Amy has over 20 years’ experience working with businesses to embed sustainability into operations. She has worked with organizations ranging from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to big industry, regional governments and the UN. However, she has a passion for small businesses, with their unique challenges and opportunities. In 2009, Amy founded the not-for-profit organization LOCO BC. LOCO’s work springs from her perception that BC undervalues the economic and social pillars of sustainability that strengthen communities, build resilience and foster innovation. A recognized local economy leader, in 2013 Amy was accepted as a local economy fellow with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, helping her develop an extensive network of innovative local economic development professionals across the U.S. and Canada.
LOCO BC is building a movement to support local businesses, build community and grow the local economy. The bias for local is based on the principals of sustainability – that local businesses enhance our community, connect us socially, reduce environmental impact, enhance employment and build wealth by circulating dollars many times between businesses. In 2012 LOCO BC launched B.C.’s annual Buy Local Week, a province-wide buy local campaign (#BCBuyLocal), engaging business groups across the province to promote local retailers, local grown and local made products to consumers. In several communities, LOCO BC is working with municipalities, business organizations, tourism groups and other partners to engage local businesses in the campaign, to measure and promote their impact.
In 2013 LOCO BC commissioned Canada’s first research into the economic multiplier effect of local business. In 2015 they conducted research into the impact of online shopping on local businesses, and consumer preference for local. LOCO BC developed and launched a Community Impact Assessment tool to measure the economic impacts of local businesses by measuring the recirculation of profits, employment, purchasing and philanthropy. LOCO BC has recently conducted research on the impact of empty storefronts, strategies for protecting legacy businesses, and reducing red tape for businesses in the City of Vancouver.
Amy teaches Locanomics: Principles for Economic Prosperity