2022-03-15 11:40:30

COVID-19 Reaction Policy of Jeonju: Three Good Campaigns and Layoff-Free City Project

For its 650,000+ residents, the economy of the South Korean city of Jeonju was placed into a state of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. With increasing number of confirmed cases and tightened preventive measures, consumer confidence was on a continuous slide. As a result, companies – especially small businesses – faced hardships, and unemployment surged. In response, Jeonju rolled out its COVID-19 Reaction Policy, with several key projects such as the Three Good Campaigns (Good Leaser Campaign, Good Sanitation Campaign, and Good Consumption Campaign) and Layoff-Free City Project.

The Good Sanitation Campaign is in essence an information campaign. The city launched a sterilization week (Feb. 2020) and the ‘All-out Sterilization Day with All Citizens’ (every Wed. since Mar. 2020), to raise resident’s aware of the virus and its prevention. Information about the sterilisation was distributed and posted onto the government’s website and social media, encouraging the residents to take on the habit of sterilisation.

The Good Leaser Campaign started in the Hanok Village, a famous tourist attraction in the city. The municipal government encourages store owners to reduce the rent by 10% in order to help tenants stay in business. For building owners that choose to participate, the city will reduce the property taxes on the rented areas of the building by nearly 50%. Since its initial launch in the village, the campaign has welcomed the participation of about 30,000 stores across the city and has been replicated nation-wide.

The Good Consumption Campaign promotes consumption to support small businesses and the self-employed. It included efforts to encourage buying from floriculture farmers and flower shops as well as dining at nearby restaurants and restaurants previously visited by confirmed patients. The city has also reduced parking fees in public and affiliated parking lots and organised the Jeonju Sale Fiesta with small businesses, distributors, and traditional markets to increase sales.

The Layoff-Free City Project aims at securing jobs. For companies that promise no layoffs and whose workers agree to adjust working hours and wages, the city will provide a variety of benefits and support. This includes management funds, employment stability funds, and reduced fixed costs such as taxes. By October 2020, the project enrolled more than 1,000 companies.

The policy and its projects have been welcomed by the residents of Jeonju. It contributes to containing the virus in the city and achieving SDGs 3 (health and wellbeing), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), and 11 (sustainable cities and communities).