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PADUA – First the 2008 crisis, then the pandemic with which you thought you had hit rock bottom. Instead the surge of energy costs And raw material and the consequences of the Ukrainian war seem destined to deal yet another devastating blow to commercial activities. In Padua, death strikes everywhere: in the historic center (with over 30 shutters lowered only between the San Fermo, Verdi and Santa Lucia streets) and in the neighborhoods. Over the past 10 years, the balance has marked a -3.9% of activity, mitigated by frequent turnover, but today the prospects are dire. Ascom Confcommercio, Confesercenti and the Centro Traders Association (Acc) agree that the help local are not enough, we need changes at the state and European level. “The costs must not only stabilize, but also drastically lower – the categories argue – or in a few months it will be a bloodbath”.
“The Covid and the war they are creating an uncertain and dramatic situation for any activity – he explains Antonio Bressa, Councilor for Commerce – However, it must be emphasized that the closures of the shops began much earlier. Primarily for a physiological reason: in the years of city development, between the 1950s and 1970s, neighborhood shops were the only type. Today they are replaced by shopping malls and online sales, so there is a surplus of commercial space. Since 2012 we have recorded a -3.9% of activity: a loss yes, in which, however, in the center the product shops have been replaced by many bars and restaurants. The Municipality will continue to be at the forefront of aid. With the pandemic we have allocated funds for the stalls, the IMU of historic shops, now there is a tender for the arrangement of the exteriors up to five thousand dolars per activity. And in neighborhoods such as Forcellini, Sacra Famiglia and Ponte di Brenta we see reopening. On 22 March we will meet the categories to take stock and understand which aid today can be the most useful, even if inevitably, for energy costs, raw materials and national taxes, an intervention by the Government is urgent, also in terms of Pnrr ».
“It had to be the spring of recovery, in which those who had suffered so much to overcome Covid would have had to leave again. Instead, investing in a business with these conditions is impossible – thunders Patrizio Bertin, president of Ascom Confcommercio Padua – This crisis affects all sectors without distinction because the entire population is the loser purchase power. We now also risk unprecedented logistical paralysis. It is inevitable that the number of shops closed in the city is destined to increase ».
“Those who managed to survive the pandemic with extended payments and loans now find themselves paying high rents, astronomical bills and even paying off debts. It will be a massacre never seen before if there are no immediate and radical interventions from above – adds Massimiliano Pellizzari, president Acc and owner of Ottica Verdi – From today, for example, each shipment will cost the shops 1.50 dolars more. Unsustainable. In the center now only the chains internationals (who pay taxes abroad) manage to afford rents and entire parts of the city remain deserted. And the worst is yet to come ».
«Neighborhood shops are a guarantee of development and quality of life – joins Nicola Rossi, president of Confesercenti – In the city, first it was the large bank offices that grabbed very high-cost properties, then the chains replaced them and today a small shopkeeper cannot access these spaces. We are witnessing an economic bombardment that is causing inflation to rise and consumption to fall. Part of the blame is doing too little in past decades for national economic autonomy. Today the many aids that the Municipality of Padua continues to give to the activities are welcome, but they must be Government and Europe to move “.