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Mayor Michael Ludwig during the press conference to announce the new Christmas scheme , Source: C.Jobst via City of Vienna

Vienna is throwing around Christmas money to support stores and restaurants

Vienna is throwing around Christmas money to support stores and restaurants

The new cash-back scheme for Christmas shopping is a way for the local government to say thanks to everyone who has suffered in the recent Covid lockdown

Yesterday, the Mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig announced a new cash-back scheme aimed at supporting the residents of Vienna, its brick and mortar stores, as well as the restaurants and coffee houses.

The city is offering citizens a chance to earn restaurant and coffee house vouchers by doing their Christmas shopping in physical stores. The point of this new initiative is to stimulate businesses that were hit the hardest by the recent full lockdown in Austria.

Municipal cash-back stimulus

The idea is to boost Christmas shopping in the coming weekend by offering 50% off for one purchase in the form of restaurant/coffee house vouchers. Citizens who do their Christmas shopping in brick and mortar stores during the weekend will have the opportunity to upload their invoices to wiener-weihnachtszuckerl.at, a city-run website.

Then the city will reimburse them for 50% of the cost to a maximum of 100 euros. The reimbursement will come in the form of vouchers. The idea behind the move is to boost sales in businesses that were hit hard by pandemic closures.

Furthermore, the local government has said that they will not refund purchases from shops that stayed open during the lockdown, such as supermarkets, tobacco shops, pharmacies and etc.

Viennese City Authorities stand behind citizens and local businesses

Local authorities have been able to secure around 4 million euros to finance the initiative, equally financed by the city and the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Because of this, once all the invoices have been collected, the funds will be distributed among all participants. People should get their vouchers in mid-January.

Mayor Ludwig was quoted in a press release, saying that although recent pandemic measures were necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19, they have been hard on local businesses. He also thanked the Viennese people for their show of solidarity and explained that the voucher system is a way for the municipality to show its gratitude.

He continued: “Sticking together, appreciating each other and showing solidarity - this is not just the Viennese recipe for overcoming the corona crisis, but also for celebrating Christmas time in a healthy, safe and peaceful way.”

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