In the past, even during the WW 2nd, there were lots of goods that came and went to England: from the famous sweets to the bananas or other agricultural, essential or miscellaneus products which were expensive but needed for Canarian importer-exporters and Canarian industry/agriculture.
Anyway, money wasn't as important as later on, but goods to sell and buy were. In fact, I've heard many respectable families had to eat, but not like others: people from the country -that is from an agriculture environtment- did. These farmers and also cambulloneros (people with a little knowledge of English that had to offer and demand everyday who had started doing it face to face) did not have, somehow and deppending on the month, that big kind of restrictions.
Nowadays, in the other hand, tourism is very heard, but we must not forget that the docks all over the islands were full of British -then also Irish- goods, and that there were lots of families that could have some biscuits, soap, peniciline, a petrolman -we used the same word here- and even a quick taxi or water and electricity thanks to the English in the Canary Islands. But that's another story.
P.S. There are many words in our vocabulary today that derive from English words as 'chony, libra -pound- , petrolman, fog, flix, etc.' especially here in Gran Canaria and in Teneriffe. There are also many churches made by the first British (now most of them are Catholic.)
Apart from those 'cambulloneros,' the rest of the manufactures and workers were from these islands or abroad.