The corrent – whose name is a fusion of the words coronavirus and currency (currency in English) – will soon be launched in the Czech city of Kyjov which will thus have its own currency, according to the author of this project, Tuesday 5 January.
Thanks to this program to support local businesses affected by closures due to Covid-19, residents will be distributed money to spend in local businesses, restaurants or cinemas. “The project stems from the need to help a cash-strapped economy”, explains economist Pepe Rafaj, who designed it when he was quarantined in March.
The intention is to get people to spend money and increase the income of local traders and therefore tax revenues for the state. International businesses are not affected by the program.
During the pilot project, 2,000 volunteers will each receive 400 corrents, the equivalent of 400 Czech crowns (15 euros) to spend in the outlets that have subscribed to it. For each purchase, customers will pay half of the amount in corrents and the other half in crowns. “Each citizen will have their electronic wallet. The merchant will use an Internet site to enter the citizen’s code and deduct the amount in corrents ”, details Mr. Rafaj.
A private donor contributed to the trial by disbursing 800,000 crowns but, according to Mr. Rafaj, in the future, the project could also be financed by the State or European funds. Kyjov’s Deputy Mayor Daniel Cmelik praised the project which he said “Targets local businesses and also supports entrepreneurs and local residents”.
According to Rafaj, the launch of the project scheduled for Jan. 11 will, however, have to be postponed as most shops, restaurants and cinemas have been closed, for the third time since the start of the epidemic. “We had to give up on January 11. But we are ready to start within two days after the reopening ”, did he declare.