We all know the positive impact of spreading our dollars within our local communities. In fact, according to a study done by LOCO BC, for every $100 we spend at a local business, approximately $63 is recirculated back into our local economy, which goes towards providing jobs and essential services in our neighbourhoods.
The question is, how do you keep track of where you can support local businesses, wherever you are?
Answer: The BC Marketplace!
An initiative by Small Business BC, the BC Marketplace is an online hub built to support one-of-a-kind small businesses. Free to list and free to search, the platform effectively connects businesses and consumers in local communities across the province.
Featuring over 3,300 businesses from over 230 communities, BC Marketplace enables locals to find specialized services and products they need in their areas. From retail shops and family-run restaurants to marketing consultants and Indigenous businesses, and even very niche categories like dog training academies and virtual pilates workshops, the online marketplace contains listings for everything you need, and then some!
Launched back in April 2020 as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Marketplace provided immediate assistance to small businesses by providing business owners with an easy way to share essential business information and timely updates, such as modified hours and new service offerings like delivery or curbside pickup, with their customers online.
Since then, the Marketplace has expanded to cover several distinct regions across B.C., including Cariboo, Kootenay, Northeast, North Coast + Nechako, Mainland + Southwest, Sunshine Coast, Thompson-Okanagan, Lake County, and Vancouver Island.
Within the region of Mainland + Southwest, featured businesses encompass everything from SUVA Beauty, a women of colour-owned cruelty-free and vegan cosmetic brand based in Vancouver, to Callaghan Country's Journeyman Lodge, a full-service secluded ski-in/out backcountry lodge in Whistler.
Leigh Joseph, Skwalwen Botanicals. Photo provided by BC Marketplace.
To further encourage new local discoveries and support of local small businesses, BC Marketplace profiles entrepreneurs through stories that detail their entrepreneurial journey and their business ventures.
A few of the B.C. businesses featured in the BC Marketplace include:
Leigh Joseph, Skwálwen Botanicals
Based in Brackendale, Sḵwálwen (skwall-win) is an Indigenous business creating small batch botanical skin care products by harvesting ingredients in a sustainable and respectful manner. Their plant-based beauty products are like medicine for the skin and spirit and make for the perfect gift (and treat for yourself).
Founder Leigh Joseph, an ethnobotanist and a member of the Squamish First Nation, founded her business as part of an effort to offer opportunities for re-connection to Indigenous plant knowledge.
Hunter Johnston, Rain City Dogs
Vancouver’s Rain City Dogs and its sister company on the Sunshine Coast, Rain Coast Dogs, help dogs of all kinds and their people achieve peace through love and leadership.
Founded by Hunter Johnston and now run by Lucian and Nick, Rain City Dogs offers private and group walks along with overnight boarding services within the Vancouver dog community.
Cera Bollo, Summit Tiny Homes
Expand your work from home office setup with Summit Tiny Homes, the Okanagan’s premier tiny home builder.
Founders and husband and wife duo Oliver Stankiewicz and Cera Bollo have combined their years of home building experience and interior design and decorating knowledge to break new ground on the tiny home movement in Vernon and throughout B.C.
Dafne Romero, North Pacific Kelp Wild Foods
North Pacific Kelp Wild Foods offers a delicious range of delicious kelp tastes, with seaweed harvested from the pristine waters of Haida Gwaii.
Owner Dafne Romero is deeply connected to the land and waters that make up her home. Through her small business, she is on a mission to share the benefits of hand-harvested kelp to a wider audience.
Find what you need in your local community on the BC Marketplace at marketplacebc.ca.