May 11, 2020
Vancity, LOCO BC, and business organizations throughout the Lower Mainland are launching a program to promote the purchase of gift cards from local businesses in partnership with Support Local BC.
Support Local BC provides an online platform where customers can support their favourite local businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use. Support Local BC was first launched in Victoria this March by Think Local First in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s threat to businesses who have had to adjust operations or close their doors.
The site launched initially with businesses from the Greater Victoria region and has currently sold more than $22,000 in gift cards for 172 businesses. With this partnership with Vancity and LOCO BC, the platform is expanding to include businesses through Metro Vancouver and in Squamish, and is expected to connect consumers to hundreds of local businesses.
The partnership between Support Local BC and LOCO BC, Vancity, Downtown Vancouver BIA, the Vancouver BIA Partnership, and Squamish Chamber of Commerce will cover payment processing fees to businesses throughout Metro Vancouver and in Squamish, so businesses in those communities can get the full amount of any gift cards purchased for their operations.
To join the platforms, businesses can sign up at no cost. The sign up process takes about two minutes to fill out the form and businesses will be added to the site quickly. Gift cards are available for purchase in $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations.
Consumers can purchase gift cards by visiting supportlocalbc.com, choosing the community and business(es) they wish to purchase from and the gift card(s) will be emailed to the buyer directly. These gift cards do not expire and are non-refundable.
LOCO BC is a non-profit organization building stronger communities with applied research of the policies and practices of a fair and just economy, contributing to a world where resilient communities are based on shared economic prosperity. They engage businesses and educate consumers on the importance of supporting independent businesses, research the challenges faced by independent businesses, advocate for reducing these barriers, and work to build bridges between businesses and policymakers.
Amy Robinson, Founder and Executive Director of LOCO BC
“People are looking for ways to use their spending to keep the businesses they love in their community alive. Local businesses need our help and support to survive these scary economic times, and this online gift card platform is giving businesses a chance to get some care and support from their customers who know how important they are to their local communities.”
Elizabeth Lougheed Green, Director of Community Investment at Vancity
“Vancity is proud to partner with Support Local and LOCO BC to support local businesses across the province. These are very challenging times for small businesses and we hope the Support Local BC gift card program will help alleviate cashflow pressures for businesses as they navigate through the challenges of COVID-19. When the country gets through the worst of this pandemic, small businesses will play a significant role in helping to drive our economic recovery, and now is the time to support them.”
Charles Gauthier, President & CEO, Downtown Vancouver BIA
“Local businesses play a very important role in building community and a unique sense of place. The Support Local BC platform gives customers a new way to shop with their favourite local businesses, as well as discover other businesses that might become new favourites.”
Tricia Barnes, Vancouver Business Improvement Area Partnership
“The Vancouver BIA Partnership represents the 22 BIAs in the city and is excited about this opportunity to support the small business community in Vancouver. “
Louise Walker, Executive Director, Squamish Chamber of Commerce
“Squamish is a hub for small business, with a diverse range of boutiques, restaurants and activities, along with a strong craft and artisan scene. Support Local BC is a great way to support small businesses with cashflow during these challenging times, and presents a unique opportunity to get a taste of Squamish, from jewelry and artisan design, to craft beer and rock climbing. The Squamish Chamber is proud to continue our partnership with LOCO BC to support local businesses, and we are incredibly grateful to VanCity for their continued support of small businesses.”