Nice – Promoting local businesses

The city of Nice is launching a communication campaign in support of local merchants hit hard by the Covid19 crisis.

Angers – supporting local commerce

A new online platform, officially launched during the lockdown, aims support local businesses through this crisis and beyond, by providing them with a more traditional and local version of Amazon. With 120 businesses already signed up, 200 waiting in the wings, and 20,000 products already available, it has already proved a success. Read more here

Contact: Bruno Gourdon

Ghent – Safe reopening of shops

Ghent has put in place measures to guarantee that the reopening of shops was safe for all. Pedestrians have to follow directions like traffic, and on main shopping streets they’ll find ‘waiting spots’ on the pavement in case of queues. A group of 30 ‘warm-hearted shopping street assistants’ are available to answer questions and mediate in case of problems. To make it easy for shoppers to wash their hands often, the city has also installed washbasins, and to encourage the use of bikes, Ghent has added bicycle parking in the area. Read more here

Contact: Els Uytterhoeven

Milan – Reopening shops and restaurants

Milan moves its first steps towards a new normality with the opening of all its retail activities, as regional governments will be allowed to reopen bars, restaurants, hairdressers, barbers and beauty parlours from 18 May.  On top of the sanitary measures imposed by the regional government, the city implemented ad hoc protocols for the reopening of street food markets: temperature check, 2.5 meter distance from one vendor to the other, limited number of people, sign corridors and restriction to one person per family. You can read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Haarlem – Shopping service for vulnerable people

A shopping service has been established on the initiative and collaboration between an association, a foundation and a supermarket in Haarlem. The service is aimed at people over the age of 65 and people who are less mobile or have health problems who cannot get their groceries themselves during the corona period. Visit the initiative’s website here

Contact: Valentina Schippers

Nice – Local shopping online

Created in partnership with the start-up Whishibam, the city of Nice is today launching a virtual trading platform, which will enable registered Nice merchants to easily sell their products and sell off their stock, generate immediate cash flow and benefit from a new showcase throughout the year. The launch of this virtual trade site in Nice complements other measures to support local economic actors and traders. Visit the website here

Contact: Elodie Ching

Leeds – United to help those in need

Leeds City Council has joined forces with third sector organisations to deliver vital services to people in need across the city via a network of volunteers and community hubs. Anyone needing help or support during the Covid-19 emergency can call a helpline where they will then be matched with one of the thousands of local volunteers.

The Community Care Volunteer Programme has seen over 8,000 volunteers offer their support to help the vulnerable in Leeds. Volunteers can sign-up to offer practical support such as shopping deliveries, preparing meals, dog walking, making check-in phone calls or as an informal volunteer within their own neighbourhood in more general ways.

Contact: Titus Carey

Bilbao – Work in progress


Some of the actions undertaken by the city of Bilbao include its ‘adopt a shop’ initiative, whereby small retailers can sell vouchers to people, to earn some income now, in exchange for goods when they are later able to open. Other measures include a programme of online leisure activities for young people and an interactive map showing which shops are currently open. Read more here

Contact: Alazne Zugazaga

Nantes – Ensuring delivery of fresh products

Nantes Metropole created an online market for local producers and small shops and businesses called ‘Place du Marché en ligne’. Open air markets are closed, but they accommodate their consumers through a drive-in system: clients place their orders by phone or email and collect it at a specific day and time. The French mail service is also looking into using their vehicles to deliver food in addition to packages, while the start-up Les coursiers nantais is delivering food by bike all around the city. Read more here and here (in French)

Contact: Nicolas Joffraud

Karlsruhe – Local support

Karlsruhe has set up the platform #supportyourlocals enabling people to shop locally. Deliveries are done by bike or, for longer distances, by post. While keeping business alive, the UNESCO City of Media Arts offers a digital cultural programme to keep people engaged, as well as the ZKM Center of Media Arts, and numerous museums and galleries. Read more here and here (in German)

Contact: Regina Hartig

Lyon – Farmers and consumers coming together

Lyon Métropole has launched a distribution tool for the 350 farms on the territory. With food markets closed, agriculture producers have been mapped and offer their products via digital platforms. Customers receive the food at grocery stores nearby. Thus, citizens can support the local producers while having a healthy diet. You can read more about this and other initiatives in the city overview.

Contact: Adrien Alberni

Poznan – Shopping for seniors

Volunteers in the city of Poznan, Poland, go shopping for the elderly who have to stay at home during the COVID-19 confinement. Seniors over 60 years old who live alone and people with disabilities can get food, hygiene products and medicines through this service. The city has also established the ‘kindness line’ where elderly citizens of Poznan can call and talk about their concerns in the isolation. You can read more here and here (in Polish)

Contact: Anna Aleksandrzak

Zaragoza – ‘Back when you’re back’, say local shops

To support small shops and revive the local economy after the corona restrictions, the city of Zaragoza has launched the initiative ‘Volveremos si tú vuelves’, ‘We’ll be back when you are back’: on the online platform www.volveremossituvuelves.com, customers can buy vouchers from shops in their neighbourhood that are closed under the confinement and use them when things are back to normal. Following the example of Madrid, the initiative has already more than hundred participants in Zaragoza. You can read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Lorena Calvo

Milan – A locker system for your shopping

The municipality asked supermarkets’ chains to install new lockers to be used for the collection of online grocery shopping. Customers can order their groceries online, then collect them avoiding queues and limiting contact with other people since their shopping will be waiting, at a specific time, in an assigned locker which only the customer can access with his/her membership card. Read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Olimpia Vaccarino Aureli

Nice – A call to volunteers

Nice is calling for citizens to join the activities it performs daily to alleviate the difficulties brought on by coronavirus. These include home delivery of food shopping and medicine, recovery of certain foodstuffs from supermarkets, telephone contact with seniors, and walking pets. The city has launched an open call for anyone willing to join in these activities. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin