Shop Local and Support Your Community - BC Marketplace

As we’re witnessing record floods in our province, it’s important to think of meaningful ways to support our communities across BC. As consumers, when we do our holiday shopping this season, take a moment to consider how and why we shop. Your purchase has more impact than you may think.

Shop from Small Businesses Right in Your Community

Since the onset of the pandemic, 18% of BC businesses said their revenue had decreased by 40% or more for all of 2020. That’s a drastic change for many businesses, faced with uncertainty and new, unexpected challenges. For some, local support was and is the only thing that’s getting businesses through the hard times. On the other hand, with supply lines disrupted, small businesses are helping to keep our communities stocked with essential goods and supplies.

Despite recent challenges, small businesses in BC still accounted for 34% of overall gross domestic product (GDP) and employed almost 1.1 million people- or 43% of all workers! (2021 Small Business Profile). Meaning more in our time of need, supporting local businesses supports one another. Chances are, not only are you recirculating dollars spent into your own community but you’re also helping your closest friends, family and neighbours with your purchase.

Ways to Shop Meaningfully This Holiday Season

Make a difference and have a positive impact when shopping for the holiday season. Here are 5 great ways to shop with the spirit of local this December:

  1. Intentional Giving

As British Columbians, we are all affected in one way or another by the recent floods. Even if you don’t know someone from the most hard-hit communities, you can still donate to organizations that provide food, mental health supports, clean-up kits, humanitarian and disaster relief, pet boarding services, assistance with housing, and more. Check out:

So you can easily contribute to relief efforts for cities, communities and individual families. At SBBC we believe in being intentional in giving!

Mealshare is one of our former SBBC Awards finalists and they provide free meals to kids and youth in need by partnering with restaurants. When a customer orders a ‘Mealshare Item’, they get their meal, and someone in need gets one too. Buy one, give one – it’s that simple!

  1. Share Experiences or Activities

Experiences deliver memories that will last a lifetime! Holiday gifts can often turn into unwanted items stuffed into a closet. ‘Experience gifts’ are an awesome option and don’t have to be expensive. The best memories can be made together with one-of-a-kind moments. Think tickets to a live event, dinner at a popular restaurant, a typically BC adventure like whale or bear watching or passes to the local mountain!

Sometimes a simple activity is best, where the thought of spending time together is what counts. Take your friends for coffee, grab a scoop of your favourite flavour with the family, or go for a hike with coworkers. There are great local shops all around you. Chances are you can support a small business along the way without even knowing your impact.

  1. Choose Items That Are Earth-Friendly

By purchasing items that are earth-friendly, you help to reduce the environmental harm caused by production and consumption of goods. Adopting your own sustainable buying habits is good for the planet, and may even inspire others to make more earth-conscious choices.

Refilleries are some of the trendiest businesses right now and a good place to start! Refilling reduces waste, specifically plastic waste, and gets rid of unnecessary containers and packaging. Sadly, we’re only recycling 9% of the plastic that we throw away so the best way to be earth friendly is to refill and reuse. Our BC Marketplace hosts a great collection of refilleries across the province, find one near you!

  1. Buy Handmade Products

BC is home to many talented and creative entrepreneurs who offer stunning, well-crafted, one-of-a-kind products. As conscious consumers we can empower local artists and craftspeople with a purchase that invests money into their artistic growth or community. Amplify their work by sharing their unique pieces and stories on social media! There is no shortage of grammable originals, so check out our category of handmade on the BC Marketplace or check out the work from these artists below.

Choose from hundreds of talented artists in BC, like Heidi The Artist (100 Mile House), 128 Market Street (Delta), Crystal Cabin (Tlell), North Woven Broom (Crawford Bay), and Lolin By A Jewelry (Kelowna).

  1. Use Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

The most sustainable gift is of course one that has no packaging at all. But we recommend getting creative and inspired to make wrapping unique. Choose to repurpose household items. Use:

Check out these and over 3,300 small businesses on the BC Marketplace for even more inspiration!

When it comes to celebrating, recognizing, and supporting small businesses in B.C., we’re doing well but we can do better. Support local businesses in your community through the BC Marketplace.

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We respectfully acknowledge our place of work is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and that we serve the Peoples of the many Nations throughout British Columbia.