CNA Umbria: “Businesses and crises, between defensive strategies and personnel protection”

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“While awaiting new urgent short and long-term measures by the state to cope with energy and raw material increases, the micro and small businesses of Umbria are gritting their teeth and adopting defensive strategies, but without reducing jobs”. This was declared by Michele Carloni, regional president of the CNA, in introducing the first research carried out by the Economic Observatory set up by the association, which investigated the trend and forecasts of the micro and small business of Umbria. The research was illustrated to the press in the presence of the regional councilor for economic development, Michele Fioroni, and commented by Luca Ferrucci, professor of economics and business management at the University of Perugia.

The field survey involved a sample of 1,200 companies. “The sample interviewed – intervenes the regional director of the CNA, Roberto Giannangeli – corresponds to 4.5% of the 27 thousand micro and small artisan and industrial enterprises operating in Umbria in 14 different production sectors, attributable to the three macro-sectors of manufacturing, construction and services. In the composition of the sample we also took into account 12 local work systems that we identified on the basis of our daily experience. With respect to size, over 67% of the companies interviewed have fewer than 10 employees, while the remaining 33% have between 10 and 49.

What emerged from the answers on what are the main problems affecting companies was quite predictable: first of all the strong increases in raw materials and the expensive energy, which saw the amounts of electricity and gas bills soar. But over 30% of the companies also complain of great difficulties in the procurement of materials. In addition, there are still problems in finding skilled labor, while the payment times by customers are lengthening, not to mention the problems associated with the assignment of credits on building bonuses. Despite this, the percentage of those who report difficulties in accessing credit is still low, a sign that the banking system at this juncture is also supporting micro and small businesses.

As regards the strategies implemented by companies to face the crisis – continues Giannangeli – there are first of all the increase in the selling prices of products and services, the reduction of non-essential cost items, the intensification of the search for new customers. and the postponement of already planned investments. And this, perhaps, is one of the most alarming figures. Only a part of the sample said it was able to confirm the resources allocated to the development of new products and services. 33% of companies intend to invest in machinery and renewable energy, even if with different timescales than those planned.

The survey also showed that, despite the difficulties of the situation, over 90% of companies expect stable or growing turnover also in the second half of 2022, although the percentage of those who expected an increase has decreased compared to the beginning of the year. against 11% of the sample that foresees a decline. Looking at the forecasts for 2023, 47% of respondents expect growth, 25% expect stable turnover, while the percentage of those who expect a decline rises to 28%: hence the need to immediately introduce measures that help companies to cope with the difficulties of this period. “

An interesting fact that emerged from the survey is that relating to employment. “It should be pointed out – underlines Giannangeli – that, despite the crisis, only 4% of companies expect to have to lay off their staff in the next six months, demonstrating that human resources represent a strategic element for entrepreneurs. Indeed, 27% of respondents expect new hires. The most sought-after figures are skilled and generic workers, while the search for experts in digital technologies is still low. Over 30% of companies also intend to organize training and technical refresher courses for staff “.

As for the requests to the government that will come out of the elections on 25 September, the companies are asking first of all for the reduction of energy and fuel costs so as not to be forced to block the activity; but they are also asking for a cut in the tax wedge on labor, because they are aware of the growing difficulty of their employees to cope with the costs of bills and foodstuffs with inflation at 10%, but unable to grant increases given the high cost of work.

Companies are also asked to lower taxation because, beyond the electoral promises, if a substantial revision of unproductive public spending is not carried out, a tax reduction will be impossible given the emergencies that the country is facing, since the pandemic is not yet over. to the energy emergency. A further request concerns the adoption of ad hoc policies for micro enterprises, to which a review of the NRP and the Superbonus can be linked.

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With the latest Aid Decree, the right path has been taken, but interventions will probably also be needed by the new government to ensure that the banks unlock the massive purchase of loans today in the hands of businesses and households. Finally, companies are asking for the cancellation or substantial reform of citizenship income, which is seen as the main cause of the difficulty of finding labor, while there are still few entrepreneurs who are aware of the effects deriving from the constant demographic decline that afflicts Umbria. . “

“The most significant fact, which nevertheless does not surprise me, is that companies, despite the difficulties they are facing, demonstrate the tenacity of doing business, confirm investments, in the awareness that they are the only way to remain competitive – said the councilor Michele Fioroni -. The resolution of the problems we face, starting with the energy issue or the fiscal one, largely depend on national or European decisions. As far as we are concerned, I can assure you that the first resources of the new programming of European funds that the Region will have at its disposal will use them for measures that strongly incentivize the self-production of energy by companies. “

“What emerges from this research – commented prof. Ferrucci – is that companies are not asking for a world of subsidies but a world of opportunities; not a world of “absence” of policies but of “incentive” policies, and not a world overburdened by the tax authorities but a more equitable world. “

“Starting from the needs of companies – Michele Carloni intervenes – we have organized an assembly which will take place on the morning of Saturday 17th September at the Congress Center of the Hotel Quattrotorri in Perugia, to which we invited the candidates of the four main camps to the political elections. During the meeting we will ask the questions that are important to the production system and we will put forward some proposals.

The title of the meeting is “Will Italy make it?” and the answer is definitely yes. Because companies do not want to give up and are willing to roll up their sleeves, but without help they will not make it. Today more than ever we need the support of a policy with a capital P and a state capable of acting quickly ”, concludes the regional president of the CNA.

The article is in Italian

Tags: CNA Umbria Businesses crises defensive strategies personnel protection

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