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In Building Blocks of a Local Living Economy


Buy Local

Since the NAFTA was enacted we’ve seen a number of “big box” stores come into our community. There may be some good things to be said about shopping for the lowest prices, but there is a lot more to be said for patronizing local businesses.
When we shop locally, the profit stays in our community and helps to support other businesses, schools, health care and other infrastructures. When we shop at trans-nationals, the profit leaves not only the community, but the country and the tax system as well.
When we shop locally, we help to retain the unique flavours of our community which is a part of the people who live here. When we allow our money to leave the country we become a shell of a community - local businesses cease to exist as they can’t compete with cheaper foreign - produced goods and we lose our uniqueness and become a McCommunity.
Partly because of trans-nationals who don’t pay their share of taxes, our economy is being eroded and our social structures crumbling. So when you do you shopping - remember, we are more than consumers - we are citizens. Buy locally!


Mission Statement

LOOK is a group of independent, Kamloops business owner/operators who work together to raise public awareness about the economic, social and aesthetic benefits of supporting local business.

LOOK provides a voice for local business to reach out to the community and a forum for mutual support and encouragement.

In addition, LOOK seeks to foster a sense of community between businesses and the general public through positive projects designed to increase familiarity and build a neighbourly, caring community



Building Blocks of a Local Living Economy

Building Blocks Defined

As noted by BALLE co-founder and chair, Judy Wicks, “In order to build a local living economy, we must first determine what one looks like – what are the components, or building blocks, which comprise this sustainable system? By identifying the building blocks, we create a holistic vision of a local living economy that we can work toward achieving.”

BALLE networks connect the dots between the building blocks of a local living economy – sustainable local food systems, green building, energy efficiency and renewable energy, local zero waste manufacturing, community capital, and others – within the context of their local economies. These “building blocks” represent the basic pillars of most local economies.

Rather than choosing one sector within which to work, BALLE networks recognize that sustainable local communities and economies are based on the systemic relationship between these building blocks. We don’t prioritize or isolate the importance of energy efficiency from investing in local energy production, or ‘green’ buildings from the health of their occupants, or the viability of local farms from the prosperity of the grocers to whom they sell.

Many BALLE networks begin by building deep programs in one or more building blocks. Networks also have many cross-cutting initiatives that broadly support their general membership – such as member directories, Think Local First campaigns, and sustainable business education.

Why a Building Blocks Approach?

By organizing local networks around local living economy building blocks we are able to:

  • Ensure each major segment of the economy is represented as we work to create community change,
  • Help member business owners to self-organize around their passion and interest,
  • Organize network events and programs cooperatively, with each building block contributing their expertise and knowledge to the benefit of the whole,
  • Identify new business opportunities for increasing local self-reliance and sustainability within each building block, and
  • Identify and understand and how public policies support and promote the building blocks toward local self-reliance and sustainability.

What Constitutes a Local Living Economy Building Block?

The building blocks of your local living economy could include:

  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Local zero-waste manufacturing
  • Independent retail
  • Green building
  • Community capital
  • Local and/or fair trade clothing
  • Education
  • Independent media and communications
  • Business development/professional services
  • Transportation
  • Health and wellness
  • Arts and culture
  • And others, as appropriate in your community.