The City of Antwerp and its employees are committing to support local businesses!
As of February 1st, 2021, the City of Antwerp is mobilising its more than 16,000 employees – people with a heart for “A” – to go out and support the local economy and merchants. To do so, the city has awarded employees with a €300 consumption check in the form of Antwerpen Ucoin®. The consumption check will be valid at local Antwerp shops, restaurants, cultural institutions, and sport clubs from 02/04 to 31/12. To activate savings, the consumption check will fund 2/3 of user purchases from 02/04 to 30/06. In other words, for every €1 of the consumer credit, city employees contribute €0.50 themselves. As of 01/07 to 31/12, the consumption check will allow its owners to fund 1/2 of their purchases. In other words, for every €1 of the consumer credit, city employees will contribute €1 themselves. Thus causing the total expenditure to exceed the theoretical minimum of €9.6 mio (€16k * €600). Since the €300 “consumption kick-start” can only be spent in the local economy, Antwerp city employees who do not live in Antwerp will get the opportunity to visit the city more often, discover new things, and get to know their place of work better. This will pave the way for maintaining the momentum of future consumption. For the City of Antwerp as an organisation, the Antwerpen Ucoin® system has a number of important advantages. It serves as a solution to inject government money with “laser precision” into the parts of the economy that are the most in need of a (re)start. This takes into account both the federal restrictions imposed on this consumer credit, as well as local lifestyle habits. There is no slippage and no leakage - anything not consumed will never leave the City of Antwerp's account (similar to Unbox's HumanAid solution). This is also positive for the cashflow of the City of Antwerp because the organisation will only pay out after consumption, creating a market intervention that leaves room for extra local entrepreneurship. The solution is a flexible model which depends on the business rules and funding flow (i.e. who pays), and it can be easily scaled up to other target groups and spending categories (underprivileged, seniors, tourism, etc.). The Antwerp Ucoin® system also has a number of important advantages for merchants. It provides a novel marketing leverage on their trade and a fast payout. Additionally, the solution requires no extra administration, long, expensive and complex integrations, or costs for the traders.