Understanding 2015 changes to Health Care, EI & CPP

LOCO’s Community Partner Dehoney Financial Group has prepared their 2015 bulletin outlining recent legislative changes affecting the following government programs.

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

This information is relevant to all employers.

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

Contact Dehoney’s Erin Gunn if you have any questions about this information.

Read the bulletin here: DFG-Jan_2015-Important Message-LOCO

LOCO Businesses are Hiring

LOCO businesses are locally owned and committed to adding value to their communities. Check out some of the great job opportunities they have available right now.

Potluck Cafe is hiring a Sales & Marketing Associate

Potluck Cafe is an award winning social enterprise. This position is ideally suited for someone transitioning out of the hospitality industry, possibly enrolled in evening classes, and possessing a keen interest in communications and business administration. If you’re interested in social enterprise and looking for meaningful work to support your professional development, look no further – this is the job for you. Potluck Cafe.

Briteweb is hiring a Developer

Briteweb is looking for an intermediate developer with 3+ years of web development experience. Experience working within a team environment; not only with other developers, but designers and strategists, as well. Places equal importance on both form and function when writing code. Detail-oriented with a solid understanding of quality UX. Can communicate effectively to find optimal solutions to problems.

Natural Pod is hiring an Education Sales Account Executive


Natural Pod is a leader in the design and manufacturing of natural play inspired children’s furniture and toys. The ideal candidate will be a sharp and enthusiastic, self-motivated leader with solid business development experience and a passion for creating and implementing effective sales initiatives. Experience and relationships in the education and child care marketplace are required.

PaySavvy is hiring

Based in Vancouver, PaySavvy is a national workforce management software provider that offers cloud-based payroll, human resource, and time and labour management software. 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.

Fairware is hiring Account Coordinator/Sales Support


At Fairware, we believe we can change the world through the simple act of buying. We provide custom branded products to North America’s leading sustainable brands. This is a one year full time maternity leave position starting late March 2015. The Account Coordinator – Sales Support will work closely with the Sales team to support the efficient and timely processing of orders, from sales approval through to production and order delivery. You will coordinate all aspects of order confirmation and processing ensuring that deadlines are met and clients are happy. You get things done and don’t miss a beat.

MODO is hiring

Modo is a member-owned carshare co-operative. Founded in 1997 in Vancouver’s West End, we were the first of our kind in North America. We are dedicated to providing our community with the most environmental and economical way to drive a car.

Spring is hiring a Community & Culture Manager

Spring is a purpose-driven activator focused on helping high growth, for-profit, purpose-driven companies create meaningful change in our world. As we grow, we’re adding a Community & Culture Manager to our team. We’re looking for a dynamic, people-oriented self starter looking to change the world who will lead the charge on all things culture and community building, both online and offline.

A Bread Affair is hiring

A Bread Affair is always looking for hardworking individuals with a positive attitude to join our team! We have a fun, interactive environment where growth within the company is highly encouraged. Never a dull moment, work for one of B.C.’s fastest growing companies. A Bread Affair is looking for the following:

Earnest Ice Cream is hiring

Earnest Ice Cream is growing and we’re looking for the right people to join our team and grow with us. We are a values-driven company crafting Vancouver’s best ice cream using local, seasonal ingredients and an obsession with quality and service. We’re looking for experienced leaders who are passionate, curious, and as obsessive as we are about constant improvement. Earnest Ice Cream is looking for the following:

The Soap Dispensary: Community-based eco-champion helps consumers reduce, reuse and refill

IMG_3350_WebCrop2The Soap Dispensary is a retail store dedicated to reducing the plastic footprint of consumer products by refilling household cleaners, personal care products and DIY ingredients. Customers bring in their own clean containers or pay a small deposit fee to use one from the store, and reuse them over and over. The products they source are chosen for their low impact on human and environmental health, and contain no toxic chemicals, fillers, dyes or synthetic perfumes. They also carry a wide range of plastic-free lifestyle products. In early 2015 the store will expand to refilling edible liquids (olive oil, honey, soy sauce and more) and will definitely be sourcing from local made and local owned for many of these products.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?SoapDispensary_ByTheNumbers

Answer: We try very hard to source local products first, and then Canadian and US products. We are deeply rooted in the community, and that’s very important to us! Sometimes local businesses approach us and we try out their products in our store, or we see products at the farmer’s market that we really like and bring them in. We also take into consideration recommendations from our staff and customers. We’ve helped a number of small local producers get off the ground. For instance, companies like Ulat Pure Wool Dryer Balls and Sayula approached us when they were just starting out and our orders helped them get off the ground. Now they are distributing across Canada. Most often we source direct from the business, but some products like carrier oils and soap nuts can’t be sourced locally, so in that case we buy from distributors, 57% of which are local.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?

Answer: We are proud of our hiring practices and that we pay wages higher than the industry average. Our staff is our best asset! Everyone we’ve ever hired has been a customer first; they share our passion for what we do. We put a lot of time into training them, and we work very hard to retain them. We have five part-timers and we would love to make some of them full-time but they don’t want more hours due to other commitments and so we work around their schedule to ensure they stay. We also donate to many environmental and social causes. We donated to Surf Rider when Jack Johnson committed to doubling donations, and we asked a supplier to crochet wool poppies to donate to the poppy fund this past year. We help raised money and also provided an eco alternative to the plastic poppy. We also regularly hold workshops in the store to empower customers to make their own products. During the holidays we offer gift-making workshops such as soap and candle making as an alternative to the rampant consumerism of the season. We’ve also partnered with David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, and SPEC (the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) and contribute gifts and door prizes to local events and fundraisers.

Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: In the first two years of operation, we helped our customers divert about 12,000 containers. That’s a lot of petroleum that wasn’t used to create more packaging! We sell lots of glass containers and offer a take back program if customers opt for plastic packaging. We charge a deposit fee to use plastic but will refund the fee when they returnit. It ensures that it comes back to us to be reused. And we not only help eliminate packaging but also consider the product’s end life. We’ve avoided bringing in e-cloths for example because they aren’t recyclable or compostable after the customer is finished with them. We are also proud that we are helping reduce our customers’ exposure to toxins. We cater to people with sensitivities or have children and need healthier alternatives. We source products that are as non-toxic as possible. We do a lot of research, and also learn from our staff and customers about toxicity and ethical sourcing practices.

LaLa’s: Unique Products From a Retailer That Supports Good Local Owned Companies Everywhere

LaLas_driveLaLa’s is an independently owned and operated gift store with locations in Deep Cove and Commercial Drive. LaLa’s are fashion forward gift stores known for it’s unique products, beautiful merchandizing and friendly knowledgeable staff. Their goal is to put the Ooh LaLa into gift giving and receiving! LaLa’s was established in 1996 in Deep Cove North Vancouver. Opened in 2013, LaLa’s on the Drive is the younger sibling to LaLa’s in the Cove.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: First and foremost, we buy from people we like! They are people, places and companies that share our values and want to put “Eco” back in economics. Local is important to us because when LaLas_ByTheNumbersGraphicFileI see someone I’m doing business with they are more than a customer, they are a friend and neighbour. We source B.C. local made products when we can – we buy jams from Langley and peanut butter from Vancouver. Since it’s so expensive to manufacture in B.C., we think it’s just as important to support family-run businesses elsewhere in Canada and the US. We don’t consider the BC or Canada-US border as a barrier to localism! For example, one of our suppliers (Old World Christmas) is a 3rd generation run Oregan, Washingto-based company. We love their product. It used to be made in Spokane, but now they manufacture in China. The owners don’t just use any Chinese factory – they have a financial investment in the factory, so they don’t just control the end product, but how people are hired and how they are treated as employees. That’s so important to us – that people are treated well no matter where something comes from.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?
Answer: I’m most proud of running a small business successfully, for being able to provide good jobs so that upwards

of a dozen people can pay their rent. Beyond that, the relationship I have with my employees is key. I love each and every one of them so much, their pictures and profiles are up on our website. That’s unusual for retail businesses that often have high turnover. Also, I have a manager for my two stores, and she’s more than an employee – she’s helped me build the business and I wanted to recognize that. So as I’ve done my succession planning, I’ve given her first offer to purchase the store. If she doesn’t buy it and it’s sold to someone else, she’ll get a percentage of the sale. In the case of my death, I made sure that for each year that she stays with LaLa’s her share in the company increases to the point where it is hers outright.

We also do a lot of charitable giving. Rather than hand out small gift certificates, we support all the local schools with auctions and give something more substantial – we usually donate $1000 for school auctions.

Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: We make an effort to support local producers to keep the impact of shipping low. We will often buy from small local owned companies in the US, and know that we are still supporting independent businesses and good livelihoods in another place. We recycle, re-use and monitor our ecological footprint when it comes to travel and shipping methods. We voice our opinion to suppliers about what kind of packaging they are using to ship to us and ask to have materials that we can disposed of in an ethical manner. We encourage walking, riding and transit as options to get to and from LaLa’s when possible.

Donald’s Market: Supporting Local Suppliers & Greening Operations

Donald'sPhoto_2 Donald’s Market is a local family-owned grocery store owned by three brothers and a friend. The newest of the Donald’s locations is in River Market New Westminster, is run by Eric Siu. At Donald’s Market you won’t find many mainstream brands. What you will find is a focus on providing more local products, economical organics, and environmentally friendly cleaning, and health and beauty products.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Donalds_ByTheNumbersGraphicFileAnswer: Donald’s Market will always look to purchase local produce and products with equal prices and quality to what may be available from the US or elsewhere. And because Donald’s is a local, family-owned structure, it’s easier for us to support local producers and suppliers. If someone brings me a new product and I can see it’s something our customers will like, I can get it on the shelves quickly. We love being able to support local made and local grown products in a way that other larger grocery stores wouldn’t be able to do.

Question: How else do you support your local community?

Answer: Unique to Donald’s Market in New Westminster is the ONE program, a partnership with River Market. We give back 1% to the customer AND to the community. At the end of the year, customers who sign-up for the One Program get to vote on which community activity to sponsor or donate the money towards.

Question: How do you support the environment?

Answer: What makes us different from a conventional grocery store is some of the practices that reduce our environmental footprint. All of our stores have compostable meat trays, energy efficient coolers and lighting systems, and make an effort to divert waste from landfills through recycling and composting. Food waste can be a large percentage of waste for grocery stores and we make an effort to keep as much as possible out of the landfill.

Modo: Leading Car Sharing in North America & Enabling Local Community Organizations

burrard_test_photoModo is a member-owned not-for-profit carsharing co-op with 300+ locations in Metro Vancouver. It started in Vancouver’s West End in 1997, was the first carsharing co-operative in North America and the first English-speaking carshare in the world! Modo helped carsharing start up on four continents, and they continue to lend a helping hand whenever they can. Modo donates carsharing to support the great work of more than 60 local organizations, including Take a Hike Foundation, Qmunity, Eastside Culture Crawl and farmers markets across the region.

ModoByTheNumbersQuestion: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: Vehicles are our biggest purchases, and we don’t have any local made options, but we do purchase about 20% of vehicles from local owned companies. A similar amount – about 20% of office supplies and vehicle related consumables like oil – are also sourced from local owned companies. On all our other purchases we make a huge effort to buy from local owned companies and buy local made products. 100% of our creative is from local owned companies – from branding and design, to printing and vehicle decals. Between 90–100% of all services are from local owned companies. 90% of our vehicle servicing is done locally, all of our software contracting has been to BC companies, and all our other services like cleaning, accounting, banking, marketing, legal and financial services are local.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?

Answer: Modo is strives to be an excellent employer, reflecting the communities in which we’re based. We’re proud of our hiring record among the queer and disabled communities, and would like to promote racial diversity among staff. Since we were a carsharing leader, a lot of fledging organizations reach out to us for guidance. We’ve helped to mentor, support and promote many smaller carshare co-ops around the country. We also enable the work of great local community groups by donating carsharing services.

Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: Carsharing means fewer cars are on the road, and that means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less traffic in our region. So our whole business model has an environmental benefit. Modo drivers produce 0.32 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year, which is 10–36 times less than the average driver. More than 40% of our members get rid of a car within one year of joining, accounting for 3,000 less cars on the road so far. We reduce our office’s footprint through office composting and comprehensive recycling. We only use green and homemade cleaners for our office, and usually opt for homemade cleaners for our car interior cleanings as well. We’ve only ever used 100% post-consumer recycled paper, even back in 1997 when that meant a poorer and beige-r paper quality. And we are increasingly moving toward a paper-light office. We’re part of some key programs to reduce our footprint – we’ve done our Climate Smart inventory, and have participated in the Fraser Basin Council’s Fleet Right Sizing.

Aphrodite’s Organic Café & Pie Shop: Committed to Organic and Local

Peggy photoAphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie Shop was founded in 2002 by Allan Christian. He was working and living on the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op in the Fraser Valley. He first opened the Pie Shop and then 1 year later he opened the café, harvesting vegetables from the farm to serve in the restaurant. His daughter Peggy took over when Allan passed away in 2008. She is committed to keeping her father’s legacy alive by continuing to bring local organic food to the city.

Question: How do you support other local businesses?

Answer: We are committed to organic local products. Our produce is as local as you can get. We also have a seasonal menu to maximize what we can get local grown in season. During the summer, 95% of our produce is local grown. We buy most of that direct from the farmers. In winter we use local owned distributor Discovery Organics, who works to help small scale Certified Organic farmers here at home gain access to the larger commercial marketplace. The flour in our pasty is local made by Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack from Canadian grains. We serve organic beer and wine. All our wines are organic, and we serve bottle organic beer. We just sourced a new local organic draft beer from Dogwood Brewery.

AphroditesByTheNumbersFor all our other products and services, we look for local whenever possible. We bought our uniforms from an east Vancouver supplier/manufacturer called Blackwood Apparel, we buy green cleaners and compostable take-out from Wisent Environmental, we bank with Vancity, and our accountant lives down the street!

Question: How else do you support your local community?

Answer: We try hard to be an excellent place to work. We provide higher than industry average wages. For instance, our line cooks make up to 20% more. We also give our employees extended benefits after they’ve worked with us for 6 months. We have a very low turnover rate – if you want people to commit to you, you need to commit to them.

We also support local charities and non-profits by donating thousands of dollars worth of gift certificates every year for their events and fundraising activities.

Question: How do you support the environment?

Answer: Our commitment to organic is probably the biggest way. And of course, our commitment to supporting local farmers.

Food.ee: Changing the Catering Business through Locally Sourced Foods and Compostable Packaging

Food.ee was created as a greener and tastier alternative to the usual catered fare, delivered in environmentally unsustainable packaging to offices. As a co-owner of Tacofino, Food.ee’s CEO Ryan Spong brought his passions for local slow-food, environmental sustainability and collaboration with local partners to Food.ee to create a catering concierge that curates best-in-class restaurants that share Food.ee’s values. All their restaurant partners are also committed to local sourcing and compostable packaging. In keeping with its commitment to source locally, the company always looks for a local products and services, so 100% of inventory purchasing and non-inventory sourcing is local. Food.ee’s collaborative local partnerships include working with SHIFT and using car sharing for food deliveries, promoting Growing City Composting (a local office composting service) and working with restaurant partners to help them become more sustainable. We recently had a chat with Saadia Sayed at Food.ee to learn more about what inspires Ryan to help other businesses.

Question: What inspired Food.ee to help other local businesses—both your restaurant partners and your corporate clients—to greening their operations? What specifically do you do to help them?

Answer: Coming from a restaurant perspective; our CEO understands the environmental impact of restaurants and tries to find ways to reduce the impact of waste materials. We ask that our restaurant partners use compostable packaging for Food.ee deliveries, and we will provide them with compostable packaging if they are not already using it. Some of our restaurant partners have now switched to compostable packaging for all of their take-out meals. We also work with our clients to help them develop greener business practices by composting food waste. We do this by promoting the services of Growing City Composting, a local office composting service.

Question: What are some of the social and economic impacts of Food.ee’s focus on local sourcing and partnerships with local owned businesses?

Answer: The restaurants we partner with are getting more business, which means they are busier and can employ more local employees. It also means the restaurants are purchasing more food from local growers and suppliers, which in turn means that local farmers and food producers are getting more work. We also partner with other local suppliers and service providers, such as SPUD and SHIFT, so the money we spend is being reinvested into our local community. Promoting the services of Growing City Composting also helps to grow that business while helping our corporate clients reduce their environmental impact.

Question: What inspired Food.ee to join LOCO BC?

Answer: We’re trying to be an influencer and advocate for using local resources, local sourcing, and helping our partners grow, so joining LOCO BC made sense. LOCO BC is about investing in local communities and businesses and we share that value. Our CEO Ryan is so committed to helping grow other local owned businesses, and the movement to buy local, that he joined the LOCO BC board in 2014.

Question: You’re basically a tech business. How do you support and grow talent in BC?

Answer: We hire the best local employees that match our culture – who appreciate food and have environmental values. We invest in the employees that are helping our company grow – 20% of our ownership is designated towards employees, so it’s more than just a job and a wage to them. They help us grow something of value, and we make sure they benefit from that growth.

 

Article by: Susan Chambers, author of Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility

Lunapads: A Mission-Driven, Local Company that Makes a Difference, Locally and Globally

Launched in 1993 by Madeleine Shaw, Lunapads—known for its eco-friendly, body-positive, reusable menstrual products—is a local, women-owned and operated business with both a local and global impact. Lunapads has been a certified B Corp since 2012, won the Small Business BC Community Impact Award in 2013, and has been a LOCO BC member for two years. Lunapads is driven by a social mission to:

1. Enable women to develop more positive and informed relationships to both their bodies and the Earth;

2. Empower girls and women, both locally and globally; and

3. Create a product that is sustainably responsible and supports girls’ and women’s wellness.

Lunapads makes a difference globally through its One4Her and Pads4Girls programs and as a shareholder in AFRIPads, a Ugandan-based social enterprise. Closer to home, business partners Madeleine and Suzanne provide an empowering work environment for their employees, take steps to partner with as many local suppliers and manufacturers as possible, and fulfill their mission to empower girls and women through their G-Day events (for girls) and by mentoring local women entrepreneurs. We recently chatted with Suzanne to learn more about how Lunapads creates a positive impact for our local economy.

Question: Lunapads is a shareholder in AFRIPads, a Ugandan-based social enterprise that supports locally-based manufacturing and distribution of reusable menstrual pads; a model that reflects Lunapads’ business practices. Could you tell us a little bit about Lunapads’ commitment to local manufacturing, here in Vancouver?

Answer: Ninety-five percent of our proprietary products are manufactured (designing, cutting and sewing the pads) right here in East Vancouver by local garment manufacturers that are family-run businesses. We did have one or two manufacturers outside of BC, but we’ve noticed that the quality is much better when we work with local manufacturers. Overall, 70% of the products available for retail through our website are either local made or sourced from local owned companies.

Question: Tell us a bit about your sustainable materials sourcing.

Answer: Lunapads and Lunapanties are primarily made from sustainable fabrics or natural fabrics like cotton. However, since cotton is not grown here, we cannot source this material locally. But, we do try to buy from local owned businesses that source cotton abroad. 44% of our raw materials are sourced from local owned businesses. All our packaging is made from renewable resources or 100% recycled content and sourced from local owned businesses.

Question: You both volunteer as mentors, providing local business women with leads, contacts, and advice. Can you share how mentoring creates local impact?

Answer: A couple of years ago (2012), Madeleine mentored a physiotherapist (Laura Patrick) who specialized in physiotherapy for kids. At the time, Laura had just one clinic in Vancouver; she’s grown her business to include two additional clinics in Surrey and North Vancouver. Laura won the Small Business BC Community Impact Award in 2012, and was awarded the Best New Business 2014 award by the Surrey Board of Trade Excellence Awards.

Question: What about Lunapads’ business model and philosophy sets it apart from other employers in the city?

Answer: In addition to our pad donation program and being a strongly mission-based company, we offer a flexible work schedule for all of our employees (we let them set their own hours) and we fully support and encourage our employees to show up as their authentic selves and express their personal values. We also provide a health trust fund that employees can draw on for whatever healing modality best suits their needs.

 

Article by: Susan Chambers, author of Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility

#BCbuylocal Week Press Release

For Immediate Release

BC Buy Local Week illustrates value of consumer spending on local owned, local grown & local made to economy and communities

(December 1, 2014 – Vancouver, BC) The third annual Buy Local Week in BC kicked off today, celebrating the big impact buying locally has on the local economy and on communities across BC. Buy Local Week 2014 runs from December 1-7 and has been proclaimed by the Province of BC and many cities around the province, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Port Moody, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and Whistler.

“We know buying local is an important economic driver in British Columbia,” says Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Businesses. “Not only does it keep money and jobs in B.C., it also contributes to the character of our neighbourhoods and builds a sense of community. This is not only about buying a sweater at a local craft fair – there are hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the province to support, from real estate agents to craft brewers to local furniture makers.”

“Local businesses create more than double the economic impact of their chain competitors,” says Amy Robinson, founder and co-executive director of LOCO BC, which coordinates Buy Local Week in the province. “We are encouraging consumers to shift some of their spending to local owned businesses, and to look for local grown and local made products wherever they shop. When you spend your dollars with local businesses, that money recirculates in your community 2.6 times, creating a bigger economic impact for your region.”

Participating businesses will be promoting their local owned businesses, local grown and local made products with bright pink stickers and other materials to highlight their impact. On social media, the campaign is using the hashtag #BCbuylocal to tell stories about the value of buying local throughout BC.

Since “What is Local?” is commonly asked, LOCO BC has been conducting research and working with local businesses to define what is “local.” Based on economic and other local impacts, Local Owned is defined as private companies (single owner or partnership, employee owned, co-operative or social enterprise/non-profit), headquartered in BC where more than half of the owners reside in BC. Local Grown is defined as an agricultural product grown in BC (such as food, plants, fibre, wood), and local made products with more than half ingredients or materials grown in BC. Local Made is defined as a product that is wholly or largely manufactured or processed in BC.

BC Buy Local Week is coordinated by LOCO BC with Vancity as the program’s main partner. Other partners include the Vancouver Economic Commission and Small Business BC.

“As a local credit union, we understand the power of local dollars,” says Linda Morris, a senior vice-president at Vancity. “Our members’ deposits stay right here in our community and we lend those dollars to individuals, businesses and organizations in our backyard. By buying local, we all help create stronger local businesses, communities and economies.”

“Canadian consumers spend about $1,500 on average on food, alcohol, gifts and travel during the holiday season. When people shift just 1% – a $15 dollar purchase – of that spending to local business, it multiplies local wealth and supports more jobs and stronger communities,” adds Robinson. Research by LOCO and Civic Economics last year showed that a one per cent increase in BC consumer spending creates 3,100 jobs and $94 million in annual wages to BC workers.

More information about Buy Local Week and resources to help consumers find local businesses and products is available at http://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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Media contact:

Carla Shore

C-Shore Communications Inc.

P: 604-329-0975

carla@cshore.ca