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.
Retailers know what you need and how you want them at any time. They are always ready to lend an ear to adapt to your needs. Many of them had to shut down after the COVID-19 preventive measures were put in place. Now it’s time to visit them again. They’ll be delighted to attend to you. Local commerce makes the city! And that is why Barcelona City Council is supporting it with a shock plan with over 40 measures.
Now that it's time to re-open shutters, the City Council has launched several initiatives for reactivating and promoting this strategic sector for Barcelona. Notable measures include aid for the self-employed, incentives for reducing commercial rent prices and reducing taxes for shops when they organise street fairs as well as a whole series of programmes and initiatives for fostering the digitalisation of shops in Barcelona. Work is also being carried out on the creation of a marketplace that includes all existing platforms and establishments of the entire city, with products made in Barcelona or promoted by small shops in the city.
As for subsidies, Barcelona City Council will have three separate categories open, during the months of July and August, aimed at local commerce and the city’s restaurant industry. More specifically, these will be grants for Christmas lighting along public streets and squares and the interior of shop windows, subsidies for digital transformations of businesses, and financial aid for incentivising reductions in rental prices for commercial premises.
Last news about commerce promotion in Barcelona
Design schools and shopping hubs, working together to revitalise local commerce
To boost local commerce and revive it with cross-cutting and innovative proposals, Barcelona City Council has launched a project entitled “Dissenyem comerç” (We’re designing commerce), by pooling the efforts of design schools and shopping hubs to revitalise local commerce. Under this programme, the city’s design, fashion, visual-arts, architecture and audiovisual students will be working together with the city traders to draw up proposals for revitalising and boosting local commerce.
Municipal markets introduce bird’s-eye cameras to control numbers of people
Barcelona’s 43 municipal markets are continuing to implement new measures to guarantee health and safety, just as they have since the state of emergency for Covid-19 was decreed in March. All market buildings will now get systems using bird’s-eye cameras to monitor capacity in different areas in real time, with warnings to be issued when the maximum permitted occupancy is reached.
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.