Commerce is change - 1st Bonn City Conference
On October 27, 2020, the Office for Economic Development had held the first Bonn City Conference in hybrid form. Prof. Dr. Thomas Krüger, HafenCityUniversität Hamburg, and Victoria Appelbe, Economic Development Officer of the City of Bonn, introduced the topic. The approximately 160 participants were able to ask questions in the chat. Following the two presentations, Rainer Schmidt-Illguth and Jörg Lehnerdt moderated a discussion with the two speakers.
- Philipp Blömer, Managing Director Blömer am Markt
- Jannis Vassiliou, Chairman of the Bonn Rhein-Sieg Euskirchen Retail Association
- Dr. Frank Wenzel, Managing Director Aachener Grundvermögen
- Helmut Wiesner, City Planning Officer of the City of Bonn
- Prof Dr. Stephan Wimmers, Managing Director Commerce of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Bonn/Rhein-Sieg
During the three-hour event, there were very intensive discussions about the direction in which Bonn's inner city will develop under the thematic blocks:
- Accessibility: How should people get to the city center?
- Mix of uses: What will follow when retail leaves?
- Safety: Only those who feel safe will be happy to shop!
- Cleanliness: Packaging, butts, chewing gum: This does not have to be!
- City climate: How can we react to the warming of the city center?
The documentation of the City Conference can be found under the following link:
One consequence of the City Conference is the establishment of a Downtown Working Group focused on strategic issues and staffed by City stakeholders, as well as a Downtown Task Force to deal internally with current incidents that need to be addressed quickly.
Center management for Bad Godesberg, Beuel and Duisdorf
As part of the "Immediate action program to strengthen our city centers and centers in NRW", the city of Bonn had successfully obtained funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for three center management projects. In June 2021, the commissioned urban consultancy Dr. Sven Fries began its work with initial city tours, numerous discussions with stakeholders and launch events in the three city district centers of Bad Godesberg, Beuel and Hardtberg. The projects are limited until the end of 2022 and serve, among other things, to prepare integrated urban development concepts.
Digitalization I: Webinars
In 2019, the Office of Economic Development had already offered numerous events and pilot projects in cooperation with the Center of Excellence for SMEs 4.0 aimed at making retailers fit for the Internet (social media, search engine optimization, web stores, etc.). In 2020, this very successful series was moved to the Internet in the form of in-depth webinars due to the Corona protection measures with the Bonn Rhein-Sieg Euskirchen Retail Association as a cooperation partner. Due to the lively interest, these events will be continued.
Digitalization II: Voucher system
Under the leadership of the Office for Economic Development, the City of Bonn is funding a ten percent grant for a digital voucher system for end customers of up to 150,000 euros in 2021. A fund for campaigns in the city district centers has been set up for the same amount. Both activities are aimed at revitalizing the centers after the Corona pandemic.
Stay strong. Buy on site.
Due to the Corona crisis, brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants continue to face major challenges, especially in organizing clearance and hygiene regulations. Even after the lockdowns, customers tended to be reluctant to store, as the "desire to store" had declined and many people were worried about their future. In order to prevent customers from migrating to online retail, Bonn's retailers launched the "Bleib Stark - Kauf vor Ort" (Stay Strong - Buy Locally) campaign, which received financial support from the Economic Development Office.