Bow Valley Marketing is passionate about buying local and supporting locally owned and operated businesses.
Buying local is not only one of our core values, it was also our inspiration for founding a buy local social venture.
Motivated by the book, Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition by Michael Shuman, a leading visionary on community economics, I set out on a mission to support local businesses in Whistler, BC.
Learn about my journey and discover the benefits of buying local.
Local Whistler: A Buying Local Social Venture
Before moving to Canmore in 2016 I founded a grassroots social venture called Local Whistler.
My mission was to inspire a ‘choose local’ culture by celebrating, connecting and supporting local businesses.
My vision was to boost the regional economy and create a thriving, vibrant, diverse local business community while shifting more spending towards local businesses.
I developed a website featuring a local business directory and built a strong organic social media following over three years.
Local businesses displayed Local Whistler decals in their store windows making it easy for people to easily identify which businesses were locally owned.
Inspired by the work that LOCO BC in Vancouver was doing, I partnered with them along with the non-profit I worked with, the Whistler Centre, on bringing BC Buy Local Week to the Sea to Sky corridor. I advocated for local businesses by gaining Buy Local Week proclamations by councils in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton two years in a row.
One of LOCO BC’s most engaging Buy Local Week campaigns was their ‘How Are We Local’ poster.
Local businesses used the poster to show which local businesses they bought from demonstrating the ripple impact of buying local.
It also celebrated local business champions and how illustrated how local businesses were connected.
5 Benefits of Choosing Local
- Every time you spend money you vote with your dollars. When you choose to buy from a local entrepreneur or artist, you’re supporting someone in your community, province or country.
- You often receive a more authentic experience and better customer service.
- You contribute to your community’s unique culture helping to maintain a diverse and vibrant collection of businesses, products and services.
- You invest in your local or regional economy and you help create jobs. Every dollar you spend locally recirculates in the local economy.
- Make a more environmentally sustainable choice. Deciding to go local contributes to fewer emissions.
“Communities with a greater concentration of small, locally owned businesses have healthier populations. They also enjoy higher rates of civic engagement and sustain higher property values.”
(American Independent Business Association)
2 Powerful Ways You Can Support Your Local Economy
#1 Buy Local
When you choose to support a local business or artist you are investing in your community.
Shopping at local businesses has a greater economic return because the money keeps circulating in the economy.
Research by LOCO BC found that “buying local keeps 4 times the money in the economy compared to shopping at chains.”
Also, “local businesses support local events, sports teams and charities 250% more than big corporations.”
#2 Bank Locally
People understand the value of shopping locally, but often overlook the benefits of banking locally. When you bank locally you help keep more money circulating in your local economy.
Credit unions like Bow Valley Credit Union are more likely to lend to and invest in locally owned businesses, they often sponsor local initiatives or sports teams and they typically fund community development programs. Making the switch to local banking is your biggest opportunity to make an impact.