New Research Report: The Impact of Online Shopping on Local Businesses


Just in time for the 4th annual BC Buy Local Week, LOCO BC launches a new research report highlighting a growing trend in online shopping, how BC businesses are competing online, and what motivates online shoppers. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • Online shopping is a growing trend in Canada. Sales are expected to double by in the next four years, from $22 Billion in 2014 to $40 Billion by 2019.
  • B.C. retailers cite “competition from internet retailers” as one of two top challenges they face (tied for top issue at 64% along with “big competitors receive better pricing & terms”).
  • Very few businesses feel they are marketing themselves effectively. The majority of them are spending less than $200/year on advertising.
  • 2 out of every 3 dollars spent online by Canadians goes to a U.S. retail website.
  • Cross border online shopping reduces the amount of money circulating in the local economy by up to 32%.
  • The higher the volume of online purchasing a consumer does, the more likely it is that they purchase with chains versus local businesses. Those whose online purchases make up less than
  • 50% of their overall consumer spending are spending approximately equal amounts with chains as local businesses. However, those spending between 75-99% online shop with chains twice as often as with local businesses.
  • Consumers value local. Of Canadian consumers surveyed, 69% valued Canadian ownership as “Most Important” or “Important” when shopping. Over 50% of consumers are seeking locally made products and nearly 50% prefer to buy from companies right in their Province or City.
  • Consumers would spend more money online with local businesses if they offered convenient shipping, e-stores and a better consumer experience navigating their online stores.

Download the report

LOCO Launches New Research on the Impact of Online Shopping on Canadian Retailers

LOCO has just begun a new research project into the impact of online shopping on local business.

Online shopping represents a large and increasing part of the Canadian economy. However, many of the dollars spent leak out of our economy to US Corporations.A 2013 report produced for Vancity reported that two out of every three dollars spent online by Canadians go to US retail websites.

Canada Post and Tenzing recently reported that:

  • The average Canadian currently spends $1210 online annually.
  • In 2014, the value of online shopping in Canada was $22 billion dollars.
  • Online shopping is expected to double between 2014 and 2019, increasing to a value of more than $40 billion dollars.

Please help us complete our research to assess the impact of these trends on local business.

If you own a retail business, please take our business survey. The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes. Survey closes October 31st, 2015.

If you’re a consumer (and we all are), please take our consumer survey. The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes. Survey closes October 31st, 2015.

Also, please help spread the word – send the url for this page to friends and business owners. Contact us for more info.

Saul Good Gift Co.




Fill in either of our surveys for a chance to win a gourmet local food gift box from Saul Good Gift Co. worth $300!


Business Clinic

LOCO Business Clinic.Horizontal.Blue

What’s the LOCO Business Clinic?

The LOCO Business Clinic is the first stop for local businesses to get affordable professional advice for everyday business problems. In a one-hour session, businesses can get quick and professional advice on their most pressing business problems without a long, taxing search or vetting process. They get immediate value from the session by gaining clarity and insight into the issue at hand, and receive recommendations to specialists within the LOCO network when needed.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Provide access to high-level consulting expertise to members who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
  • Assist growing businesses by connecting them to the right expertise to move their business forward for an affordable price.
  • Engage LOCO members (and potential members) as participants and advisors.
  • Allow LOCO to get to know its member business and their needs at a deeper level.


VanMGM_Logo_Small1LOCO Members: $50

Non-Members: $75 (first session-use promo code “NonMemberFirstSession”); $100 (follow-up sessions)

Vancity is generously offering Business Clinic bursaries for Vancity business members. If your business is a Vancity member, use the promo code “VancityMember” to reduce LOCO member and non-member pricing by 50%.

Availability and Booking

Hillary Samson: Apr 29th, May 27th. Check Hillary’s bio and availability and book now.

Jonathan Vroom: May 6th, Jun 3rd, Jun 17th. Check Jonathan’s bio and availability and book now.

Lydia Taylor: May 13th, Jun 24th.  Check Lydia’s bio and availability and book now.

Carla Shore: Jun 10th. Check Carla’s bio and availability and book now. Check Carla’s bio and availability and book now.HiVE_new2015

LOCO’s Business Clinic is hosted by the HiVE – Vancouver’s Community Hub for Social Impact!

By Appointment

Mark Jeffrey

Matthew Quetton

Amy Robinson

Khalid Amlani


Check out more info on LOCO’s Business Clinic Advisors.

How do we choose our advisors?

LOCO’s Business Clinic is based on knowledge philanthropy – our advisors donate their time and leverage their networks to bring people into the clinic, to help LOCO build a revenue stream, provide support to local businesses, and connect businesses to all the other valuable LOCO member service providers and programs. (We also promote other service providers and programs where appropriate, but we hope that all will join us to build a stronger local economy!) We hope to bring in rock star advisors that see this work as philanthropic, and can use the clinic to donate time to clients they may not otherwise be able to provide service to. We allow the LOCO network to vet our advisors – we typically hear about the best from all our members, and pursue them to be part of the clinic. Advisors must have recommendations from at least three LOCO members. If you fit this profile and you’re interested in becoming an advisor, contact us.


We felt we were in a place where we were ready for higher level advice and we left the session (with Matt) feeling recharged with a clear vision of what to do next. We trusted LOCO to recommend a business minded coach with similar values and we trust that LOCO has the best interests of its members at heart. We also liked the flexibility of the program and that we can pursue the advice on our own time without being locked into a formal program and longer term commitment.
~Ian Christie and Josephine Chan from Pure Souls Media

It was great having the opportunity to step back from the daily grind. The amount of work I try to do is often unmanageable. So this part was very valuable. Matthew was helpful at providing both guidance and a structured time to try to articulate what the real challenges are, and a sounding board.
The advantage of having this opportunity available through LOCO is their ability to provide a vetting service. To work with advisors who have aligned values and are good at their job. Skipping the vetting process is VERY helpful.
~Rick Havlak from Homestead Junction

That Business Clinic session (with Hillary Samson) was worth the price of my LOCO membership for the whole year!

~Paola Ardiles from Bridge for Health

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 the report here.

New Critical Illness Benefit for LOCO Members

For several years LOCO has been working to create options for small business insurance coverage for extended health, dental and critical illness. With the launch of our Critical Illness Benefit, all owners, employees and their spouses are eligible to apply for $25,000 of Critical Illness Insurance! You can pass it on to your employees without you having to manage or pay for it. We’ve pasted the text of an email below that makes it easier for you to let them know about this benefit of working for a LOCO-member business. Available For a Limited Time for Existing LOCO members – applications accepted until June 15th 2013. Apply online at:


What Is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical Illness Insurance provides financial protection if you are diagnosed with one of 25 illnesses, including cancer, heart attack and stroke.
LOCO’s Critical Illness Insurance plan provides:
• A $25,000 tax-free, lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with one
of the covered illnesses.
• Full payment, whether or not you are able to work while you are ill,
and whether or not a full recovery is made.
• Freedom to use the money any way you choose.
To read claims stories about how Critical Illness Insurance can help, visit

How Much Is It?

Comparable individual CI policies ($25K Benefit) would be almost 3 times as much and would require full medical underwriting where you need to complete medical questions, provide family history, and potentially a doctor’s report, blood tests, etc. (*24/24 month pre-existing condition clause does apply)

Use your age, gender and smoking status online to estimate your premium: check your rate here

You can send this offer to your employees to offer them affordable insurance without you having to manage or pay for it. Simply send them the link and the info above.

Civic Economics Release BC Study


Civic Economics is a respected and well-known organization that has produced a long-line of studies that indicate the economic impact of buying local. Local dollars are said to recirculate 2-4 times when spent with locally owned businesses compared to multinational organizations because they:

  • Recirculate greater profits in the community
  • Create more local employment
  • More often buy local products and services (especially local marketing and financial services)
  •  Donate more to local charities, non-profit groups and community organizations

In the BC study, Civic Economics assesses the local and Canadian market share of independent and chain business and calculates the economic impacts of locally owned business compared to their major North American chain competitors.

Here are some of the highlights:

Market Share

  • Local businesses in Canada have less than 1/2 the total market share on average. This has been dropping slightly each year since 2008
  • Market share by local business has dropped approximately 15% in the last 11 years in both BC & Canada
  • BC local retailers have the third lowest market share in the country. Local businesses captured just 34.7%  of the market in 2010, in front of only Alberta & Manitoba (tied at 33.1%) and Nova Scotia (30.8%). We lag the Canadian average of 41.8% and are way behind local market share leaders in Quebec (54.7%)
  • BC furniture & home furnishing stores have the highest market share by local business in the country
  • BC food & beverage stores have the lowest market share by local business in the country


  • BC local businesses creates double the economic impact of their chain competitors. They recirculate more than 2.6 times as much revenue in the local economy as chains (46.3% compared to 17.8% for chains)
  • Local retailers recirculate 45% compared to 17% for chains
  • Local restaurants recirculate 65% compared to 30% for chains

Civic Economics cites the greater labour intensity of local restaurants compared to retail stores as the reason for the greater economic impact.

Buy Local

The impact of buying local, even a few more purchases each week, can have a big impact on the local economy and on communities across BC.

Civic Economics assessed the impact of consumers increasing local purchasing by 10% and found it would create

  • 31,000 jobs
  • $940 million in wages to BC workers

    Download the Civic Economics Study Here




First Tuesday Monthly Business Mixers

Our events are hosted by our members. Think factory, store and warehouse tours with good local food, drink and business connections old and new. It’s a chance for our members to get to know each other, strengthen community and leverage our network to support a stronger local economy.

Events are on the first Tuesday of each month. Drinks and food are included in the ticket price. For event notifications, make sure you sign up for our newsletter (bottom right corner).  

Please check back for our next First Tuesday event – we’ll have more scheduled in fall 2017. 



Our workshops are finished for the season. 

Other Events

No other events scheduled at this time.