The recession continues to bite, unemployment is rising and businesses are closing. The struggle is particularly intense in our high streets as they not only have to contend with a downturn in the economy, but also changes in purchasing habits: the consumer is increasingly turning to out of town retail giants and / or buying online.Shopping discounts for the unemployed

The picture is typical across Europe and in Spain unemployment is reaching almost 25%. But there is always room for good news as shown by this example provided by Juan Villamayor, a CSR consultant living in Barcelona.

A group of bars and shops in the Raval district of Barcelona have launched a really nice initiative whereby on Tuesdays, traditionally a very quiet day for business, they offer discounts to the unemployed – sometimes up to 50%. Their offer is not only supporting their local community, but also providing them with a new business opportunity. They are finding that they are not only revitalising their neighbourhoods on the promotion day but the street is also more visited the rest of the week.

A great initiative, Juan calls it “Business with Common Sense,” and one that could be copied perhaps in high streets across Europe?