Bad Godesberg For the amount of money he receives for each test, the Bonnerie operator Metin Kocatepe had a special idea: With a voucher system in his test center in the Fronhofer Galeria he collects donations for pandemic victims.
Operators of Corona test centers receive a monetary amount from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) for each test. Metin Kocatepe, owner of Bonnerie in Bad Godesberg and operator of the test station in the Fronhofer Galeria, could have used all of this money for himself, but he did not want to. Instead, he came up with a voucher system from which he can now donate a total of around 30,000 Euro to retailers and associations that were affected by the pandemic.
Bonnerie had only been open for nine months in two years
Why? "We also suffered a lot," he explains. In September 2019, he had opened Bonnerie as a breakfast and cake café with an occasional live stage program in the space formerly occupied by Café Schöner. "After six months, we had our first closure. In two years, we were only open nine months. But the costs kept running." To-go offerings were tried, he said, but they didn't pan out. Now operations have restarted, with only the coffee and cake generation still not reappearing in the afternoons, according to Kocatepe. Running the test center from the end of April in the Galeria is a good extra income to cover costs for staff and other items. But through his own experiences, he had also felt the need to help others who were like him.
Each person tested received a three-euro voucher
He secured the support of Galeria boss Peter Otting and sought out regional retailers and associations with a connection to Bad Godesberg for his voucher idea. The stores are marked with posters in the shop windows. For each test - "no matter what the outcome" - people received a voucher for 3 Euro in May and June, which they could hand in at the following retailers: BackPunkt, Kira Fashion, Favios Eiscafé, Flowers from Holland, Lillys Restaurant, Eiscafé Bellavista, P3 Fashion, Le Bard'o and Salon Lorenz, and of course the Bonnerie. Or you left it right in the test center in a collection box for the Little Theater, Soup Heaven, the association Ausbildung statt Abschiebung, Kultur verbindet, the Villa Kunterbunt daycare center and the Bonn animal shelter.
In May and June, KV gave 12 Euro per test, of which 3 Euro went to the good cause. Since July it is only 8 Euro, Kocatepe would make a loss. Therefore, this particular operation is over, but he does not want to stop yet. "We are thinking about how we can continue this, especially for the flood victims." Kocatepe lives in Rheinbach, the water masses were at his doorstep, he was lucky. With other business people in Bad Godesberg, he wants to come up with some other idea.
Use of the Corona test center has dropped sharply
The test center continues to run for the time being, even though usage has dropped sharply: In the first two months, there were a total of 10,000 free tests; now, according to Kocatepe, they're at an average of 80 a day. Let's see how it will be in the fall. "But the demand is still there." And the Fronhofer Galeria also supports the continuation - the test center being directly next to the stores is of benefit to all the operators.
Information is available at www.testcenter-fronhofer.de as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
(Original text: Stefan Knopp, Translation: Mareike Graepel)