The Chinatown Street Festival kicks off Saturday but organizers say flood-affected businesses are still struggling to bring in customers.

As many as 70 per cent of businesses in Chinatown suffered flood damage and 20 per cent of shops are still closed. Many customers haven't come back since the June flood, but say they hope the festival marks a turnaround for the community.

"We hope many people would take an opportunity to also visit local businesses, give back, spend some time, maybe spend a lunch there and check out what we can offer," said Brian Wong, who's with the Calgary Chinese Merchants Association. "I would say Street Festival is a very significant benchmark for Chinatown moving forward."

The festival starts at 10 a.m. MT and runs until 8 p.m.

Special T-shirts are also being sold to raise money for flood repairs in Chinatown.