In July 2020, 77.4% of the businesses Cape Town Central Business District surveyed said they may have to shut before year-end. Six months on, and the situation is vastly improved, with 57% of businesses saying they have no risk of closure by mid-2021.
Western Cape, South Africa (04 April 2021) – The Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) recent Come Back to Town campaign – the first of its kind in a South African CBD – reached a widespread audience through multiple channels, including 1.1 million through social media alone.
Focused on encouraging people to return to the Cape Town Central City to work, eat and play, the campaign contributed to amassing critical groundswell in the area, primarily to support local businesses and engage with corporates and provincial government on office workers returning to their CBD workplaces.
In July 2020, 77.4% of the businesses the CCID surveyed said they might have to shut before year-end. Six months on, and the situation is vastly improved, with 57% of businesses saying they have no risk of closure by mid-2021.
Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID, says, “Lockdown has had huge implications for businesses in downtown Cape Town. We launched this campaign, a first-of-its-kind for a South African commercial centre, in an effort to help turn the situation around to support our stakeholders, who are our CBD business partners and residents. In the dire aftermath of the lockdowns, we knew we needed to do something special.”
Through a multi-channel, national campaign including digital Out Of Home (OOH) billboards, Google Display advertising, social media marketing, media coverage, various other marketing collateral such as posters and bumper stickers and live activations in the CBD, Come Back To Town delivered an extraordinary potential reach of over 78 million between October 2020 and March 2021. This included highly targeted social media and influencer-led content garnering a collective reach of over 1.1 million.
As part of the drive to support local retailers, the CCID also produced a map of the CBD’s destination eateries and coffee shops to remind people why it is such a desirable destination (available here). Over 50 000 copies of the map were distributed at major intersections and local CBD retailers as well as digitally, through an extensive social media campaign highlighting the vast array of eating and drinking experiences on offer in the CBD.
A vibrant CBD with active small businesses and involved large corporates has a multiplying impact on the rest of the city, outlying residential areas and wider metropole.
Evangelinos concludes, “The Western Cape contributes R436-billion (Q4 2019) to the national GDP. About 71% of this comes from Cape Town. The City plays a major role in retaining the nation’s economic health. That’s why we’ve focused considerable effort and resources on attracting traffic back to town to bolster businesses and revive economic activity. There’s much to be positive about. As we head into the second year of lockdown, I am amazed by the agility and resilience shown by businesses in the Cape Town CBD and encouraged to see more and more people returning to the heart of the city.”
The CCID, the oldest Central Improvement District in South Africa, is a private-public NPO mandated by stakeholders to manage and promote the CBD of Cape Town in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the SA Police Service (SAPS).