Calgary launches #BuyLocalYYC campaign to help businesses get shoppers in the door

The city wants you to think about getting your holiday gifts from a local business this year, instead of from an online or big box retailer.

'What they really need more than anything is customers. That's the bottom line,' says Kensington BIA

From left: Annie MacInnis, Naheed Nenshi and Sonya Sharp launch the #BuyLocalYYC campaign at a business in Kensington. (Nassima Way)

The City of Calgary has launched a new #BuyLocalYYC campaign to get more dollars flowing into local businesses and support Calgary's economic recovery.

Businesses can take advantage of the city's free toolkit, which includes digital marketing and social media best practices, door posters to print off and free instructional videos to help get customers in the door.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi kicked off the three-month campaign in Kensington on Monday by encouraging people to buy their holiday gifts from local business, instead of from online retailers.

"This is all about all of us coming together and Calgarians looking after one another," he said.

Annie MacInnis, executive director of the Kensington Business Improvement Area, said every dollar spent locally in Calgary generates $6 for the local economy.

"It's a way to recover," said MacInnis.

"Not everybody's perfect. But if people can try to mindfully think about shopping local, at least some of the time for Christmas this year … you can tell a story about the local artisan that made the product."

The initiative also encourages businesses to re-evaluate their supply chains and incorporate more Calgary wholesalers and service providers into their operations. 

"Be aware that if you want these … unique places to survive, you need to support them. You can't just expect them to be there if you haven't made the effort to help support them," MacInnis said.

"What they really need more than anything is customers. That's the bottom line."

With files from Nassima Way