Block party aims to drum up post-flood business
Block party will be held on Stephen Avenue from noon until 5 p.m. MT
The Calgary Business Recovery Task Force started a new campaign Friday to remind people that Calgary is open for business.
Residents can stop by Stephen Avenue on Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. to take part in a block party aimed at getting more people into the downtown core and other business areas.
"I think that people are still thinking some of those areas are still damaged," said Mary Moran with Calgary Economic Development. "There are about 100 to 150 businesses that are greatly affected or significantly impacted by the damage caused by the flood but the rest of them are up and running and are ready to welcome Calgarians back."
Roughly 4,000 Calgary businesses were closed, damaged or without power during the flood.
Now that the floodwaters have receded, many are open for business again but say it's definitely not business as usual.
"We're a little alarmed," said James Waters, a chef at Home Tasting Room on Stephen Avenue. "Trying not to push the panic button."
Calgarians were told to stay away
Waters says business is down 30 per cent from this time last year.
Some say it could be because when the flood hit, Calgarians were warned to stay away.
"People that didn't get affected by the flood don't really know what downtown looks like, so I think they're a little bit scared or intimidated to even check it out," said Caffe Rosso manager Danielle Dwyer.
Now, the goal is to get people back out and supporting local businesses.
There are no shortage of ways to do that, but Moran says she has one suggestion for people looking to not stray far from home.
"Even think about having a stay-cation in the downtown core and stay at a hotel for the weekend."