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Oct 24, 2014

Changing a Community based on what we Buy

Business is changing. Is this a bad thing? Heck no! There’s been a serious trend towards blended value return on investment and large social impact. We’re seeing collaboration from multiple sectors. We’re seeing sponsor dollars being spent towards engagement, as opposed to signage, and we’re taking an added consideration into our purchasing.

How do we incorporate social and financial practices into our bottom line? How do we change a community based on what we buy? This morning at the Okanagan Changemakers Buy Social Breakfast, we talked about social purchasing and the idea of moving towards a blended value business model, incorporating price and quality, as well as green and social practices. So, how can our supply chain and what/how we buy really effect out community, and by how much?

Buying local keeps 2.6x the money in the economy. To put a dollar figure on things – for every $100 spent locally, $46 stays in the local economy, whereas the alternative, we only see $18 staying local. That’s a huge leap!

So what exactly is “local”? Local comes in 3 different forms:

1.       Local

Local refers to those businesses that are directly supporting the local economy. Those sole proprietorships, farmers markets, those who support local artisans in their organizations as often as they can.

2.       Largely local

These are bigger operations, still based in BC but are businesses that may have branched out or expanded into other locations.

3.       Local champions

These are businesses that support local through B2B interactions. This could be ordering your office supplies through a local company.

 

By supporting local purchasing, we can make an impact. “If you can get front lines to buy in, the rest is just enabling them,” as put by Roger Wheeler, attendee. Local purchasing, and encouraging this, is not only going to change at the CEO level. This shift needs to be both a change in leadership goals, as well as a change in awareness for those making the daily purchases. Educating administrative and support staff, anyone who takes care of ordering, and having the front line employees backing this end goal is what is going to make this happen.

With more demand, there will be more orders. With more orders, we will see more social impact. Can it really be that easy?

We want to hear your thoughts! #BCBuylocal and join the discussion.

For more information on buying Local: http://locobc.com/

-KCC