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Vouchers
07 December 2020
Porto City Council will deliver discount vouchers of 2 euros for every 20 euros in purchases

On Monday, the Municipal Executive unanimously approved the "Program to boost commercial activity" for the festive season. It consists of the delivery, to a group of participating merchants, of discount vouchers of two euros for every 20 euros in purchases. In total, 162,500 vouchers will be awarded, in a municipal investment of up to 325 thousand euros. In addition to this program, tickets for the exemption of parking in four municipal car parks in downtown Porto will be available.

This is yet another municipal program that seeks to mitigate the economic crisis that is plaguing the commercial activities of the city of Porto. It is aimed at street commerce establishments with a store size of up to 250 square meters.

The Municipality's objective is to support street, local and traditional commerce, hoping that this complementary measure will contribute "to an increase in the flow of customers with the city's commercial sector and thus contribute to face the difficult situation of the economic crisis caused by Covid-19, particularly at a time as prevalent for commerce as Christmas is”, points out the proposal by the councilor for Economy, Tourism and Commerce, Ricardo Valente, who at the meeting of the Municipal Executive said that the intention is to distribute the discount vouchers immediately.

"We want to start distributing the vouchers immediately. The participating traders will have a sticker on their doorstep mentioning "Porto discount vouchers”, said the councilor, adding that "the idea is that each trader can receive 100 vouchers at a time”, even admitting that there may be a second distribution, depending on the number of members admitted to the first distribution.

Thus, commercial establishments that join the program - after contacting the municipal Department of Tourism and Commerce - will receive discount vouchers of 2 euros for each purchase equal to 20 euros and so on - in multiples of 20 euros. That is, all consumers who make purchases with a value equal to or greater than 20 euros in the participating stores, receive this automatic discount from the merchant. It will then be up to the merchant to redeem the vouchers directly with the Municipality of Porto.

In total, 162,500 discount vouchers will be distributed (150,000 vouchers delivered by the municipality and 12,500 vouchers by the Porto Traders Association), in a total amount of 325,000 euros.

"What we want is for this program to be an inducer, a trigger, because we believe that it has a great multiplier effect”, stated the councilor. Also remembering that this supplementary support will effectively have an impact on traditional trade, since "many of these street traders don't have online sales”.

On the other hand, the decision to deliver discount vouchers directly to merchants and not to the population had to do with the period in question and administrative issues, clarified the Mayor of Porto. "The action materializes faster, taking into account that this measure goes from the Christmas season until January 6th”, besides that, added Rui Moreira, if the delivery was direct, it assumed that the customers were only inhabitants of the city since the Porto City Council is not qualified to do it with residents of other municipalities. "For obvious reasons, we do not want customers to be just from Porto”, justified the mayor.

The support also is materialized in the development and dissemination of a communication campaign.

Both the independent majority and the opposition parties (PS, PSD, and CDU) recognized that the additional measure approved today will not solve all the problems, but it is, in any case, an aid to mitigate the crisis that commercial activity faces.

Rui Moreira went further in the accounts. The amount allocated to the program allows a maximum of 1,625 participating establishments. "If all do not join, there may be the possibility for a new distribution”, said the mayor, making it clear that "all bullets cannot be spent on this project”. Especially because, he argued, there are many small businesses linked to the tourism sector that are also experiencing serious difficulties. "The case of taxis, laundries, and even TVDE”, said the Mayor of Porto.

Free parking

In an autonomous proposal, the exemption from the payment of the parking fee in four municipal parks, for a period of 120 minutes (two hours), was also unanimously approved, in order to encourage consumers to do Christmas shopping in traditional commerce.

The measure is not unprecedented, but this year is even more important. Thus, similarly to what happened in previous years, tickets, in the global amount of 21 thousand euros, will be distributed to traders by the Porto Traders Association, in conjunction with Porto City Council. 

In total, there are 10,000 tickets to be awarded, valid in the municipal parks of Trindade (4,000), Silo Auto (4,000), Duque de Loulé (1,000), and Alfândega (1,000). They can be used from December 8th and until January 8th.

"The offer of parking minutes in the car parks in the city center is a measure that enhances street shopping and encourages shopping during Christmas season”, where traditionally there is an increase in consumption and billing.

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