Ixelles municipality, Source: TheMayor.EU

Ixelles launches an online shopping platform to support small local businesses

Ixelles launches an online shopping platform to support small local businesses

It is accompanied by a shared soft-mobility delivery service

The municipality of Ixelles, Brussels Capital Region, announced the start of a shared e-commerce platform. MaZone is intended to serve as an instrument to support the local economy in the times of coronavirus crisis.

Purchasing locally made easy

The Belgian municipality of Ixelles offers a new solution meant to facilitate the commercial transactions on its territory. It aims to allow local traders in the non-food sector who were forced to close doors to the public due to the Covid-19 restrictions to continue their commercial activity.

The shared online shop should be easy to use, cheap and operating with delivery in soft mobility mode (also called “active delivery”, by cycling, walking, etc.). MaZone offers a digital solution where the offer of local producers and artisans meets the need of customers in a centralised way.

In the beginning, the platform will work through a Facebook page where traders present their products in the form of a catalogue and receive orders. The customer and the merchant will then be put in contact, depending on the channel selected by the merchant upon registration via a Google form.

Each trader will deposit his products in a municipal warehouse. Orders are packed and dispatched by bicycle by Urbike every day. In order to be eligible to participate, the producer must be based in Ixelles, be autonomous, without connection to any centralised entity.

The Green mayor of the Municipality of Ixelles Christos Doulkeridis Laskaris (Ecolo) explained on Facebook that: “The chief of Amazon has earned 24 billion euros more since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, our local businesses suffer and fear the worst. Competition is obviously uneven, but we can and must act. We are launching in Ixelles, in partnership with Groupe One and Urbike, the MAZONE project, a completely local digital platform. “

The municipality has also set-up a fund of 200,000 euros to support traders during the coronavirus crisis.



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