December 21, 2018 9:39 pm
Updated: December 21, 2018 9:58 pm

Canadian business group urges Calgarians to shop local during the holidays

WATCH: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the 2018 holiday season is critical for Alberta small businesses. Joel Senick explains why the group believes buying from local retailers will benefit more people than just the owners who run the stores.

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The 2018 holidays could be a “make or break season” for some Alberta small businesses given the region’s economic struggles, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“The retail and hospitality sectors have particularly been hit hard,” Amber Ruddy, the CFIB’s Alberta director of provincial affairs, said in an interview Friday.

“When we look at some of our indicators, we’re well below where we need to be in a healthy, growing economy where we’re supporting our local entrepreneurs”

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A recent business barometer report from the CFIB found Alberta small business confidence to be the third lowest in Canada. Ruddy said she hopes consumers help boost those numbers since money spent in local shops often impacts the community as a whole.

“The dollars you invest in a small business are going into soccer practice, they’re going into community initiatives,” Ruddy said.

“Those are the business owners that support a lot of community involvement and I think we want to make sure those businesses are still around next year.”

READ MORE: Small businesses in Calgary join call for cities to compensate for revenue lost to construction

At Bridgeland Market, owner Yousef Traya said he’s adjusted to the changing economy and consumer habits in order to keep his business successful. However, he added that consumers need to support niche stores if they want them to remain in Calgary’s neighbourhoods.

“There’s not many corner stores like ours in the city. I could remember when I was a kid I think there was a dozen in my family. Now I am the only one,” Traya said.

“Consumers have to understand it’s a do or die for this generation of businesses.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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