Doing Christmas shopping in Quebec stores is a way of showing solidarity, says the mayor of Montreal.

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Mayor Valérie Plante is urging Montréal to support local businesses rather than line the pockets of web giants like Amazon.

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“My message today is to tell everyone to go out and cheer on your local merchants, as many of us did last year,” he said at the weekly executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

“Amazon doesn’t need our money, but our local merchants do,” he said.

“It is also a way of showing resilience and solidarity to do our Christmas shopping in Quebec stores,” added the mayor.

“Going to (local) businesses does them good: they are happy to see us. It makes a huge difference to your sales revenue, ”he said.

Plante reminded shoppers that parking in the city center is free on weekends and weeknights through January 2, though he also encouraged people to use public transportation.

The center has rebounded this season, with shoppers returning, but government action to curb the recent surge in COVID-19 cases could hurt businesses, he said.

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On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé called on public and private employers to revert to full-time work-from-home employees due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

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With 2,386 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths reported Wednesday, Plante implored citizens to get fully vaccinated if they aren’t already. In addition to protecting your health and the health of others, it is a way to help the center’s recovery, he said.

The city is implementing several initiatives to help downtown businesses, including a $ 125,000 contract for animation on Ste-Catherine St. that will feature giant nutcrackers, he said.

Montreal’s 2022 budget, to be presented on December 22, will also include a series of measures to boost the downtown’s recovery, he added.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business warned on Tuesday that small businesses will continue to need government assistance, particularly with the rise of the Omicron variant and the return of stricter health measures to prevent its spread.

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