While there seems to be an awful lot of special ‘weeks’ proclaimed on the calendar, this week genuinely is worthy of mention.
The B.C. government has proclaimed Dec. 2-8 as B.C. Buy Local Week.
It’s an important reminder to shop locally, all year.
Not just during the holiday season, though especially during the holiday season.
Locally owned businesses, growers, manufacturers and service providers are key economic drivers.
Figures from a recent LOCO B.C. Indie Impact Study show that for every $100 spent locally, up to $63 are recirculated in the community, creating 4.6 times the economic impact over any money spent at non-local businesses.
The study also found that local restaurants recirculate 67.9% of all revenues locally compared to multinationals at 30.4%.
More than 500,000 small businesses operate in B.C., employing more than one million people and accounting for 53% of the province’s private-sector employment.
B.C. leads other provinces in gross domestic product (GDP) generated by small businesses, at 34% of overall provincial GDP.
“When you shop local, you help advance the local economy and allow your community to thrive and benefit all British Columbians,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
“Local businesses are vital to our communities. Not only do they create good jobs, they also enhance the community by contributing to worthy causes.”
“I think that’s vital for the success of not only the businesses downtown, but our community,” says Sandy Herle, president of the Parksville Downtown Business Association. “If there’s no downtown, there’s no community.”
It may be easy these days to shop online (local businesses do have websites, too!) but there remains something to be said about the experience of going into a store and talking to people who are experts on the items you wish to purchase.
Herle points out the business community is around throughout the whole year, so the holiday season is a good time to help support their year-round efforts.
“We’re the ones that when you’re looking for that donation to the Little League baseball team, the seniors group,” she said.
“We’re the ones that they come to, and we do need their support in order to be able to do that.”
B.C. Buy Local Week provides the opportunity to show appreciation for B.C.’s entrepreneurs.
This week, people are encouraged to make a pledge to visit local businesses and discover the products and services they have to offer. That support will mean a great deal to small-business owners and the long-term benefits are a boon for the community as a whole.