Co-operatives enable communities to meet common needs. These needs include access to fundamental goods and services, such as food, financial services, housing, and transportation, economies of scale and greater competitiveness for small businesses, and meaningful employment opportunities. By eliminating external shareholders, co-ops keep capital circulating within their communities. Co-ops are more resilient than other forms of enterprise, serving their communities through good and bad times. Beyond economic benefits, co-operatives positively impact their communities by creating a democratic and participatory forum to build reciprocity, trust, and civic cohesion.

While these benefits are well known to co-operators and their allies, they are not consistently understood or appreciated by governments or many business support agencies, foundations and other civil economy agents.

As the apex organization for co-operatives in the province, the BCCA advocates on behalf of the movement to support legislative, policy and regulatory changes at all levels of government to better reflect the needs of co-operatives, to ensure co-ops have access to resources and services available to other forms of enterprise, and to secure co-op-specific investment to grow individual co-ops and the movement as a whole. The BCCA’s government relations activities seeks to articulate how co-operatives can support government priorities, including helping individuals and families with rising costs, improving access to health care and mental-health care, addressing climate change, and creating employment opportunities in a cleaner economy.

The BCCA also supports a better understanding of the cooperative model among business support organizations and philanthropic funders to ensure co-ops can access their resources and build partnerships to support mutual goals.

The BCCA seeks to advocate on behalf of individual members to address specific needs and to build the capacity of our membership to pursue their own government relations activities.

For more information and to get involved, contact us.