The local program is developed to reinforce adaptation to the post-covid era and maintaining competitiveness for the ecosystem by respecting social inclusions.
Problem addressed:
Covid-19 – multinational companies reducing production or even closing down, service sector partially closed, but damaged by large employer shutdown.

How objectives are reached:
Key focus areas were defined by the municipality together with large employers and representatives of local businesses.
Definition of these key intervention areas:
1. Social assistance benefits – financial subsidy for the dismissed labor force due to Covid, suspension of the collection of rental and public utility debts during the pandemic situation
2. Three pillars of ReStart Program - Buy Local, Be Online, Spend Wisely
a. Buy Local – market voucher program, support and promotion of local supplier relationships, utilization of local producers for the public sector, promotional gifts with ReStart visuals
b. Be Online – financial support for SMEs to go online - webpage, webshop, social media representation, online invoicing software
c. Spend Wisely – rent allowance for SMEs, public space usage fee discount for SMEs, discounted advertising in the municipal media for SMEs. Targeted for companies with employee protection.


The main stakeholders are:
City of Szombathely, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vas County, Centre of Enterprises, representatives of multinationals, Szombathely Market Hall, municipal institutions, business entities and public utility companies, local universities

Resources needed

For the social benefits 1.4 mio euro social fund dedicated to specific actions and 0,5 mio euro dedicated to entrepreneurial actions.

Evidence of success

50% of the allocated budget spent for the social actions, 40% for entrepreneurial activities. Events have been organized dedicated to the action plans.

Concrete measures:
• 3.213 people have requested the financial subsidy for dismissed labor force due to Covid-19 (300 euro/person), one third of them have already got it at current processing
• 558 people got the market voucher (in value of 100 euro/person)
• 44 SMEs got rent allowance
• 16 SMEs got public space usage fee discount

Difficulties encountered

1)Managing the tension due to epidemic event: continuous communication via social media, online press conferences with interactive sessions. 2)Reallocation of funds 3)New ways of communication e.g.representation in the online media 4)New prioritization&strategies due to loss of municipality income

Potential for learning or transfer

- how to manage social demands and support for the entire ecosystem from a relatively limited funding pool
- how municipality could play a coordinative role between SMEs, multinational companies, local institutions etc. and exploit this opportunity for mutual trust building
- how to target multiple actors at the same time with one form of support (f.e. the market voucher program means a social support for our citizens who get the voucher and also a financial support for the local producers where the citizens spend their vouchers)
Project
Main institution
Szombathely City with County Rights
Location
Nyugat-Dunántúl, Hungary (Magyarország)
Start Date
April 2020
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Regina Rosta-Pethő Please login to contact the author.