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Corona crisis: New website to help restaurants in the Rhein-Sieg district

Corona crisis : New website to help restaurants in the Rhein-Sieg district

The second lockdown hits restaurateurs and service providers hard. With the voucher portal "Wir sind Rhein-Sieg", two entrepreneurs now want to support local businesses.

The second lockdown of the year is hitting local restaurants, service providers and retailers particularly hard. Many are currently still suffering from the financial impact of the first wave of the Corona pandemic shutdown. Even if the second wave is a "light" lockdown, it is particularly hard on local restaurants and small shops in the city centres, according to Niklas Böhner and Kai Kolepka. Both entrepreneurs already had the idea to help in March. "Within 24 hours we had set up the voucher portal www.wirsindrheinsieg.de. With our portal, we want to help save our favourite places from insolvency by giving them the money now, which will be spent in them in the next few months anyway," says Kai Kolepka.

Together with the local energy supplier rhenag Rheinische Energie AG, "wirsindrheinsieg.de" has repositioned itself to help local businesses and service providers affected by the lockdown. "From now on, we will jointly turn on the turbo and, thanks to the cooperation with rhenag, we will get 10 percent more power for all our favourite shops, restaurants and service providers," says Niklas Böhner.

"Our customers and our employees live and work here in the Rhein-Sieg district. This year, many events that we would have supported financially could not take place. This money is not to remain on the books, but we will give a 10 percent discount on every voucher purchased," said rhenag board member Catharina Friedrich. District Administrator Sebastian Schuster also supports the initiative. "We must help the economy and show solidarity. Some time will elapse before the 75 percent of last November's gross income will be paid and to whom belonging to the group of eligible recipients. And I hope that it will be better organised than last time, when many people had to repay the aid. I am counting on the sense of belonging and solidarity of the people in the Rhein-Sieg district and hope that many will join in.

How the first district-wide voucher portal works is quite simple. All local companies and service providers who feel the need of support can register on the portal. The buyer then selects a company and can purchase vouchers online for 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 euros. "The money ends up 100% in the shop of your choice and you can redeem the voucher later," says Kai Kolepka. All registrations from restaurants, service providers and the retail trade are checked beforehand to make sure they are admissible. "We want to help local businesses to generate urgently needed additional turnover in these difficult times. But we will be careful to help only those who need help," says Kolepka.

(Original text: Dieter Hombach. Translation: Mareike Graepel)