Neighbourhood commerce makes the city
Local commerce and municipal markets fill our neighbourhoods with life. As the years go by, Barcelona has been consolidating its commercial and municipal-markets model based on the values of proximity, responsibility and sustainability. Thanks to Barcelona’s more than 61,000 shops and 43 markets, the city's streets are full of activity. Organised into shopping areas, associations and guilds, they are all working together to offer you a better service every day.
The City Council implement various initiatives to reactivate and drive these strategic sectors for Barcelona. Notable municipal measures include a whole series of programmes and actions to help local commerce and restaurants go digital and to boost business activity in ground floor premises in Barcelona.
It also provides professionals and the general public with access to the Commerce and Catering Observatory, a public tool with up-to-date information, and the 2022 Services and Programme Catalogue for Commerce, Catering and Consumption, which compiles the main resources Barcelona City Council offers to these sectors. The City Council also fosters the Areas of Urban Economic Promotion (APEU). In this regard, it has offered a series of online sessions which explain how the APEU can help Barcelona to promote and reactivate its local commerce.
In regard to subsidies, in 2023 Barcelona City Council has initiated various campaigns aimed at the city's local commerce and catering establishments: the general call for subsidies for projects of territorial or sectoral retailers’ associations, for a total amount of €1,650,000; subsidies for the digital transformation of businesses, allocated a total budget of €750,000, and subsidies for Christmas lighting on city streets. It also launched a new line of financial aid, for a total of €1 million, called “Aparadors Vius” aimed at improving the exterior appearance of commerce by changing shop blinds.
Last news about commerce promotion in Barcelona
Agreement by commerce to open on Sundays and public holidays from May to September
The two main organisations representing local commerce in the city have put forward a proposal for all commercial establishments in the city to be able to open on Sundays and public holidays from May to September.
POSITIVE COMMUNITY LIFE
Barcelona's shops often take part in solidarity campaigns aimed at helping the most vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods. Among other initiatives, they look after elderly residents by taking part in the Radars project, they help children who are using the designated safe school routes, and they take part in the iLearnTap initiative, which makes establishments more accessible to people with autism.
The city’s commercial sector also supports accessibility as a right. Hence its active work to remove the architectural barriers and obstacles that hinder mobility both inside and outside establishments.
In addition, this commercial network in our city is composed of shopkeepers from many different cultures. By going to your local shops, you are helping to build a plural and open city.
Did you know that commerce is the main source of local employment? Over 146,000 people work in this sector in Barcelona. Together with the restaurant sector, it accounts for 20.4% of jobs in the city.
According to data from the latest municipal census, there are currently 61,557 commercial establishments in Barcelona, 36% of which provide services; 35% of which are retail establishments, and 18% of which are cafés and restaurants.
Most of the retail establishments in our city are food-related businesses. They are followed, in order and among others, by fashion outlets and by shops selling non-food essentials, household goods and leisure and culture products.
THE MONEY WILL COME BACK IN THE END
Local commerce generates local wealth that stays in the local area. When you use your local shops, you’re supporting local producers and the establishments themselves, helping them offer more work and better jobs. A high percentage of retailers in Barcelona own their own business.
Websites, online shops, digital marketing, social networks, etc. Did you know that there is a growing number of commercial establishments in the city that are working on making the leap to the digital world? Given the current delicate situation, your neighbourhood's retailers are keen to make their products and services within your reach so you can enjoy them in comfort and ease.
Barcelona’s retailers are joining forces with the restaurant sector to stop food waste and are encouraging good practices and respect for the environment by taking part in the “More Sustainable Barcelona Commerce” programme.
In addition, shopkeepers have been working every day to instil these values in young children. Every year, dozens of schoolchildren in the city visit the shops taking part in the “Commerce and Schools” programme, where they learn at first hand about the local retailers’ daily efforts to look after local residents.
The butcher who greets you every time you go past their stall, the pharmacist who asks you how your mother is, the bookshop assistant who knows what your favourite books are...
You’ll always find a smile behind Barcelona’s shop counters. In fact, the most recent surveys on the city’s residents show notably high scores for the service provided in shops: 7.7 out of 10.
Behind the counter of the local shops and stalls in Barcelona’s markets, you will always find someone ready to listen and help. They are there for whatever you need. By visiting them, you are helping to make the city.