CALGARY -- The City of Calgary is encouraging residents to buy from local businesses this holiday season.

To help with that, officials have announced the ability for shoppers to park their vehicles for free for a short period.

"Local businesses make up the fabric of our community and they help us feel connected in our city," said CEMA Chief Tom Sampson during Friday's City of Calgary COVID-19 response update. "It's been a tough year for business and a tough year for our economy."

Effective Nov. 27, Calgarians will be able to park for 15-minute periods on the street in the city's business improvement areas and business revitalization zones.

Sampson says the new initiative will help businesses by allowing them to cater to more customers using curbside pickup and delivery services.

All parking sessions must be registered in advance and drivers must remember to end their session within the 15-minute time frame.

Any parking periods that exceed 15 minutes in length will incur charges.