You are here


Discussion and Improvement of Local Currency in Seoul

Park, Heeseok·Hyun-Chul Jung

Due to COVID-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine, the global economy is entering an era of high cost of living and low economic growth. The domestic economy is slowly recovering in the face of uncertainty of the global economy, but the low growth trend is expected to continue. In OECD (2022) countries, there was an average of 16.4% of self-employed persons. However, the share of self-employed people in South Korea is 23.9%, which is the sixth highest among the OECD countries. Small business owners are an important part of the Seoul economy, and they need various support policies to alleviate the uncertain economic impact of the low growth trend.
The local gift certificate was introduced to revitalise the local economy and various policies for small business owners were introduced and implemented nationwide. The Seoul Gift Certificates can only be used in the region from 2020, and the total cumulative amount issued was 4.45 trillion won as of July 2023. The Seoul gift certificates are regarded as one of the support policies for small business owners and are helpful to small business owners in the economic crisis. Due to industry restrictions and sales scale setting, Seoul Gift Certificates are directly delivering policy effects in areas where small business owners operate.
There are pros and cons of the local gift certificates economic effects, but generally, they have positive effects on small businesses; in particular, increased sales. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose the current system and derive improvement measures so that the policy effects of the current Seoul Gift Certificate System can be maintained.
The purpose of this study was to propose future operational and improvement directions for Seoul Gift Certificates. This report consists of five chapters: 1) Research Overview, 2) Survey of Overseas Cases of Local Currency, 3) Comparison of the Current Status of Seoul Gift Certificates with Incheon and Gyeonggi Local Currency, 4) Analysis of Policy Effects of Seoul Gift Certificates, and 5) Implications and Policy Directions.