“A strong and structural intervention to respond to the specificities of the sector” is what Assocalzaturifici, the trade association for Italian shoemakers, requests to the Italian Government.
A sector that in Italy boasts significant numbers: over 4,300 companies, 75,000 employees, an annual turnover of 14.3 billion euro, 85% destined for exports, and a commercial asset of almost 5 billion euro.
The protracted duration of the pandemic prefigures the impossibility for companies to return to normal production levels, at least until March 2021. This would mean depriving themselves, for at least one year, of the cash flows essential to guarantee business continuity.
Starting from these considerations, Assocalzaturifici brings down its proposals, motivated by the need to field immediately usable financial resources without aggravating the net cash position of the many small and medium-sized companies in the sector.
These are the points proposed by Assocalzaturifici:
– Immediate resumption starting on 14 April of the current year of all essential and strategic business activities, including production activities if they are indispensable for business continuity and concurrent gradual reopening of commercial activities, provided that safety measures to protect workers set by the memorandum of understanding of 14 March signed by the social players comply with the Prime Ministerial Decree of 11 March 2020
– Concurrent introduction of measures that ensure the certain and eligible adoption by companies of high flexibility marging in the management of working hours (more shifts, where necessary), the fruition of paid summer leave, bank hours, mandatory overtime, interchangeability and replacement personnel for safety reasons to protect most at-risk age groups
– Once demonstrated good faith through the adoption of essential safety measures, discharge of the company’s responsibility in the event of Covid-19 infection among the staff according to INAIL regulations on work accidents
– Opening of non-reimbursable le loan lines of immediate use in support of operating assets for the resumption of production activities, the relaunch on markets through special funds set up at DLF (fairs, new digital channels), to compensate write-down losses at stock generated by missed order confirmations (also through SACE disposable guarantee funds)
– Establishment of a tax credit equal to 60% of the value of lost turnover occurred in the year 2020 caused by the health emergency
– Reduction of the tax wedge until July 2021 in proportion to the lost turnover caused by the health emergency
– 10 years extended repayment plans of all new loans with government guarantee provided by the Prime Ministerial Cure Italy and Restore Liquidity Decree for Enterprises and access to financial resources also for companies in previous economic and financial distress
– Cancellation of tax and social security contributions for businesses relating to the months of April, May and June 2020
– Extension of the Covid-19 redundancy fund for at least 6 months, keeping the company counters unchanged and anticipated by INPS, also throughout the banking system
– Total tax exemption of the costs incurred by companies for the implementation of safety measures during the Covid-19 emergency management.