Have you been downtown lately?
Since November, a Fort Saskatchewan downtown action plan has had local businesses staying open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays to help people get to know them ahead of Christmas.
One of those businesses, Caught In The Cookie Jar, opened up in the city about five years ago and moved into a bigger location in the downtown core just two years ago.
"We've got cakes, brownies, tarts, caramels, candied nuts," said Anita Abriotti, the owner of the Caught In The Cookie Jar. "We've upgraded our product line quite a bit since we moved here."
However, Abriotti says that a lack of foot traffic downtown has been hard on their shop.
"It would be nice if we could find a way for people outside of the downtown area to know that we're here."
Luckily, with the new action plan, they have been able to serve customers from all over the city that they wouldn’t normally get to see.
"I found that a lot of people who came into the area were from Westpark, which we don't really see a lot on this side of town," Abriotti said. "They were coming and bringing their kids to a learning facility above us."
"It gave them the chance to come into our business where normally we would be closed."
When it comes to helping support local businesses, Abriotti said there are plenty of ways, from telling friends to sharing your purchases on social media.
"It doesn't cost anything [to share], and it reached a whole new group of people we may not know yet," Abriotti said. "The big thing is to tell your friends."
The action plan will be in effect for one more week, with stores around downtown staying open late next Thursday (Dec. 22).