Purchasing goods from locally-based suppliers creates nearly twice as much benefit to the local economy as buying from multinational chains, finds a joint study by the Columbia Institute, LOCO BC, and the ISIS Research Centre at the UBC Sauder School of Business.
In British Columbia, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $6.7 billion annually on goods and services. Those same organizations spend millions of dollars on economic development and on investments in their communities.
Yet, the link between the impacts of purchasing on economic development is rarely made. The study shows how purchasing can be used to reinforce economic development and support strong communities.
Using office supplies as an example, the study finds Mills Basics, a locally-owned B.C. office supply company, re-circulates 33% of its revenue directly to residents and businesses in B.C., compared to 17% and 19% for its multinational counterparts. This presents a 77% to 100% economic advantage for B.C. from buying local, and an 80% to 100% increase in jobs per million dollars spent.
“When local purchasing dollars are re-circulated in the local economy they create good jobs and build local business,” says Joanna Buczkowska, managing director at the ISIS Research Centre.
“We ask that businesses, institutions and consumers spend with local businesses because they support local causes, hire your neighbours and help build strong communities,” adds Amy Robinson, founder and executive director of LOCO BC, a non-profit organization that promotes, connects and supports local businesses.