The mayor of Montreal has announced the city will be offering free parking on weekends during the holidays to encourage shoppers to buy locally.
At a press conference at the end of October, Valérie Plante said 18,000 parking spots will be available free of charge on Saturdays and Sundays until December 31, aimed at stimulating more localized shopping.
The initiative kicks off on Saturday, November 14.
Plante said the city is injecting $6 million to help businesses throughout November and December.
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“As the holiday season approaches, I am speaking to Montrealers who are getting ready to do their Christmas shopping,” said Plante. “I am giving us the collective challenge of taking advantage of the holiday season to save Montreal’s commercial vitality.”
Plante says there is “no reason” not to shop on local streets, adding that online shopping giants aren’t the businesses that need financial help.
Montréal met en œuvre un plan de 6 M$ pour encourager le commerce local en vue du temps des Fêtes! 🎁 Au menu, 6 mesures concrètes, incluant parcomètres gratuits la fin de semaine, heures d’ouverture prolongées et aide à la livraison locale👇https://t.co/ljUwAdqx11 (1/3) #polmtl pic.twitter.com/pU53jDFQvx
— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) October 22, 2020
Other measures as part of the $6 million initiative include allowing merchants to extend their store hours until 10 pm on weekdays and 7 pm on weekends. The city is also extending the period of pedestrian streets and outdoor art installations through the winter to give a more festive feel.
Plante says merchants should all continue to encourage physical distancing and reduced capacity.
“I invite Montrealers to consume locally during this holiday season. The commercial development companies and the City of Montreal are redoubling their efforts to support our merchants at this crucial time, but it is together that we will contribute to the survival of our businesses by buying locally,” concluded Plante.