CALGARY -- Kensington and Inglewood have both kicked off the holiday season with their annual Christmas shopping night.

It’s a chance for Calgarians to get into the Christmas spirit, and a chance for retailers to bounce back from sliding sales during the pandemic.

“Everybody’s sales are down about 50 per cent from what I’ve heard from other retailers across the country, and here in Inglewood” said Megan Szanik, owner of espy Experience, “We’re really hoping that Christmas will give us a nice little boost.”

Government-mandated restrictions due to the pandemic have made it necessary for local retailers to adjust their operations.

Inglewood Night Market

“We’ve expanded our online store from just gift cards to more than 700 products,” said Szanik, “I know other Inglewood businesses are doing the same thing.”

Szanik and other business owners are sending the message that Calgarians can shop online and local at the same time.

The executive director of the Kensington BIA, Annie MacInnis, said buying local is critical to the survival of small businesses, “For every one dollar spent locally, you generate six dollars for the local economy.”

Kensington BIA and Inglewood BIA both have special activities planned every Saturday through Dec. 19.