TRENTO. ”Empty shops and public establishments, hotels closed due to lack of tourists, we need to extend support to businesses starting from work and liquidity ”. The appeal comes from Confesercenti of Trentino and draws attention to the real effects this is having very strong wave of Covid on the system. Only in Trentino there are ad today nearly 28,000 positive residents who represent approx 1 Trentino out of 19 locked up at home. And to these must be added people who have come into contact with them. In short, for a health system that returns under pressure but fortunately does not yet live the scenarios of past waves, thanks to the protection of the vaccine, the community is experiencing a kind of forced mini-lockdown but this time without refreshments and without state regulation.
To this must be added the increase in prices, raw materials and gas and energy bills and everything turns into the “ perfect storm ” which is likely to burn a shot which, indeed, had started, but now has a heavy setback. “The government approved a package of approximately 3.7 billion in the budget law to cope with the increases – observed the vice president of Confesercenti del Trentino, Maximilian Peterlana -, and plans to add a a further billion to allow payments to be made in installments. We will see how he intends to proceed, for sure there is no time to waste and these measures are insufficient especially if, in the face of aid and concessions on the one hand, we proceed with increasing other items on the other ”.
Closed the Christmas holidays, 2022 starts therefore problematic with an increase in fixed costs and bills even tripled. “To suffer the most are small and medium-sized enterprises – continues Peterlana – and the prospects of companies in the tourism, commerce and public establishments have radically changed. The gradual recovery, slow and tiring, is marking one clear reversal of the negative trend. The causes? The increase in infections is leading to a ‘de facto lockdown’, even if not stated, that stands sinking the turnover of the activities. Added to this is an exorbitant increase in fixed costs and raw materials “.
Businesses are in a tight grip. “The penalties related to non-payment of the ICA municipal tax on billboards, in such a difficult time, I am increased by 150% – specifies the vice president of Confesercenti del Trentino – to this is added, with the maneuver of the social safety nets, the increase from 1 January of the contribution for solidarity funds, while the layoffs in derogation with the reason for Covid remain blocked. Paradoxically, the public exercises they can lay off, but not use the layoffs“.
The increase in infections is then leading companies to increase the number of smart working employees. “One ‘stay-at-home’ – says Peterlana – which will have a strong impact on public exercises in city centers and office districts. The negative impact of the stop traveling is warned by all sectors of tourism and events, from travel agencies – which have been inactive for almost two years now – to tourist transport, passing through guides and companions. In the last month, the receptive sector and the worsening of the pandemic it is having a general impact on consumption patterns. This is also confirmed by the trend of the sales at the end of the season: sales have slowed down ”.
It is therefore necessary to intervene. For Confesercenti it is not enough ‘not to exclude’ the hypothesis of new supports, it is necessary to intervene as soon as possible, with adequate measures to protect the activity and work of the affected companies, starting with the extension of the COVID social safety nets and the exemption from the payment of the single fee for commercial activities at least until 30 June 2022. It is also necessary to give continuity to the credit measures envisaged by the Liquidity Decree, which has made around 169 billion euros in loans available to businesses.