Calgary

Calgary business owners hope for Stampede boost amid economic slump

Two years after the flood devastated scores of Calgary shops and restaurants, a slumping economy has some of them on the ropes again. And many owners are hoping a strong Stampede week will be the turnaround they need.

2 years after devastating flood, many shops and restaurants struggling again

Calgary businesses owners are hoping people are in the mood to spend this Stampede week. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Two years after the flood devastated scores of Calgary shops and restaurants, a slumping economy has some of them on the ropes again. And many owners are hoping a strong Stampede week will be the turnaround they need.

Downtown's Stephen Avenue appears to be bustling, but that's deceiving, says Anne Bacalso of Anne B. Accessories.

"You can still see a lot of people but in terms of people actually spending, it's definitely decreased," she said.

Bacalso says her sales have dropped nearly 30 per cent over last year.

Many restaurants and shops report 15 to even 40 per cent losses. Others don't want to talk specific numbers.

"We're down, we're down from last year and the year before," said Brian Guichon, president of Riley & McCormick Western Wear. "We're hoping for a good stampede."

The Calgary Downtown Association is appealing to people to get out and spend.

"The fact that the businesses are down in revenues just says 'please support them.' And we went through this with the flood, people came out in droves and really, really helped, because they realize, these businesses could disappear," said executive director Maggie Schofield. 

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