“Island Good” Fosters Local Business Growth
As the economic effect of the coronavirus, the epidemic continues to be felt by many local producers. Companies in Vancouver Island municipalities, such as Cowichan and Langford, may engage in a unique branding initiative at a discount.
A recent partnership agreement between the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), Economic Development Cowichan (EDC), and Community Futures (CF) allowed qualified Cowichan Valley companies to apply for a complimentary Island Good licence. Applications were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and were only available for a short period of time. They make Island Good licencing as affordable as possible by offering a sliding scale for licencing ($150 to $1000 per year depending on the size of your business). Members of the VIEA enjoy a 20% discount on the yearly Island Good licencing cost.
Why Support Local
Consumer interest in all things local has never been higher. COVID-19 has aroused public awareness of the need for product security, confidence in the quality and safety of products, and the availability of items that are not dependent on global supply networks. There is also an understanding that supporting local products and shops is beneficial to the economy. According to BC Buy Local research, “for every $100 [invested] at a BC local company, $63 is re-circulated back into our BC economy.” The Island Good brand makes it simple for customers to identify island-made items both online and in-person. This brand identity has improved sales and market share for these items and those who sell them.
Civic Economics Indie Impact Series: A Comparative Survey for LOCO BC, 2019
Formerly, this was a Campbell River initiative and has now spread and grown into a more extensive program to what we see now. Rose Klukas, Economic Development Officer for the City of Campbell River, approached VIEA in May 2020 with a new idea to assist local companies during the pandemic by sponsoring Island Good licences. To support local companies in improving their presence as local producers and retailers, they leveraged the program.
Following the success of the Campbell River initiative, CF Cowichan and EDC joined forces in June 2020 to make the same offer to qualifying companies in Cowichan Valley. So far, CF Cowichan and EDC have provided licences to 26 Cowichan Valley companies. Two of these companies have had their goods included in the new Island Good Gift Box program. Another two companies have also taken advantage of the TV and radio ads. As of Jan 2021, this program has extended to the City of Langford. From Victoria to Campbell River, as well as Salt Spring, Gabriola, and Quadra Islands, these municipalities already have over 100 licenses.
Opportunity for Local Businesses
A centralized database with searchable profiles lists all the businesses with the Island Good license. The VIEA has also announced that they are exploring co-op advertising and other promotional opportunities for licensees. Currently, identified activities include social media promotions to expand brand recognition and retail reach for Island Good businesses. VIEA extends this opportunity to any VIEA member District, Municipality, or Regional District on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island Region.
To find out more about the investment and business opportunities in Campbell River, or if you are a business in the region and have a story you’d like to be featured on TechIsland. Contact us:
Economic Development Officer