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Bonn back on track for growth as a business location

Bonn as a business location has coped very well with the effects of the Corona pandemic to date. This is the conclusion of the Annual Economic Report 2022, which was presented by Mayor Katja Dörner and Economic Development Manager Victoria Appelbe on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The number of employees developed positively again in 2021. Growth of 2.0 percent or more than 3,500 employees was registered. As of June 30, 2021, there were 183,450 employees subject to social insurance contributions (SVB) in Bonn, a new high. 

The largest employment increase in absolute terms was in the public and private services sectors (excluding public administration) with plus 1,660 employees (+2.7 percent). Professional, scientific and technical services also grew significantly (+884 SRP or +4.3 percent). The largest loss was suffered by the hotel and restaurant industry with -672 employees or -10.4 percent. Other indicators, such as the number of start-ups (net start-ups +645) or the record letting performance on the office property market with 158,504 square meters in 2021 (previous year: 133,900 square meters), also point to the good condition of the business location.

Bonn is also considered a growing city in the long term. For example, the State Statistics Office IT.NRW forecasts the strongest growth for Bonn of all cities and districts in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to the new population forecast, almost 360,000 inhabitants will live in Bonn in 2050. Compared to 2021, this is an increase of approximately 29,000 people or a growth of 8.8 percent.

"Due to its outstanding economic and scientific potential, its international orientation as the German city of the United Nations, and its significant function as a second federal political center, Bonn will continue to be a dynamic city with very good prospects for the future," emphasizes Mayor Katja Dörner. However, this goes hand in hand with the fact that the demand pressure on every square meter of land will remain high due to various usage requirements for housing, commercial development, service locations, but also for green space, recreation, mobility and environmental concerns.

The city of Bonn intends to become climate-neutral by 2035, to convert its energy supply to renewable energies and, in parallel, to continuously develop into a city that is best adapted to the consequences of the climate crisis. "Therefore," Mayor Dörner continued, "the strategies of urban development must be more strongly adapted to sustainability - both in terms of ecology, economy and social participation." Economic development is also strategically aligning itself more strongly with sustainable business, such as with the pilot project climate-friendly industrial park Beuel-Ost and the establishment of the sustainability hub.

Economic Development Manager Victoria Appelbe also took stock of the work of Bonn's Economic Development: "The team at our Business Service Center, as the first point of contact regarding business start-ups, company development or relocation, was able to process a total of 957 concerns and projects in 2021." The annual economic report explains some exemplary cases for expansions (e.g. Conet, Deutsche Post DHL Group) or start-ups (e.g. DeepUp).

Appelbe was pleased that many events, network meetings and consultations could again take place in hybrid form or in presence. In 2021, the economic development department focused on five main topics: Commercial space development, digital city, land supply policy, cooperation between university and city, and development of the city center and district centers.

The economic development officer drew a positive balance with regard to support for the city center and the centers: "The fund for campaigns and events was able to support many meaningful measures by the commercial communities, and the new center management teams in Bad Godesberg, Beuel and Hardtberg have provided good impetus for networking among tradespeople and events for customers*."

The comprehensive annual economic report is available on the website of the City of Bonn at  www.bonn.de/annual-economic-report

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