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!


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

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!


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.


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.


Write a holiday card to a local biz & win $5,000 in prizes!

In celebration of Buy Local Week 2013 (Dec 2-8) we are giving away over $5,000 in prizes from local BC businesses including weekend getaways to Tofino & Whistler.

All you have to do is send a holiday card to your favorite local business in BC telling them how they made your year bright. Enter here

Did you know when you choose to spend your dollars locally, for every $100 you spend $46 is re-circulated back into the local economy? Local businesses help our communities thrive. Write a holiday card to your favorite local business today.

Grand prizes:

Tofino Getaway ($1,165 value)

Whistler Getaway ($916 value)

Vancity $500 Gift Card

  • Win a $500.00 Vancity Visa* Gift Card to spend any way you like – make an impact this season by spending it locally

Burnaby Heights Shopping Spree ($2,000 value)

  • One lucky winner will get to live large this season with a $2000 shopping spree in Burnaby Heights. Thirty four different businesses have contributed gift certificates and prizes: restaurants, specialty foods, florists, yoga, kids art classes and much more await you in your new favourite neighborhood!

Other prizes:

Clos Du Soleil Winery ($200 value)- Enjoy a private vineyard tour & lunch for two at Clos Du Soleil Winery in Keremeos, BC. Stroll through the tall Bordeaux varietal vines while learning about their sustainable practices and award-winning wines. Then, enjoy a locally-made lunch from the freshest ingredients while you take in the scenery.

Saul Good Gift Co. ($125 value) This prize will take your holiday entertaining up a notch (or two!). The Local Gourmand gift basket from Vancouver-based Saul Good Gift Co. is filled with locally sourced gourmet foods and artisan chocolates. Yum.

Toy Jungle ($200 value) Delight the special kids in your life with this $200 prize package from locally-owned Toy Jungle, with locations in Vancouver (Kits), South Surrey and West Vancouver.

Dayton Boots Gift Certificate ($100 value) – Handcrafted, comfortable, durable, and classic, Dayton Boots are made in East Vancouver to the same exacting standards and attention to detail that have gone into every pair since 1946. One lucky winner will get a $100 gift certificate towards a pair of their choice.

Dish the Dirt ($105) – For tidy and environmentally conscious folks, this five-month supply of ‘Dish the Dirt’ products — environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable — will come in handy. (By triple-bottom-line Vancouver business LFT Group Brands Ltd.)

Hazel & Jools ($100 value) – A long-time fixture on Cambie Street, and now on Main Street, Hazel & Jools is a one-stop shop for women’s, maternity, and baby clothes. With their own locally made stylish collection and a curated selection of other brands, you’ll find lots of uses for your $100 gift certificate.

Bird on a Wire ($75 value) – This eclectic contemporary gift and clothing boutique on Vancouver’s Main Street offers a stylish collection of handmade and independent design from around BC. One lucky winner will win their choice of either a $75 gift certificate or a $150 abstract painting by local artist Catherine Fields from Bird on a Wire Creations.

This contest is in partnership with Vancity and The Tyee.