Municipal authorities are looking for other means of supporting local businesses.

Serge Wilmes, chief alderman, said Luxembourg City was the first municipality to waive rents for shops and restaurants occupying its commercial properties.

Rents will continue to be free until 1 June and beyond for those businesses which must remain closed.

This represents a loss of around €240,000 for the capital's budget.

In the knowledge that these eight weeks will represent financial difficulties for these businesses, local authorities are looking for further solutions to help them weather the crisis.

Wilmes explained they were looking for technical solutions, such as offering gift vouchers on Letzshop.lu.

The city council could add 10% to the value of the vouchers purchased, increasing attractiveness to customers and in turn helping businesses to keep funding.

Direct financial assistance is also on the cards, amid discussions with the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

NEIGHBOURHOOD SOLIDARITY

Wilmes explained another option would be to support citizens' initiatives for local shops in the city's neighbourhoods. During confinement, residents were able to rediscover their surrounding areas. The council have not ruled out setting up fairground stands, to replace the Schueberfouer over the summer, or relocating parts of the city's braderie market in September.