This is BC Buy Local Week, but that does not mean shopping local isn’t important every day of the year.
We all know that this has been a very difficult year on everyone, especially on our smaller and medium local businesses. Covid-19 have meant many entrepreneurs have had a difficult time making end-meet due to restrictions and limited access to shoppers who are staying home, for all the right reasons.
What is local?
Figuring out what makes something local can be a confusing when you are making your purchasing decisions. BC Buy Local offers the following guidelines for what makes Local:
Local Owned businesses are:
-Private companies (ex. single owner or partnership, employee owned, co-operative or social enterprise/non-profit)
-Headquartered in BC
-More than 50% of owners residing in BC.
Local Grown products are:
-Agricultural products grown in BC (ex. food, plants, fibre, wood)
-Manufactured products with >50% materials grown in B.C.
Local Made products are:
-Wholly or largely (>50%) manufactured or processed in B.C. Can include products produced without local materials or ingredients.
BC Buy Local also offer some interesting statistics that help us understand the impact deciding to buy local can have:
For every $100 spent with a BC local business, $63 from local retailers is re-circulated back into our BC economy (vs $14 for multinational corporations). For Local restaurants, the percentage is even higher as they re-circulate 68% back to the local economy, vs 30% for chains. This happens because local businesses have owners who live and provide jobs in your community. They support local events, sports teams and charities, as well are more likely to buy local services and supplies, passing the dollar even further along the local economy.
How can you help local?
Some thoughts to help with your locally sourced Christmas List; shop from local small shops in your neighbourhood, order online/by phone and pick-up curbside if possible. Support artists and crafters by visiting their websites to find out where you can purchase their creations. Look for Local ingredients, from your grocery stores and restaurants, perhaps buy and give gift certificates for others to help pass on the local goodwill.
To get a good idea of how to shop local near you, visit your neighbourhood’s business improvement association, like: Yaletown, Downtown Vancouver, Kits on Broadway, East Village, West End , Shipyards District at Lower Lonsdale. These are just a few in my area, visit them or bcbuylocal.com to find out what’s in your area and help help your local merchants and restaurants.