vancity should be the gold standard for every banking institution. Thank you for all you do in and for the community. The branch at Commercial Drive has been under renovation and the staff have continued to smile and provide excellent service through the saw dust and hanging wires.
-Anonymous

 

Dear Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Vancouver
Rocky Mountain Flatbread is a local Vancouver pizza company. Not only does it provide great play area for kids and serves award-winning pizzas, Rocky Mountain Flatbread also invests in its community. I love going there because the food is great, the kids have fun and I’m doing good for my community!
 - Anonymous

 

Dear SPUD, Vancouver
Their website, quality of product and convenience of delivery makes Spud my favourite grocery store. I appreciate that they work with local farmers to provide as many locally grown options as possible. The only staff I have ever encountered in person is the delivery driver and although he is super busy he always has time for a warm smile and a quick hello. - Kara K.

 

Dear MODO, Vancouver,
Being able to share vehicles is such a tremendous advantage of living in Vancouver. Thanks to Modo, the car co-op, we no long have to worry about maintenance and insurance costs, and we get the flexibility of being able to use a variety of vehicles based on our needs. - Michelle H.

 

Dear Toy Jungle, West Vancouver,
Competing against the ‘big guys’ is never easy. As a locally owned toy-store, the Toy Jungle has some pretty stark competition. You will find everything that you lack in the Toy’s R’ Us’ es and the Walmarts of the world – that is, in-depth product knowledge, a beyond and above approach to customer service, and a love for local that is baked in to the very core of the company, and an ethical, compassionate mandate. Did I mention their devotion to specialty toys? Wooden toys for example, that last for years…Board games that bring families and friends together, infant toys that are made with the tenderness that babies deserve and need. Oh and the owners, Gary and Misti Mussatto, are easily the most accommodating, sincere store owners I have ever met – with a true passion for seeing joy and a love for fun in the eyes of adults and children alike. Thank you to The Toy Jungle for keeping the glimmer in our childrens’ eyes alive. The kind of glimmer that artists try to catch in their portraits of eager children, longingly staring into the toy shop windows in the days of yore.
- Madelynn F.

 

Dear The Sweet Tooth Cakery of North Vancouver,
This locally owned and operated bakery specialises in gluten-free baked goods. Even though I do not need gluten free goods, I love this bakery – always something new and special to try and amazing staff that really care about the customers. A rare gem in North Vancouver!
- Tracey F.

 

Dear Old Faithful of Vancouver,
I used to wander over here during my lunch breaks with my coworkers. It tends to be the go to place to find a gift for my hipster friends, or those who just appreciate something a bit more original. Staff are always eager for conversations, and love to tell you about new products on the shelves. 

I think it’s time for another visit!
- Anonymous

 

Dear Lunapads of Vancouver,
Lunapads helped me make a huge impact on my waste and my health. I can feel good wearing their products — organic and locally-made — and know that I’m supporting the wellness of people and the planet. These fabulous women have contributed so much good to the world and empowered women in ways I cannot describe. Thank you.
- Erika R.

 

Dear The Good Planet Company of Victoria,
This is one of our favourite stores. We’re not a big consuming family, we buy only what we can’t buy second hand or make ourselves, but our first stop when we need something is always The Good Planet Company. Their friendly, helpful and most of all knowledgeable staff have helped us get our family sleeping in non-toxic beds, using non-toxic personal and household cleaning products and even facilitated a great date night, a class on soap making. It’s our go to store not just for products but for information. We’re always impressed with their ethical business philosophy, ensuring they bring in the most ethical and healthy products available for their customers. - Michelle M.

 

Dear My Sister’s Closet (BWSS) of Vancouver,
Located in Yaletown, My Sister’s Closet is a jewel of a thrift store whose profits go to support programs and services for battered women and their families. Employment training, opportunities for local artisans, and lots of participation in local fundraisers and fashion events, like ECO Fashion Week, are only a few of a wide range of contributions to our community. Friendly, enthusiastic staff and a fabulous environment for all! Christmas all year long! - Colleen T.

 

New Report: Buying Local Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions

LOCO, the Columbia Institute and ISIS Research Centre at the UBC Sauder School of Business released a new report to influence increased local purchasing today. Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions is a companion to The Power of Purchasing: The Economic Impacts of Local Procurement, released earlier this year, that quantified the benefit of purchasing from B.C.-based suppliers.

Around the world, institutional procurement is beginning to incorporate the value of local economic health and vitality. Here in Canada, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $65 billion annually on the procurement of goods and services. Cities and regions spend millions on economic development, and hundreds of millions on procurement, yet these efforts are rarely aligned. Important opportunities exist to benefit public, non-profit and private sector institutions as well as communities by shifting purchasing dollars towards local business. This report outlines strategies and paths that policy-makers, sustainability managers, procurement professionals and others involved in institutional purchasing decisions can pursue to realize this potential.

Around the world, there is a growing movement to support local economies, and various approaches are being taken in different places. Great benefits come from strong, resilient local economies, and many opportunities exist to take small steps that can majorly benefit our public institutions, businesses and communities. If purchasers are ready to take on leadership roles, the tools and solutions detailed here are effective ways to expand local purchasing and strengthen our communities.

Part I of this report outlines the argument for local procurement. It demonstrates the power that institutional procurement has over the economy and highlights opportunities for change by examining the current landscape in Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. It details how local economic impacts fit within the definition of value when attempting to achieve best value in procurement.

Part II and Part II of the report identify tools that can be used by institutions and policy-makers to increase local procurement. They outline a number of challenges, and detail solutions that are currently being used. Examples of the tools have been included along with references to material for further research.

Download a copy of the report here.

BC Buy Local Week in the News

Check out all the great coverage of #BuyLocalWeek so far:

Global News: British Columbians Encouraged to Shop Locally During Holidays

News 1130: BC Retailers Band Together for 2nd Annual ‘Buy LocalWeek’

The Tyee: Five Ways to Take the Corporate out of Christmas

Metro News: Buy Local This Holiday Season, Vancouverites

Business in Vancouver: Buy Local Week Steers B.C. Shoppers Away From the Mall

BC Business: Buying Local Beyond Black Friday

Vancouver Observer: Buy Local Shopping Tips for the Holiday Season

Vancouver Is Awesome: Weekly GoodBomb: Buy Local Week 2013

Cowichan Valley Citizen: Shopping Locally Increases The Local Wealth

Whistler Pique: Shopping Local Will Keep Business Strong

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