December 01, 2014 12:20 ET

BC Buy Local Week Illustrates Value of Consumer Spending on Local Owned, Local Grown & Local Made to Economy and Communities

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 1, 2014) - 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 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.


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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