Cologne – Innovation database

The city of Cologne has created a database of best practices from local companies that have found innovative and creative solutions to deal with the present circumstances. This includes, for example, digital window-shopping or selling vouchers for favourite individual stores or pubs around the corner. Read more here

Contact: Uwe Korch

Groningen – Fund for entrepreneurial solutions

Groningen has started a fund of of €250,000 to finance innovative entrepreneurial COVID-19 related initiatives, the Corona Innovation Fund. Ideas are themed around multi-partner SME support, fast implementation and retention of employment, and approval happens within one week.

The first awardee is Warenhuis Groningen (Department Store Groningen), a digital platform that makes the physical product lines of local shops available online. Customers can order like they are used to, and the products are then delivered to their homes by bike transport. The City of Groningen pays for the delivery. Already over 120 local physical shops are participating. Furthermore, to boost the revenues, the city board has given its own employees a voucher for € 10 to spend in this online but nevertheless local shopping street. See the winning site (in Dutch) here.

Contact: Thorsten Klein

Osmangazi – Rent relief for local businesses

Small and medium enterprises and local shops in buildings owned by the Osmangazi Municipality can pay their rent later. The city council has decided to defer its receivables from its approximately 800 renters that pay their rents or occupancy taxes monthly. This decision, combined with other economic measures put in place by the local authorities, aims to relief the struggle entrepreneurs and businesses are going through in the corona crisis. Read more here (in Turkish)

Contact: Şenol Dülger

Zagreb – Financial relief

In Zagreb, where the coronavirus pandemic has been further exacerbated by an earthquake, the city is providing several kinds of financial relief for people and businesses. For retirees the obligation to settle utility bills under the jurisdiction of the City of Zagreb and companies owned by the City of Zagreb is extended by three months from the due date indicated on the payment slips, and in the default deadline will not accrue interest on arrears or trigger penalties for arrears.

The city has also allowed a release of payment and deduction of the fixed amount for the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 with the possibility of extension, for the following groups:

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Tallinn – Support to businesses

Tallinn has implemented a number of measures to support local entrepreneurs and businesses. The aid measures are primarily targeted at businesses that have a contractual relationship with the city or have a big impact on the city’s activities.

The city will pay its bills faster, reducing its own payment deadline from 21-30 calendar days to just 10 calendar days to improve the cash flow of the companies. The city will also waive contractual sanctions in the event of difficulties that occur due to the ongoing emergency situation when fulfilling an order or delivery. Tallinn has reduced advertising tax by 50%, and exempted advertisements on the sides of buildings from paying rent. The city is also reducing rent for contractors and cancelling rent from sports venues, while continuing to pay subsidies for sports activities if the clubs can find a way to bring those activities online.

These measures are planned to last for three months or until the end of the year depending on the specific measure. These measures will have an effect on the budget and the local government is preparing a supplementary budget to take this into account. The impact of the business support package on the city budget may be up to €4 million.

Find more information here.

Contact: Kerttu Märtin

Utrecht – Fast help for entrepreneurs

In order to protect jobs and income of freelancers, small and medium enterprises and cultural institutions, the city of Utrecht complements the national Dutch support programme with local initiatives aimed to provide quick results. The measures include suspended collection of taxes and rent as well as compensation for cancelled events. The measures and reassurance have been communicated through a letter in Dutch and English.

Contact: David Langerak