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I know many Calgarians are struggling, and for many are cutting back on spending entirely over this season. I want to share this but understand that the call to spend is not an option for many Calgarians.
If you are, or planning to spend less the city launched a campaign to promote local businesses. I often showcase ones in Ward 4. They are owned by Calgarians and employ Calgarians, and their passion behind their businesses is also shown when they often sponsor and support local groups. If you can please consider showing yours by stopping in and seeing all the good and wares that so many stores offer here.

As the holiday season approaches, The City of Calgary is proud to launch the fifth annual Support Local campaign, encouraging Calgarians to prioritize shopping at local businesses to support their community. Mayor Jyoti Gondek kicked off the campaign by visiting local businesses in Marda Loop today, demonstrating The City’s support and commitment to local entrepreneurship.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Calgary, contributing over 95 per cent of our city’s businesses, providing two-thirds of our employment opportunities, and generating four times more economic activity than large corporations. As the holiday season approaches, I encourage every Calgarian to stand with our neighbors and fellow community members. We can make a positive impact on our community together,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

To make accessing local businesses easier and more affordable, Calgary Parking is launching a parking credit contest. From now and running until Dec. 23, Calgary Parking will give away four $200 parking credits. One lucky winner will be chosen every Saturday, with $200 added to their ParkPlus account. These credits can be used for on-street parking, in parkades and surface lots throughout the city, and they never expire. This initiative aims to incentivize Calgarians to shop at local businesses and support Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) during the festive season. For contest details, visit

“At Calgary Parking, we offer so much more than parking. Our unwavering commitment remains to provide parking support and solutions that create economic opportunities, connect local businesses with their ideal audience, and provide valuable tools and resources to make parking experiences easy, convenient and affordable,” said Chris Blaschuk, Manager of Calgary Parking. “When you park with us, you are actively supporting local initiatives. Revenue generated contributes to improving parking facilities, building better roads and enhancing Calgary’s overall quality of life.”

Calgary’s 15 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are also a great resource for local shoppers. The recent boundaries expansion of three BIAs, 17th Avenue Retail & Entertainment District, Crescent Heights Village, and Marda Loop, promotes stronger collaboration and support system among local businesses. This expansion enables the BIAs to offer a greater variety of unique products and services for local shoppers, enhancing the enjoyment and convenience of holiday shopping.

“There are over 6,200 local businesses in Calgary’s 15 BIAs that are eager to showcase their great products and services.  It’s a win-win situation when Calgarians shop local they are supporting their favourite businesses and boosting Calgary’s economic vitality,” said Mike Bruni, chair of Marda Loop BIA. “Our local businesses are grateful to their customers for supporting their long-term success and prosperity. BIA business leaders take pride in having a united but diverse group of BIAs, highlighting each community’s unique character, and a strong community of businesses that uplift and support one and other. The work of BIAs supports local businesses directly and also makes a big impact on advancing our city’s vibrancy.”

Calgarians can show their support for local businesses in various ways, including sharing positive reviews for the business they love on social media and subscribe to those businesses’ mailing list.

“Supporting local businesses during the holiday season is an opportunity to show love to more than 51,000 enterprises that make Calgary vibrant and diverse,” said Erin Chrusch, leader of Business & Local Economy. “In 2023, we have seen business license applications increase by 14 per cent year-over-year, and for every $100 earned by these businesses, $45 circulates back into our local economy, collectively fostering our city’s future. We invite everyone to join us in the 2023 Support Local campaign, where we can ignite economic resilience, invest in our workforce, and explore new shops and spaces in our neighborhoods.”

For business owners seeking tools and resources to boost their business, visit To receive tailored assistance for specific business needs, please complete the Intake Form at This pilot program offers more specialized supports. If you are interested in enhancing your online presence. Visit for free digital support from our Digital Service Squad team.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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