The Vivid Minds continues to explore how different countries are dealing with the pandemic. So far, we’ve spoken with Italian artists, New York’s small business owners, and French chefs. Now we are turning our attention to Berlin. Not just the hippest city in Europe, Germany’s capital has also stood out during the crisis as a staunch advocate of freelancers and small business owners, allocating over a billion euros. About 150,000 freelancers who applied for immediate financial aid received 5,000 euros each. Businesses with up to five employees are eligible for an additional 9,000 euros, and businesses with up to ten employees are eligible for 15,000 euros more.
In addition to receiving state support, Berliners have organized initiatives to prop up beloved establishments through vouchers and crowdfunding. The two biggest initiatives, Helfen.Berlin and #Supportyourlocal, offer patrons a voucher from their favorite bars, restaurants, small shops and services and allow them to use it when the crisis is over. Berlin nightclubs, which have very few ways to stay visible, are taking part in “United We Stream,” a joint initiative organized by ARTE TV and radio rbb, where DJs play online in front of an empty dance floor.