|▲ Park Jun-hee, Governor of Gwanak District|
[Micro Business Hub of Seoul]
Gwanak District is a micro business hub of Seoul. Businesses with less than 10 employees take up 94.5% of the local economy and they are the driving force of the district. Taking the steering wheel as the 7th mayor of the district, Joonhee Park pledged vitalization of traditional markets, shared economy, shared welfare, best education, smooth traffic flow, clean environment and resident friendly administration. As of September 2021, he has harvested 91% fulfillment of his promises.
Alley markets probably are most affected by the pandemic and the district is moving fast as it has a large number of alley markets and street vendors. The district is pouring 3.6 billion won ($3 million) support fund in 10 alley markets in 5 areas for marketing, better pathways, better looking of stores, installing brand identity structures and better communications with market merchants. The district also introduced an ordinance to invigorate the alley markets in many areas. A number of brand identity structures in particular have already been erected in the Sillim-dong, Hangwoon-dong and university areas alongside road and signboard improvement as well as star stores promotion. The district hired last year 40 local artists to make 144 stores look better and is securing necessary subsidy from the city. A total of 1,116 have been benefited and a total of 217 local artists joined the improvement to provide help. Especially notable is that the district is pushing forward the Sillim-dong Renaissance with 8 billion won ($6.7 million) budget to renew the in and around the area until 2025. The improvement is being made from roads and stores with better fire alarm systems to marketing and entertainment with better programs and contents to attract more residents and visitors to the commercial areas. Currently, the district is circulating local money and vouchers worth 77 billion won ($65 million won) in an effort to encourage residents to buy things within the district.
The district has secured 3 billion won ($2.5 million) budget of the city’s resident business vitalization project which will be used for improving the Nangok-dong area. The district also has won the city’s workplace improvement support plan for three years in a row since 2019 as well as the Ministry of SMEs and Startups’ micro business cluster improvement project. With this, the district has helped micro clothing manufacturers in Sinsa-dong, Jowon-dong and Miseong-dong areas. Recognizing the district’s excellent support programs and implementations, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety awarded the district the best prize as an excellent case of alley support project this year alongside the ministerial prize at the 2021 Korea Small Business Awards. <PowerKorea>
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