Results of the study on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business economy in the Sannio region

Presented today, Friday 8 July 2022, at the Conference Room of the Chamber of Commerce of Benevento, the results of the study carried out by Eurispes on “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business economy in the Sannio region“.

The meeting was attended by the President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Fara, the Deputy Prefect, Patrizia Vicari, and the mayor of the city, Clemente Mastella, the Vice President of Unioncamere, Tommaso De Simone, the Rector of the University of Sannio, Gerardo Canfora, the lawyer Paola Porcelli, head of the Institute’s office in Campania, Prof. Biagio Simonetti and the researcher Raffaella Ciuffreda of the University of Sannio.

Here are some summary data from the study, which is also available in its full version on the Eurispes website at https://eurispes.eu/ricerca-rapporto/gli-effetti-della-pandemia-da-covid-19-sulleconomia-delle-imprese-nel-sannio-2022/
An infographic version of the summary can instead be downloaded here https://bit.ly/3nUAGga

The economic emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the Sannio area and the province of Benevento, which already had an extremely weak economy in previous years. Over the years, the Sannio area has seen a reduction in the number of its resident population: around 280,707 in 2015, 269,233 in 2021. In contrast, the production system has seen an increase in the number of businesses registered in the inland areas of the Campania Region in 2020. In the province of Benevento, the number of registered enterprises rose from 35,111 in 2019 to 35,421 in 2020, an increase of about 0.9%.

Business demographics. In 2019, 2,215 companies were registered as having ceased trading, the number dropped in 2020 with 1,250 companies ceasing trading, and then in 2021 with only 241 ceasing trades. The number of new registrations in the business register shows a decreasing trend in the following terms: 1,625 registrations in 2019, 1,558 in 2020 and, finally, 328 in 2021 (Infocamere). In detail (Unioncamere, 2021), the production system in the province of Benevento is characterised by a prevalence of agricultural enterprises (31.5%), service enterprises (30.4%), trade enterprises (20.6%), construction enterprises (10.2%) and manufacturing enterprises (6.8%). The restrictive measures have created serious liquidity problems for businesses, which, in order to cope with the emergency, have increased their recourse to debt, thanks, in particular, to the support of subsidised measures. The crime-related situation does not seem to have changed significantly in the municipality of Benevento (Benevento Territorial Government Office).

The labour market and the employment levels. The pandemic period has led to a contraction of the labour force in Italy, causing a reduction in 2019-2020 by 3% of the labour force, which in the Mezzogiorno is around 6%.

The province of Benevento recorded a change of -5.49% over the two-year period, which is around the average of the Campania region (-4.42%). The city of Benevento recorded a negative change in the employment rate of -2.4% compared to the year 2019. The number of employed persons suffered a reduction in percentage terms of -4.94%, which is much higher than the regional variation of -1.94%. The largest contraction was for women (16.13%), compared to the regional (-3.06%) and national variation (-2.52%); the change in male employees is in line with national and regional averages (-2%). In response to rising unemployment rates, the Benevento Chamber of Commerce has announced that Sanniti companies plan to hire 1,700 people in November 2021 and 4,750 in the November 2021-January 2022 quarter. For recruitment, 22% of the enterprises considered the age range for the managerial and highly specialised category to be irrelevant. Only 27.2% of companies did not express a preference for the educational qualification, while 34.5% required a secondary education diploma, 21.8% a professional qualification or diploma, and 14.5% required an academic qualification.

The economic and financial status of businesses. With reference to the Benevento area, a key role was played by the Chamber of Commerce, which issued four notices in 2020 and 2021 for SMEs in difficulty: Notice for the reduction of the interest rate on bank loans; Notice for the adoption of anti-counterfeiting safety measures in the company; Notice of I4.0 vouchers 2020; Voucher for trade fairs of international importance 2021.

Next Generation Campania. Sannio is the recipient of one of the 7 national strategic interventions of the PNRR. In particular, we are referring to the intervention on the Campolattaro dam, a work financed with 512 million euros by the Campania Region and the Ministry of Infrastructure, which will represent the largest water work in southern Italy. The Campania Regional Council has, in fact, already approved its share of the investment with EUR 307 million, in addition to the EUR 205 million in resources under the PNRR. Under mission 3, concerning the technological development and modernisation of the regional railway infrastructure, investment is planned for improvements to the EAV Benevento-Cancello infrastructure.

As stressed by the President of Eurispes in his speech:«Today we have a historical opportunity, also to test our ability to cope with difficult times. It will require an effort by all the actors operating in the area at an institutional level, also involving civil society, business realities, and the university and research community, to ensure that the allocation of funds, not only from the Pnrr, is properly deployed. This is necessary to achieve a concrete change in infrastructure, in the entrepreneurial fabric, and in the valorisation of the artistic, cultural, and enogastronomic assets that are found in the Sannio area».

 

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