Ghent is investing over one and a half million euro in boosting local tourism in a sustainable way. The city assists entrepreneurs in developing a new coronavirus-proof tourist offer. The offer also highlights sustainable aspects of Ghent’s tourist offer, for example, cycling and walking routes will lead visitors to the sub-municipalities, the periphery, the green belt and less frequently visited sites in the city centre. Read more here
Bordeaux has launched a new trial project helping members of a dozen social grocery stores to buy fresh fruit and vegetables by having the city pay the difference between cost price and store price. The city also supports the Food Bank and various other organisations to give access to good quality food to those in need for free. The city and its partners have collected around €300,000 to finance food distribution actions.
Lille Metropole is injecting about 32 millions, in the form of different support systems, into its local economy. The “Rebound Fund” will allocate €20 million to small businesses, such as shopkeepers, craftsman, and farmers, who will have to pledge in favour of their ecological or energy transition to benefit from the fund. A new facility dedicated to small companies or associations with less than ten employees has been created; it will provide loans up to €6.6 million that can be payed back over a 3 to 5 years period. Another €5 million will be managed by a new dedicated local economy department supporting and promoting the metropolis’ local and social economy, as well as the tourism and events sectors. Read the full plan here (in French)
Nantes has set up an emergency fund of €1 million to support cultural structures and professionals. The fund focuses on supporting the most vulnerable and threatened cultural entities in Nantes. It wants to preserve the city’s cultural diversity and reinforce the economic impact of culture in times of crisis. Read more here (in French)
Birmingham City Council is providing £230 million of financial support to approximately 16,000 eligible businesses which have been affected by the crisis. Eligible businesses work in areas such as retail, leisure and hospitality. Nurseries are also included in the financial support scheme. Read more here and here
The Glasgow City Council website is collecting all the Business Support information in one place, with details on the Coronavirus Business Support Fund and sector specific advice. The City Council has already received more than 15,000 applications, and paid more than £26 million to businesses in Glasgow from the Coronavirus Business Support Fund. Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is also supporting businesses with free webinars. Read more here and here
Cardiff Council has now distributed nearly £50m to Cardiff businesses in grant aid as part of the on-going COVID-19 financial rescue package. The city council is contacting business eligible to receive the grants offered in the support package, which covers almost all types of business. Read more here
After announcing that the biggest summer festival in Ghent is cancelled this year, the city declared it will pay the organisers up to 80% of the planned subsidy. They will receive 50% of the funding if they commit to participate in an opening event for the 2021 edition, and will receive 30% on top of that if they develop a creative alternative for the 2020 edition that respects health and security measures. To support other artists and initiatives that usually take place around the festival, Ghent has set aside 200,000 euros. Read more here
Ghent’s Public Centre of Social Welfare will be able to pay out additional financial aid to any person who comes into financial difficulties, regardless of his or her status. In addition, 1,000 families received 60 euros in crisis support. The extra money is meant to absorb additional costs families are facing because the children do not go to school. The city also has organised specific funds to purchase food, material aid, and protective equipment. Read more here
Florence has joined forces with local stakeholders and active citizenship to launch a crowdfunding initiative. Collected funds will help finance projects in areas such as welfare, education and culture. Four projects have already been selected through the platform. These have financed the purchase of medical equipment for a retirement home, a dedicated food delivery system for people in financial difficulty, and the purchase of tablets for students to guarantee access to online education. Read more here (in Italian)
The Economic Response Coordination Center of the city, headed by the first Deputy Mayor, is leading the way on the economic reaction to the crisis. Divided into budget and reactivation measures, this division will allow for a better understanding of the city’s situation and a enhance the decision-making process. 25 million euros support package and taxes deferral are the first measures put in place by Barcelona’s city council. Read more here
More than 10,000 small businesses in communities across Edinburgh are set to receive rates relief and emergency cash grants over the coming weeks. Through a coordinated financial package in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Edinburgh’s city council is releasing tens of millions of pounds from the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Fund. Worth £10,000 and £25,000, these grants shall help successful applicants stay in business and protect local jobs. The council promises to process applications within 10 working days. Read more here
Leeuwarden asked their cultural sector to estimate their losses, in terms of activities and funds, and concluded that these will amount to over one million euros. So they came up with some measures to reduce this number.
The municipality has simplified public procurement procedures for companies working in the construction sectors and has approved fast payments for public construction sites, covering up to 50% of the tender specification expenses, thus economically supporting companies and workers. Read more here (in Italian)
Cities will need national and European help for the recovery of their local economy after corona. Tackling the crisis requires a “multi-level effort”, says Juan Mari Aburto, mayor of Bilbao, in an interview with CityMetric. The article also reports on the plans of cities like Tirana, Poznan and Braga. Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence, is quoted: “Without a firm – and united – European strategy based on a united EU policy aiming to a real shared effort to restart the economy, all cities will be facing a dramatic crisis in just a few months.” You can read the article here
The city’s Deputy Mayor for Culture signed a petition addressed to the Italian Ministry of Culture to guarantee special support to the local creative sector. This includes measures such as: direct funding injections, specific allowances and benefits for workers from the cultural, entertainment, film, audiovisual and tourism sectors, welfare benefits for seasonal workers, insurance premiums for cultural enterprises and access to the 130 million euro emergency fund allocated by the national government. Read more here and here (in Italian)
The city has set up a new company named ‘Stolz auf Wien’ (Proud of Vienna) that will temporarily invest in local companies, which are at risk due to the crisis. The municipality, the Economic Chamber of Vienna, as well as private partners have contributed to collect 50 million euros that the company will be able to allocate. The company is due to start its work in May and the selection process for beneficiaries will be organised in an expert board. Read more here (in German)
With a package of short- and long-term measures, the city of Ghent is tackling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A budget of 25 million euro is designated to help the most vulnerable people, economy and civil society. A ‘Relaunch Taskforce’ shall also see how to revive the city after the crisis by, among others, supporting the tourism sector. You can read more here
The city of Gothenburg has through Business Region Gothenburg enhanced its support towards SMEs. Staff resources have been bundled (‘Business Pilot Extra’) to proactively reach out to SMEs and guide them through all the aid packages provided by the state. Read more (in Swedish) here.
The City of Edinburgh Council has approved the immediate release of £4.69m (€5.32m) of cultural grant funding to support the cultural and creative sector in the city. The Cultural Grant Funding the Council provides annually is to be repurposed to support cultural organisations during Covid-19. Among others, this will support the Edinburgh Festivals, five of which have recently announced cancellation, as well as offer support to the wider cultural community. Grant funding has been specifically allocated to support the Council’s work on Diversity and Inclusion, providing support to BAME artists and cultural organisations in Edinburgh during COVID-19. read more here
The city of Amsterdam has announced a 50 million emergency fund to take necessary measures during the Corona crisis. With this fund the city can provide things like laptops to children who lack these facilities at home and free parking licenses for health professionals. In the coming weeks more actions will be announced. Read more here
Mayors of big cities across Europe call for cross-border solidarity during the corona crisis. In a joint statement of the network EUROCITIES, they urge a strong collaboration between all levels of government.
The local authority in Linz have set up a grant scheme to ensure the future of hard-hit cultural and sporting venues. Clubs or associations that are using municipal properties will also likely be supported through rent exemptions. Read more here
Dusseldorf has established an aid fund for local companies to bridge financial distress caused by the coronavirus. The fund includes €500,000, with a maximum of €5,000 per company. This serves as interim aid before the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Government offer concrete services for businesses. Read more (in German) here.
Antwerp has made €250,000 euro available for innovative, quickly implementable solutions from start-ups and companies that can arm citizens and companies against the impact of the COVID-19 virus and make life possible in lockdown mode. The city launched a call that welcomes (digital) solutions in areas such as welfare, health care, childcare, poverty reduction, working from home, communication and participation and more. The most important criterion is that the idea is feasible in the short term and has a relevant impact and added value for residents, companies or students of Antwerp. Read more (in Dutch) here.
To support economic actors from artisans to small enterprises, Nantes is taking a range of actions including tax exemption, a single information point with a dedicated phone number, and funding with the Région des Pays de Loire. Read more here
The municipality of Vienna, alongside Vienna Chamber of Commerce, is setting aside €35 million to allow a much quicker municipal response to changing business situations than normal legislation would allow. The largest portion of these funds will be used to help prop up companies of 10 employees or less when they suffer a decline in turnover of more than 50%.