If the Berlin administration removes most of the crown protection measures next Friday, a basic precondition will be created for companies and cultural institutions to be able to build on their old successes. But in the more than two years since the pandemic broke out, the world in Berlin is no longer what it used to be after almost ten years of steady economic growth: many regular customers have disappeared and many employees have been professionally reoriented and you have to win them back or find them new to train.
To facilitate the resumption of companies that have been hit particularly hard by the Corona, the Berlin Senate has prepared a comprehensive aid package – after intensive consultations with key representatives from these sectors of the economy. Gov. Franziska Giffey (SPD) presented the resolutions Monday in the Red City along with Economy Senator Stephan Schwarz (independent, for SPD) and Culture Senator Klaus Lederer (left).
Giffey said that the state of Berlin wants to estimate a total of 330 million euros in the double budget for 2022 and 2023. Most of this, 290 million, should be distributed through the Senate Department of Economic Affairs and supporting sectors such as tourism or trade. Another 40m euros will be spent through Lederer’s cultural administration, with Lederer stressing that the aid will go to private cultural companies. Support for major state cultural institutions such as the Friedrichstadtpalast would not be funded by this pot.
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“I’m very pleased that we can keep a promise,” Giffey said, referring to the plans her governing team had set for its first 100 days in office. At the same time, she wanted her Senate to be able to provide assistance for the full legislative term, that is, until 2026. At the same time, Giffey, Schwarz, and Lederer made it clear that these investments were subject to a House decision. of Representatives. Dual budget discussions have just begun, no funds should be released before June.
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Economy Senator Schwarz said the numerous measures had already been developed “with resources on board” and could have an effect earlier, others related to festivals or other marketing campaigns that are planned for the second half of the year as soon as possible.
Unlike previous aid programs, the new resumption program only deals in exceptional cases with grants or loans that previously helped ensure the companies’ simple economic survival. In addition to assistance, which aims to improve overall conditions, campaigns aim at marketing and getting clients or guests. Another goal is for management and companies to have a better picture of customer flows and behavior.
Marketing campaigns and festivals for tourism and hospitality
Prior to the pandemic, tourism had generated sales of nearly twelve billion euros a year and accounted for almost seven percent of Berlin’s total economic output. At the time, the industry provided up to 230,000 full-time jobs – many of them in the hospitality industry. In order for this industry to find its old strength, the Senate wants to launch short-term and long-term campaigns: These include short-term measures such as launching a marketing campaign “to establish Berlin as a vacation spot in the city.” .
Visit Berlin cooperates with Deutsche Bahn and cleans the doors of airlines. Other measures, such as the new edition of the “Erlebe Deine Stadt”, which allows the reservation of hotel rooms in Berlin at very reasonable prices, serve more to strengthen the acceptance of tourism by the public. The rebirth of the gourmet festival “ha! berlin ”in the fall attracts both Berliners and tourists at the same time. Moreover, the Senate wants to generate data more systematically than before, in order to learn more about tourism flows. Other campaigns aim to increase Berlin’s attractiveness to business travelers and the shortage of skilled workers.
Worldwide shopping for the event industry
Whether hoteliers, taxi companies or catering companies: everyone made a good living from the fact that many sectors of the economy held their fairs and congresses in Berlin. To stimulate business-related business travel, the Senate wants to advertise in the business media worldwide. VisitBerlin will hire additional sales and project managers to make purchases. Conference hotels and other venue operators can now apply for grants from the Congress Fund Berlin. To improve the industry representatives in the network, Visit Berlin and Berlin Partner are working on “Bestival”, an “innovative format of events” on August 25 and 26, which aims to mark the departure of the industry.
Under the motto “Meetings of Tomorrow”, in the second half of the year and next year will be held a series of events, in which innovative formats “that surprise and inspire participants” will be developed and tested. In addition, the Senate would like to fund further consultations and training courses in which the organizers’ representatives can receive further training on the topic of sustainability. Goal: Berlin should climb into the top ten most sustainable metropolises in the world.
Digitalization assistance for retailers
The blocking decisions had made traders desperate. When allowed to reopen, the obligation to wear masks and 2G controls prevented a return to the collective joy of shopping. Here, too, a marketing campaign aims to highlight the attractiveness of many shopping streets and urban centers. The Berlin Partner agency wants to make more offers to companies to support them in digital transformation and to offer concrete help when applying for funding programs like the “digital bonus”.
For managers of shopping streets and local shopping malls there will be offers for networking and assistance in developing future topics such as innovative reuse of open spaces, mobility centers and collaboration spaces. Berlin Partner should also provide its existing support services for all aspects of approval procedures.
A measure should be implemented regardless of the industry, but is of particular interest to restaurants and retailers: districts should refrain from collecting special use tariffs for street land by the end of the year. The Senate wants to reimburse the districts for lost revenue.
“Lighthouse Events” for the creative industries
In a close symbiosis with culture. In recent years, companies have been established in this environment, which can be summarized under the keyword “creative industry”. They can be stylists or music publishers, galleries or film companies. In 2021, Berlin fashion designers alone generated only about 70 percent of sales from the year before Korona 2019. The Senate wants to create “major events” and new formats in which the industry can be presented.
For the music industry, the “Most Wanted: Music” conference will be expanded and crossover projects will be developed with other segments. And because the book publishing industry in Berlin has so far lacked a charismatic event, there will be a “Berlin Book Festival” with an engaging program of events. According to the current media barometer, 63 percent of companies surveyed by the creative industries want to hire additional staff. The People & Culture Festival in November aims to help the industry improve topics such as diversity, leadership, training and further education in order to make working conditions more attractive. km / h