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Downtown businesses hope you’ll shop local this holiday season with the Edmonton Downtown Gift Card

The Edmonton Downtown Business Association (EDBA) is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season by picking up an Edmonton Downtown Gift Card.

The cards were first introduced by the EDBA last Christmas and have been sold year-round since then.

It’s accepted at more than 50 shops, restaurants, and hospitality businesses in the city’s core.

“If you don’t know what someone wants, there’s no better gift to get than a gift card. And you might not actually know their favourite business. But when we’ve got 50 to choose from with the Edmonton Downtown Gift Card, we hope that that makes it a really easy gift to buy,” said EDBA executive director Puneeta McByran.

McBryan says independently-owned businesses make up 80 per cent of the businesses downtown, and December is a crucial month for business owners.

“A lot of them are still paying off COVID-era loans, they’re having to pay back rent from COVID times, they still owe loan repayments to the federal government. So we’re not in the clear yet,” she said.

“December, especially, is when it’s make-or-break time for businesses. If they’re not making enough to carry them through those really slow January, February, March months, it could be a really dire situation.”

Peter Turner co-owns Artworks, a flower and gift shop that’s been in downtown Edmonton for four decades.

He hopes the gift card might bring shoppers who don’t usually come downtown.

“We’ve been dedicated to downtown for over 40 years now, and I think that there’s still a lot of people that don’t even know we exist,” he told CTV News Edmonton.

“This might give them a little more incentive to make a move to come downtown and make a purchase.”

The EDBA is giving out a free $25 Edmonton Downtown Gift Card for each $100 gift card purchased online, while supplies last.

To buy a gift card or to see which businesses are participating, visit the EDBA website.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Galen McDougall

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