Shop the Neighbourhood encourages Canadians to buy local

One day after the U.S. Black Friday buying frenzy, Calgarians had a day of local power-shopping as part of a nation-wide campaign to support local businesses.

Initiative is organized by YellowPages and aims to support local businesses

One day after the U.S. Black Friday buying frenzy, Calgarians had a day of local power-shopping as part of a nation-wide campaign to support local businesses.

Shop the Neighbourhood is a cross-Canada initiative organized by YellowPages and designed to get people to spend money in their communities. More than 8,300 businesses and 200 local business associations across the country participated, including the Kensington BRZ, (business revitalization zone), Calgary Downtown Association and the Inglewood BRZ.

"The big Wal-Marts don't need my money," said Amanda Gugyelka, who recently moved to Kensington and was out Saturday doing some local shopping. "I'd rather support the local people who are there in their shops everyday. It's better, it fuels the economy here for the small businesses."

According to a YellowPages press release, Canadians spent $8 billion shopping in the U.S. in 2012.

Organizers say they specifically timed the event between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to try to encourage people to spend their money locally ahead of the holidays.

Anabel Tully owns Kismet in Kensington and said shops like hers add to the culture of a community.

"They definitely enrich your neighbourhood," Tully said. "You wouldn't want to see a row of big-box retailers, then every neighbourhood would look the same."

It's not clear yet how much money Calgarians spent during the event this year.