In a note Maurizio Danese, president of Aefi – Association of Italian exhibitions and fairs, commented on the publication by the Ministry of Tourism of the beneficiaries admitted to the “theoretical” non-repayable contribution (i.e. subject to verification) for the lost revenues suffered in 2020 from fairs and congresses, resulting from the distribution of the Refreshments Fund referring to the same year.
“In the last 2 months the Italian exhibition sector has restarted with important numbers, which go beyond the rosiest expectations. 70% of the 335 events, 172 of which international, scheduled from September to the end of the year were held safely, albeit with a significant presence of the public and above all of business operators.
Added to this is the strong acceleration given by the institutions on the refreshment front, which Aefi – Association of Italian exhibitions considers fundamental for the survival of a strategic asset of Made in Italy. A dialogue, the one with the institutions, which has never been lacking and which today finds decisive answers for the future ”.
The main beneficiaries
According to what has been published, the ceiling of the Ministry of Tourism which waives the limits set on State Aid for the events sector amounts to 350 million euros. Of this sum 130 million euros only for Italian fairs.
Among the main beneficiaries of the non-repayable resources to cover the losses recorded in 2020, there are the four major Italian operators, associated with Aefi – Association of Italian exhibitions: Fiera Milano, BolognaFiere, Italian Exhibition Group and Veronafiere. These entities alone determine 70% of the sector’s turnover by adding refreshments for over 50 million euros.
To these must be added the contributions allocated in 2020 by the other decrees containing measures in support of the “Italy district” and referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Maeci), Simest and the Ministry of Culture for a potential of 40 million euros.
With regard to the assignment of contributions published on November 5, 331 fair players from North to South are admitted to the refreshment points.
However, the funds for the 2021 losses still remain to be disbursed, contemplated in the ‘Sostegni’ and ‘Sostegni bis’ decrees for 150 million euros. On these, the regulation for the distribution of the sums is awaited, also in derogation of the de minimis.
“A derogation strongly requested by the sector and implemented by Minister Massimo Garavaglia to save the competitiveness of the exhibition system and companies engaged in internationalization”.
The Maeci-Simest grants, on the other hand, are in the most advanced stage: around 250 million euro non-repayable and already operational.