What are we without our community? Without the gentle smile and helping hand of a neighbour, the familiar produce of the favourite stall at the market, or without the community center that educates and trains us. That is why Loco has created BC Buy Local in order to nurture the local community and help it thrive, by highlighting products that are locally created, exploring all the ways businesses make use of the local resources and encouraging consumers to turn their attention to local products and services.
The principle of BC Buy Local is as simple and obvious as it can be: if you spend more money on local businesses, you help your community grow and flourish. This may provide a job to someone you know, reduces the carbon footprint by eliminating the long, wasteful journey of a product arriving from afar, and helps develop the local infrastructure. For every $100 spent, $46 gets back to the community.
A report released just yesterday by Loco, the alliance behind BC Buy Local, showed that the greatest competitor for local spending is online shopping, with $22 billion spent online in 2014 in Canada. Other challenges are the tendency to shop in chain stores (50% of our spending goes there) and the lack of marketing for local businesses (most of them spend less than $200/year on advertising).
But more than the financial considerations of buying local, think of the pride and awe of treasuring a local product. Find out more about its story and the people involved in making it and create a meaningful connection. You will be amazed at its wonderful history and the unique skills used to make it.
So start by looking for the pink tag that identifies local products and businesses and this year bring Christmas closer to you by making it local. Spread the word about your gorgeous finds and encourage your friends to do the same. Then make it a habit.