LOCO Businesses are Hiring!

Homestead Junction is hiring a Purchaser & Warehouse Coordinator

If you become our new Purchaser & Warehouse Coordinator, you’ll be in charge of keeping physical items moving in and out of our store in an orderly manner. You’ll order stuff from our vendors, receive shipments as they come in, maintain our storage/warehousing area in impeccable order, track what needs to be repackaged or assembled, and oversee our web order fulfullment program. You’ll help make important decisions about what products we carry, and regularly contribute to improving our business processes. You’ll operate as part of a team, but with a great deal of autonomy and ownership over your role. And every once in a while, you might just fill in at front-of-house, because that’s what happens in a small company like ours! Find out more.


Novex Delivery Solutions is hiring a Sales & Marketing Manager

A solid and growing business for 35 years, Novex continues to be innovative and creative as it serves the Lower Mainland’s same-day delivery needs. The mission for the Sales and Marketing Manager is to grow Novex’s triple bottom lines, and attract and retain exceptional customers. This senior role requires working closely with the CEO to drive sales growth and sales activities in alignment with the company’s vision and values. Find out more.


Urban Digs farms is hiring a full-time Farmer

At Urban Digs we are farmers first, and it takes one to know one. We supply families and chefs with trustworthy meat, eggs and produce grown at our farm and by other farmers we know. We are looking for a full-time farmer to manage and operate our small farm in South Burnaby starting April/May 2016 through to October/November 2016. Might also suit a couple who want to job share. You must have at least 2 years’ experience and be able to work independently. Most importantly you must care passionately about the work that you do and be aligned with the farm’s values. Find out more.


RTOWN is hiring Digital Media Sales Representatives in Victoria, Kelowna and the Lower Mainland

We are seeking a sharp, experienced sales person with a proven track record of success to be the next Digital Media Sales Representative to join our growing sales team. This is a proven outside sales role with proven products. You will be acquiring & managing local clients – preferably in the neighbourhood or town that you live in. As a Digital Media Sales Representative, you will be responsible for listening, assessing and making service & solution recommendations that are aligned with success for all parties. Find out more.


JustWork is looking for a new Executive Director

We are looking to hire a new ED to replace our current director, who will be moving away from the area in the summer of 2016. The new Director will continue developing our capacity to offer meaningful employment by building and stewarding our partnerships with businesses, churches, foundations, customers and employees. Find out more.


New LOCO Business Clinic Advisors: Focus on Khalid Amlani

Khalid Amlani is a Chartered Accountant with Akeroyd Leung Amlani (ALA). ALA provides accounting services, tax planning & compliance, and advisory services to help clients make informed decisions on everything from incorporation to financial planning. Khalid has over 10 years of experience helping his clients make sense of their numbers by providing tax, accounting and strategic business advice. Khalid has worked with LOCO members Momentum Venture Partners, Ello and Miller Titerle and others. Find out more about Khalid here.

1. What are your areas of expertise?

Our firm’s focus is on providing tax, accounting, assurance and financial consulting to a wide range of businesses from start-up companies to mid-size companies. We strive to understand the clients short and long term goals and work with them to provide accounting and tax solutions tailored to their needs. Typically, this can include tax compliance, estate planning and financial reporting.

2. What type of clients do you typically work with?

We have years of working with businesses of all different sizes and industries. We have established our selves as a “go-to” firm for start-up and owner-managed companies that want to make sure that they are well positioned for growth. We also have a focus on professional practices in the medical field including doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners. Each client is different, and we provide custom tax and accounting advice that our clients require.

3. What are the business challenges you most often help  your clients solve/address?

We help our clients with any business challenge that may have a financial impact. Most often we are dealing with growing companies. As they grow, taxes become an important issue, so we work to manage all their tax filings and provide tax planning strategies to minimize their tax burden. Another challenge that faces growing companies is although revenue and net income may be increasing, cash flow never seems to keep up. We provide clarity surrounding the working capital life cycle and recommend solutions to increase cash flow.

4. How do you help?

Business owners have a lot of things to worry about – we try to make taxes and accounting NOT one of those things.  We handle their annual tax compliance needs and help them plan for the future.

5. How can you help a business in a 1-hour business clinic session?

The 1 hour business clinic session can be used for us to gain an understanding of you and your business and provide some recommendations on tax/accounting issues that need urgent attention and others that you should keep in your mind as you grow.



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

Glenburn Soda: Serving B.C.’s Abundance by Sourcing Local

photo: Larry Wright, Burnaby Now

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionary is a retro-style fountain shop on Hastings Street in Burnaby Heights owned by husband and wife team Ron and Roberta LaQuaglia. The soda fountain brings a taste of a time gone-by to the Heights of Burnaby. It’s a neighbourhood place where friends can meet and where families are welcome. They offer nostalgic treats – ice cream, soda fountain specialties like floats and malts as well as an assortment of vintage candy and bottled pop. 




Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We are committed to purchasing from local owned businesses, and local grown and made products. We get our ice cream from Birchwood Dairy, a local supplier in Abbotsford. We specifically chose them because they weren’t owned bya multinational. Our milk and cream come from Avalon Dairy, and our berries come from local farms – mostly Krause, but also Beckman and Forstbauer Farms. Our berries and fruit for sauces are often organic. The pies we sell are from local owned suppliers, and are local made. We know the baker, and often share sources of local grown berries, so they are often local grown too. We love their pies so much, we’ll pick them up if that can’t deliver that day. A lot of our other purchases, like laundry and banking, are from local businesses. I’d estimate about 75%.

Question: How else do you support your local community?

Answer: We’re passionate about kids, sports and active lifestyles. We hold fundraising days and donate $1 per item sold on those days to local schools. We prioritize active lifestyles, but also help local school PACs to fund technology upgrades for schools.

Question: How do you support the environment?

Answer: Unlike other ice cream shops that use disposable plastic cups and spoons, we encourage our customers to enjoy our products in the store in glass. If they want take-out, we encourage customers to use no packaging (cones!) or we provide compostable and recyclable packaging. We produce very little waste. We work to reduce packaging coming into the shop, and we recommend less packaging to our customers. We give our ice cream buckets away to arts studios and to food scraps collection programs to give away as compost buckets.

Saul Good Gift Co: Generating Local Social Impact through Collaboration

When Saul Brown, a founding member of LOCO BC, started Saul Good Gift Co—a certified B Corp—in 2006, it was with the intention of creating and growing an environmentally sustainable gift basket business. In addition to his commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices, Saul’s business practices are also driven by a commitment to local purchasing (73% of his suppliers are locally owned companies) and developing mutually beneficial relationships with other local businesses and social enterprises—a commitment that has generated a high level of local social and economic impact over the years, particularly for the growing social enterprise sector in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.


Question: What inspired you to start collaborating with social enterprises?

Answer: A series of events and decisions that occurred within the first few years of launching my business got me thinking about the social side of sustainable business. One of my earliest collaborative partnerships with a social enterprise occurred in 2008. It emerged out of a networking event where I met a Rona employee who told me about Tradeworks Custom Products. I started working with the business to locate and procure local, sustainable materials for their products and I helped them grow their business. I also learned a lot about the social side of sustainable businesses through sharing work space—and collaborating—with Toby Barazzuol (Eclipse Awards) on a variety of community initiatives that sought to address both social issues and environmental sustainability concerns through business.

Question: How does collaborating with social enterprises generate local, social impact?

Answer: When we looked at the top 75% of our expenses, we see that 25% of the dollars spent go directly to local social enterprises such as Starworks, Tradeworks Custom Products, and East Van Roasters. However, generating this kind of impact hasn’t happened overnight; it’s been the result of having a clearly defined vision, goals and strategies that have steered decisions at each stage of business growth. It isn’t just about the social impact: these collaborations and partnerships also create value and a competitive advantage for both parties. For example, we have been working with our fulfillment partner, Starworks, to enhance business processes and systems in place that now makes it possible for them to provide “pick and pack”, just-in-time fulfillment requests from clients. ). I collaborate with social enterprise vendors and partners in ways that empower them to access new business opportunities or markets. Saul Good Gift Co also generates social impact through sharing the stories behind the products in the gift baskets. The stories are a “non-preachy” way of raising awareness about social enterprises and social issues.

Question: What advice would you give to other socially responsible business owners who are interested in collaborating with social enterprises?

Answer: First, start with a clear goal and understanding of what the strategy is behind the decision if you want to generate a social impact through cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with social enterprises. Second, you need to be really clear about your company’s culture and values and ask yourself what resonates with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Third, it’s best to start small. Do a little bit, then step and evaluate the process. A key question to ask oneself is, does it create value for both partners?

visit Saul Good Gift Co. at www.itsaulgood.com

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 celebrates and spreads innovative practices, developing a community based on authentic peer and mentor relationships between local businesses. Our programs are designed to connect and support local, independently owned businesses to compete more effectively in their communities and in a global economic environment.

The Business Clinic

The LOCO Business Clinic is the first stop for local business leaders to get affordable professional advice for their 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. Businesses derive 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 appropriate. Find out more.

Measure What Matters

The Quick Impact Assessment is a free online tool to help you ‘measure what matters’ for creating local economic impact. Where and how does your business have the greatest local economic impact? Find out more.

Zero Hero

Zero Hero offers a turnkey approach to reducing waste, providing solutions for small to mid-sized businesses based on the success of their peers. The Zero Hero program works with businesses in the Vancouver region, with a focus on restaurant, food service and food retailers. Find out more.

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


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