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Impact of BC's Independent Retailers & Consumer Support for Local

LOCO worked with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to assess the economic impact of BC’s independent retailers. The full report contains data for all of Canada; our summary focuses on the results for BC. The research found that BC independent retailers recirculate 66% of their revenue within the province, equal to the Canadian average, and the second highest in the country. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) with physical stores in Canada have a recirculation of 11% and large online platforms with no retail stores have a recirculation of 8%. Independent retailers in BC have 6 times the economic benefit of multinationals with stores in the province and 8 times the economic benefit of big online platforms with no stores. The study found that 83% of BC consumers want the money they spend to be redistributed locally, but they underestimate the amount that local businesses recirculate by almost 1/2, and overestimate the amount that MNCs and online platforms do by up to 3.4 times. Download the BC Summary and the Canada-wide report.

Impact of Independent Retail in Canada

Small and local retailers make important contributions to their communities, and to provincial and Canadian economies.. They add to the vibrancy of the local areas they operate in, provide employment, buy local goods and services, and support local causes, organizations, teams and events. Unfortunately, they face many challenges competing with big, multinational retailers and online giants, and in dealing with consumers undervaluing the significant economic benefits of shopping small. This report analyzes how Canadian small businesses in the retail sector make direct financial contributions to their local economies and how these contributions set them apart from multinational retailers and online giants. Download the report.

Support for Local Online & In-Store

Research on consumer patterns and preferences post-COVID-19 restrictions and amid record-high inflation. We surveyed more than 850 Canadians and found that local businesses still dominate in-store purchasing, but non-local purchasing dominates online. We estimate the annual leakage of Canadian consumer spending to foreign-owned multinationals in BC alone at $53 Billion, and in Canada at $389 Billion. We found that many consumers make local product purchases at multinational corporations. Although price is a key consideration, we found that product quality, better service, and availability were extremely important to them, all areas in which local businesses can really shine. With a focus on digital adoption in small businesses during/since COVID-19, there is an opportunity for local businesses to capture more of the market online with better support for e-commerce systems and digital marketing, and better consumer education. Download the report

The Impact of Shopping Local: An Economic and Carbon Analysis of 5 Common Purchases

LOCO and Vancity teamed up to measure the impact of common purchases. We worked with Offsetters and Civic Economics for the carbon and economic analysis. We looked at the purchase of five products  - a loaf of bread, a caffe latte, blueberries, a dress, and a bicycle - from local businesses compared to imported products from non-local businesses. We found that locally grown or made product results in a greenhouse gas reduction benefit of between 5% and 66% compared to imported products, that local products produce a local economic benefit between 2.0 and 7.1 TIMES that of imported products (average of 4.1 times), and that a local retailer compared to a non-local retailer that is purely online has a benefit of 107 TIMES.

Download the report now. Check out the infographics

Local Business Resilience & Recovery Framework

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the understanding of the key role that small and local businesses play in their communities and the B.C. economy. As the pandemic exposed the disparities in our economic system, it also highlighted the need for a “new normal”, an imperative to build back to a more just and equitable economy. As part of this effort, LOCO recognized the opportunity to help shape a vision for rebuilding the economy to focus on increasing local business resilience and a strong recovery for the sector. We set out to develop a framework based on key principles to support local business resilience and recovery, in the hopes of supporting local businesses in a more strategic way. The goal of this work is to start to define key principles, as a starting point for follow-on activities to promote, pilot, and implement solutions. They are by no means hard and fast rules; we hope that this is the beginning of an iterative process, informed by many. Download the framework.

The High Cost of Permitting Delays in the City of Vancouver

The HIGH COST of Permitting Delays in the City of Vancouver

This 2020 research found that the average business permit/license in the City of Vancouver takes 8.2 months from application to issuance. This costs the business $513,390 in lost revenue and leasing costs, and the broader local economy $208,418, for a total loss of $721,808. This research assessed the cost of operating a business annually, and found that each week that the City of Vancouver can reduce the permit/license process represents $31,160 in economic activity (lease costs, revenue, employment and supplier sales). Many changes are underway in early 2020 to improve the process at the City of Vancouver, and this report provides recommendations on the economic benefit of those changes. 
Download the report. Get the infographics from our blog.

The Economic Impact of Local Businesses

This 2019 research found that independent businesses recirculate up to 4.6 times more revenue than multinationals, keeping up to 63% of revenue in B.C. compared to 14% with multinationals. Independent businesses produce up to 8.4 times more jobs/ft2 & up to 8.1 times more revenue/ft2 than multinationals, and they spend up to 31.4% of their revenue on B.C. products & services from B.C.-based businesses. Independent businesses donate up to 24 times more per dollar of revenue to local charities that multinationals. Based on these results, 10% shift in B.C. consumer spending towards independent businesses would create 14,150 jobs & keep $4.3 billion in the B.C. economy.

Download the full report.

The Impact of Online Shopping on Local Business

A 2015 research study by LOCO BC highlighting the increase in consumer shopping done online, how BC businesses are competing online, and what motivates online shoppers. Online shopping will grow to 10% of all Canadian consumer purchases by 2019. Purchasing with local businesses supports a strong local economy, and yet only 1/3 of online sales go to Canadian businesses. And the more shopping consumers do online, the more likely they are to buy from big chains rather than local businesses. Consumers report that they value Canadian ownership and look for local made products online, but most businesses report that they don’t market themselves online. 

Download the report now.

Check out our blog post for some of the highlights.

The Power of Purchasing: The Economic Impacts of Local Procurement

A 2013 study by LOCO BC, the Columbia Institute, and ISIS at the Sauder School of Business that evaluates the impact of purchasing from local suppliers. Using B.C. office supply Mills Basics to make the case, the study shows that local purchasing re-circulates 33% of revenues directly to residents and businesses in B.C. compared to 17% and 19% for multinationals. This presents a 77%-100% economic advantage for B.C. from buying local, and an 80%-100% increase in jobs per million dollars spent. 

Download the report now.

Check out our blog post for some of the highlights.

Buying Local: Tools for Forward Thinking Institutions

A 2013 companion report to The Power of Purchasing, it outlines the many ways that organizations can benefit themselves, as well as the economies that sustain them, by making minor adjustments to the way that they purchase goods and services. Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions outlines strategies and paths that policy-makers, sustainability managers, procurement professionals and others involved in institutional purchasing decisions can pursue to realize this potential. 

Download the report now.

Check out our blog post for some of the highlights.

Independent BC: Small Business & The British Columbia Economy

A 2013 Civic Economics study on Canadian market share of independent and chain business that calculates the economic impacts of locally owned business compared to their major North American chain competitors. 

Download the report now.

Check out our blog post for some of the highlights.