Top-level talks between business and politics on energy crisis
Talks held Tuesday (September 13, 2022) between Dr Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, with business leaders in Hamburg focused on problems triggered by soaring energy prices and the repercussions of the war in Ukraine. The senate also announced "Emergency Energy Crisis Funding" to the tune of EUR 125 million to supplement federal aid schemes.
"The economy in Hamburg has weathered the pandemic well and is on a strong footing despite the energy crisis. Yet, the increasing shortage of skilled labour and the sharp rise in energy costs are proving a severe stress test for many sectors. The senate will help wherever possible, as it did during the pandemic, to prevent insolvencies and structural damage," Tschentscher said. The talks saw Prof. Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Hjalmar Stemmann, President of the Chamber of Crafts, Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, Dr. Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance, and Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture come together with leading business representatives in City Hall to discuss the crisis.
Emergency fund and further aid announced
The question is how to fund life in future, Aust said. Soaring energy costs are making it increasingly difficult to find an answer and, above all, funding. Concern is growing everywhere that production will have to be cut back sharply and fears of company closures are mounting. Now is the time to act, he stressed.
The Ministry of Finance is currently preparing the announced emergency aid of EUR 125 million, which marks the start of capital. The funds will go towards measures that will be bundled with the federal aid. "These funds will, for instance, feed the hardship aid for energy customers that we intend to set up with energy suppliers to avoid energy cut-offs," Dressel said. Further measures are being prepared.
The "Emergency Energy Crisis Fund" provides some security in uncertain times, said Westhagemann, and noted: "Creative ideas are in demand. Hamburg's innovation strategy means the city is playing an active and formative role in promoting innovations that will become an integral part of urban and regional development in a global context." An attractive location fascinates people and attracts talented professionals. Good conditions locally encourage them to stay. "We want to raise Hamburg's visibility as an attractive centre of global innovation with its forward-looking issues and clear profile. For this reason, Hamburg is launching a major campaign in September to attract skilled workers from Germany and abroad. The city offers excellent opportunities in every innovative fields," Westhagemann added.
Start-ups important for city
Delegates also discussed Hamburg as a centre of innovation in which start-ups play a major role as they advance industries and help established companies develop new business fields. "Creativity, the courage to change and innovation are Hamburg's hallmarks," said Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Manging Director of Hamburg Invest. "Services for skilled workers and talented professionals as well as for start-ups are important, future fields for Hamburg Invest, the city's economic development agency." Hamburg is a growing centre of start-ups as it offers highly diverse industries, great networking opportunities and an increasing number of knowledge-based start-ups. Those interested can learn more about Hamburg's start-up scene on Startup City Hamburg.