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The Corona crisis often hits small companies particularly hard. Read here how initiatives are supporting the local economy.

Gunda Achterhold, 06.04.2020
Corona crisis: no customers in Berlin despite the sunshine.
Corona crisis: no customers in Berlin despite the sunshine. © picture alliance/dpa

Initiatives supporting the local economy are being launched in many German cities: the Italian restaurant around the corner, your favourite bar, and the many companies and retailers in the neighbourhood who are being hit particularly hard by the Corona crisis. Here are a few examples.

Stoyl – Save the ones you love

In times of stagnation, vouchers can be the new currency – to pay for the hamburgers you then eat 'afterwards', for cosmetic treatments, or for the next handball match with Hanover's Recken team. Chris Tolksdorf, founder of an agency for dialogue marketing, set up the Stoyl platform in just three days. Caterers, traders, associations and public institutions from Hanover and Hildesheim use the site to offer their products and services.

Similar actions are also taking place in other regions of Germany. Mainz Liebe, gutscheine statt klopapier ('vouchers instead of toilet paper') or Veedelsretter in Cologne use the voucher principle to support shops, bars, restaurants and culture.

Münster delivers!

The idea had been around for some time, but in this crisis everything suddenly happened very quickly: an association of retailers launched a project called Münster bringt's! (Münster delivers!); almost 600 companies deliver their goods to your door – without any need for contact between the supplier and the recipient. At the same time, their initiative is an appeal to citizens not to order online. "Every click on the internet is turnover lost to the city", emphasizes Linus Weistropp, managing director of 'Initiative Starke Innenstadt Münster', which supports the inner-city retailers. He is hoping for a shift in awareness that will outlast the crisis. "All the products that buyers find online are also available in our city."

Full stockroom, no sales. Businesspeople on Berlin's otherwise so lively Ku'damm are in shock. Matthias Nebus and his business partners have had to close their stores in Berlin and Hamburg, but at least they can continue distributing their branded goods via online trading. They have now launched an assistance programme to support neighbouring retailers of high-quality bags, shoes or accessories who don't have an online shop. They photograph the neighbours' products, offer them for sale on and also take care of the shipping. A turnover commission is only payable on actual sales.

Bars all over the world currently look like this one in Munich: empty.
Bars all over the world currently look like this one in Munich: empty. © picture alliance / SvenSimon

Support your Munich Drinks

Munich's beverage scene is young, creative and – at present – in existential danger. Some of the small, independent brands have joined forces to fight the crisis together. "90 percent of our customers are caterers," says Timo Thurner, co-founder of Aqua Monaco. "We therefore need additional distribution channels." So now anyone can order at supermarket prices via a new webshop at A delivery firm is also on board and takes innovative lemonades, local gin labels or spritzers to people's homes free of charge.


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