Brussels municipalities and hub.brussels united against COVID-19
In order to conduct a coherent and effective regional economic policy throughout the territory, in 2019 hub.brussels signed a framework agreement with each of the 19 municipalities and the City of Brussels, which links the two bodies on a series of key themes. A synergy that makes all the more sense in this period of health crisis.
Françoise Lambotte, Director of Partnerships & Networks at hub.brussels, explains:
Since the beginning of the crisis, mailshots have been sent each week to inform the mayors and business aldermen about requests from the authorities related to the coronavirus crisis, in close collaboration with the State Secretary Barbara Trachte. This way, everyone has the same information and can take the appropriate action.
One of the most important levers for moving the city forward is the relationship between the municipalities and the organisations that support entrepreneurship. The framework agreements, signed between the Brussels Agency for Business Support and the Brussels municipalities, should simplify exchanges and equip the municipalities in this sense.
Elke Roex, alderman for the Economic Development of the municipality of Anderlecht, is delighted in an article on this subject in La Capitale:
This collaboration allows us to have the expertise and support of hub.brussels, an essential partner at the regional level, and thus to better coordinate our actions in the service of the Anderlecht trade.
The signature affixed by the Municipality of Ixelles in mid-March 2020 today brings the number of framework agreements linking hub.brussels to the towns and municipalities of Brussels-Capital Region to 19.
What do these agreements mean in practice?
As their name suggests, framework agreements provide the framework under which hub.brussels can work together with the Town and municipalities, through various modalities and themes.
They aim to combine individual strategies by defining projects and themes on which the two parties can work together across the Brussels-Capital Region territory. Among the services offered are:
- auditing and diagnosis of economic activity: on request, the parties can obtain each other’s data, studies, benchmarks and guides
- the economic and commercial development of the Municipality: the municipalities can ask hub.brussels to launch economic projects in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, help to set up or strengthen a traders’ association etc.
- support during construction: in the event of a construction site having a strong impact on one of their shopping districts, municipalities can work with hub.brussels to set up various action plans to limit negative impacts.
hub.brussels also shares concerns raised by municipalities with the Region. An intermediary role which is particularly necessary in the event of a crisis like the one we have been experiencing for several weeks.
Framework agreements and the coronavirus crisis
On 6 April, Secretary of State for Economic Transition Barbara Trachte met virtually with hub.brussels and the business aldermen from the different municipalities, to discuss best practices and evaluate progress. A great success, according to Françoise Lambotte:
We saw a great relationship of trust being developed. The municipalities know that they can send their questions or problems to the Regional Task Force, through hub.brussels. The objective is not to interfere in their management but rather to communitarise the data we have, to answer their questions and to be there for them.
SPOCs have also been designated, for each municipality, within the local Partnerships team at hub.brussels. An SPOC is the contact person whom the municipality’s representatives and services can contact for information, advice or to contact other people within hub.brussels and its partners.
Members of the Local Partnerships team will be on the front line during the takeover to support municipalities and traders’ associations in implementing redeployment and recovery measures.