Nearly 400,000 Italian Businesses Face Closure Due to Coronavirus

A woman walks her dog past a closed Harry's Bar on Via Veneto in central Rome on May 21, 2020, as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. - The reopening of Italy's restaurants, cafes and storefronts earlier …
TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

An Italian business group had predicted that nearly 400,000 businesses could close due to the economic impact of the Chinese coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.

The General Confederation of Enterprises, Professional Activities, and Self-Employment (Confcommercio) has predicted that over 390,000 businesses are at risk of closure, a figure that represents around 7.2 per cent of the total number of companies in the country.

The lockdown restrictions, combined with a 10.8 per cent drop in consumption rates in Italy, have drastically affected businesses across the country, with some industries being hit particularly hard, newspaper Il Giornale reports.

“Almost half a million companies and self-employed people could close their businesses. In addition to the indispensable health vaccine, there is a need for the economic vaccine. That is, compensation adequate relative to the collapse of turnover and using all of Europe’s resources to restart our economy,” Confcommercio president Carlo Sangalli said.

Clothing and footwear businesses are one of the worst-hit, with a predicted 17.1 per cent of companies at risk of closure, while 21.7 per cent of travel agencies could fold. Figures are also high in hospitality — bars and restaurants — at 14.4 per cent, with transportation also being hit hard, facing 14.2 per cent of that sector’s businesses shutting down.

Self-employed professionals are also facing major risks to their livelihoods, according to Confcommercio. As many as 200,000 self-employed professionals in various industries could become jobless.

Confartigianato, an organisation representing small businesses, has stated that at least one in five small and micro-businesses face severe difficulty due to the pandemic.

Italy, which was one of the countries worst affected by the first wave of coronavirus earlier this year, has seen some of the most severe restrictions in Europe to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

As early as May, a poll revealed that two-thirds of Italians expected the virus to lead to social unrest. Economists went as far as stating that the euro currency could collapse as a result of the pandemic.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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