Since the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, the American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg is launching a support programme to get local businesses back up on their feet.
The goal of the Member Benefits Club is to relaunch the Luxembourg economy, says Chairman & CEO Paul-Michael Schonenberg, speaking to RTL Today over the phone. Partnered businesses, who can sign up to AmCham's programme, get free publicity via the Chamber's website and could attract a member base with well over 10,000 people.
The pandemic has had a severe impact on people and companies, explains Schonenberg: "Many of the retailers are really suffering because they can't get people into stores and sell. They don't have as much money to reward employees with the great job they've been doing." He uses the example of promotions, which some employees may have been expecting, that ultimately fell through due to the crisis.
With the aim of contributing to the relaunch of the local economy, AmCham brainstormed what initiative they could put forward to speed up the process.
The result is a benefits programme: members will receive a minimum 10% discount (sometimes even 20%) at all participating stores, of which there are many: over 100 are already taking part, and the list will most likely keep growing.
Ranging from your local barber shop to independent retailers to the country's giants, including Pizza Hut and EXKI establishments - all have joined the initiative. An Opel garage offers a 25% discount on tyres, for example, or guests are guaranteed a 15% discount off their stay at the City Hotel.
"First we identify companies that are already in our ecosystem and happen to be retail focused. It is business-to-customer activity for the moment", explains Schonenberg, but opening up business-to-business partnerships could follow suit. "They are partners that we consider reliable, honourable companies", the Chairman says.
Open to the Greater Region and family members
Every paid membership receives a certain number of free cards: Chartered Members receive 20 cards, Corporate Members 10 cards, Small Entrepreneurial Companies 5 cards, and Students, Senior, Micro Co, Affiliates will each get 2 cards. Additional cards for employees and their spouses can be ordered from AmCham for €10 per card.
The support programme should not be limited to a country's borders, believes Schonenberg. AmCham is also open to having retailer establishments in the Greater Region participate in the project as well. Most retailers are not necessarily within the anglophone community, and contracts in Luxembourg are offered in both English and French.
"We have the Duty Free Store at Luxembourg airport signed up. The owner also runs other duty free shops at European airports. If this programme could extend to the Duty Free Store at Zurich Airport, then why not?" jokes Schonenberg.
Become a participating business by contacting Mbc@amcham.lu, and find the full list of businesses on amcham.lu.