Italy: Covid-19 empties stores in city centers


La Spezia, Italy

Some are already transforming them into homes. A real estate investment opportunity?

Empty of tourists and students, the historic centers of many Italian cities, but not only, are preparing to face a difficult autumn. Take the case of Reggio Emilia, also recently examined by Resto del Carlino online: how many shops will survive and how many will have to close because they are unable to pay the rent?

Covid-19 has made worse a commercial real estate crisis that has been going on for some time

The problem of commercial activities that do not fall within the cost of renting is certainly not new, but the health emergency has undoubtedly magnified it. However, the trade associations do not seem to agree on the strategy to remedy it: already in pre-crisis times, on the one hand the National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises (Cna) complained about the high prices, on the other Confedilizia spoke of too much taxes.

Points of view and solutions compared

By examining in detail the opinions of Dino Spallanzani of Cna and Annamaria Terenziani, president of Confedilizia (building companies confederation), different interpretations of the rental problem emerge. The first accuses the owners of not being willing to revise the rents despite the general crisis, with the risk that in the coming months there will be more shops without tenants and that, in the long run, this will end up disqualifying the entire historic center of the city. Terenziani has a different opinion, speaking of too high taxation on the question of prices, with about half of the rent ending in taxes. Among the solutions proposed to help small businesses are for the Cna the balances and free parking in the afternoon, for Confedilizia the restoration of the dry coupon also for the shops as happened last year, when the Irpef taxes at 21% had allowed to renegotiate downward leases.

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