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This gift card can be used at more than 40 Edmonton businesses

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With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the Downtown Business Association is hoping to bring shoppers back to the city’s core by launching a new gift card.

The Edmonton Downtown Gift Card, which will be available for purchase on Dec. 1, will be accepted at more than 40 shops, restaurants, liquor and cannabis stores, venues, hotels, and more in the downtown area.

“We’re launching for the holidays, so it will allow us basically to promote the gift card that then consumers, recipients of a gift can spend that money at any of their favourite downtown businesses,” said Puneeta McBryan of the Downtown Business Association.

“I think who our most common customers are going to be are people like parents, who maybe have a child who lives in Edmonton and they don’t, so they don’t know necessarily what that Edmontonian’s favourite business is, where to go to get something.”

In addition to offering something new for consumers at Christmas, McBryan and the businesses participating in the program are hoping it will breathe new life into downtown.

“It’s a really exciting thing for us to launch this. It’s been in the works for a long time,” said Melissa Crudo, owner of Amore Pasta and the Black Pearl Seafood Bar.

“Our downtown was hit pretty hard during COVID. It’s a really great idea for employers, customers, just to hand out gift cards just to create that economy and that heartbeat downtown once again. It’ll really help.”

Sarah Casault, a senior stylist at NEXT by PoHO, agrees.

The hair salon has recently moved to a new location downtown.

“I think a lot of places are still struggling from the pandemic, so it’s huge to get that downtown core back up and get a bit of a vibe happening, especially before the Christmas season.

“A lot of people went home during the pandemic, which makes sense, but now we just need those people coming back.”

McBryan said the gift card will be a great way for Edmontonians to discover new businesses.

“We hear all the time, ‘I haven’t even heard of this place,’ or we see people tagging their friends in the comments like, ‘Oh, we have to go check this place out,’ but the business has been here for three plus years, they just haven’t come downtown in that long.

“Over the last few years, people’s shopping habits, going out habits, just day-to-day habits have changed. Downtown ironically enough has become a bit of a hidden gem.”

While the gift card will be available all-year starting Dec. 1, the DBA is offering a holiday shopping promo.

It has 800 $25 gift cards to give away.

Consumers who buy a $100 gift card online will receive a $25 gift card for free, while supplies last.

Gift cards will be available online at EdmontonDowntown.com, and as of Dec. 3, in-person at Tix on the Square.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Galen McDougall. 

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