The high bills make their effects felt on small and medium-sized enterprises which risk, without immediate help, having to close. According to a study by Confartigianato, in Lazio 79 thousand enterprises with 304 thousand employees suffer. The activities most exposed to the threat of energy lockdown are those energy intensive (ceramics, glass, cement, paper, chemicals, food, beverages and others), but also those of the manufacturing sector in which textiles, wood and printing stand out. The service sector (from the trade of agricultural raw materials and food products to catering to swimming pools and gyms) and the transport sectors are under pressure due to the escalation of electricity, gas and fuel prices. The risks also extend to logistics, with activities such as warehousing and transport support activities that suffer heavy increases in bills for the refrigeration of perishable goods. Of all the SMEs in Lazio, it is estimated that in Rome there are 57,591 companies at risk due to expensive energy. In particular, the energy-intensive manufacturing sectors involve 969 small and medium-sized enterprises with 4,618 employees. The shortage of raw materials involves 34,173 companies with 87,609 employees. While 10,452 companies are affected by the expensive fuel for 37,274 employees. “We have been going on like this for a year: energy costs have more than tripled on average. The bill of a food facility with over 10 employees has gone from 3,000 to almost 14,000 euros. This puts you at risk, just considering manufacturing and catering (more than 13,000 artisan enterprises in Rome), the survival of over a thousand entrepreneurial activities. We are talking about at least 8% of the activities, with an employment impact of over 4,000 employees “, comments Andrea Rotondo, president of Confartigianato Rome. The Lazio Region, for its part, lends a hand: in the meantime, 20 million euros are arriving for small and medium-sized enterprises. In fact, by November the Zingaretti junta will launch a tender to finance zero-interest loans (to be repaid even in 10 years) useful for the purchase and assembly of photovoltaic panels, heat pumps and low-consumption boilers. Roberta Lombardi, Councilor for Ecological Transition and Digital Transformation of the Lazio Region, specifies to Adnkronos that “as a regional council we have included in the Linked to the budget, under discussion in the Council in these days, a series of measures for the energy transition of businesses and families , which will also have beneficial effects against expensive energy given that with the transition to renewables we make our energy needs independent of imported fossil sources, such as gas and oil. In particular, for companies we expect, among other things, a total of 20 million for energy efficiency and saving interventions and for the development of renewables. To this must be added the package of measures for families and a specific line of financing, aimed at several recipients including businesses and families, on Renewable Energy Communities: one million for a first call in November and another 20 million in the coming months “. “Interventions of this kind in support of SMEs are welcome, Renewable Energy Communities are good, but the real problem at the moment is paying the bills, so an effort is needed to develop forms of liquidity in favor of companies, already heavily exposed after more than two years of Covid “, underlines Rotondo. “The Municipality of Rome, for example, could intervene with a systemic action on local taxation (Osp and Tari), or affect Atac with controlled prices; Acea extra profits. While the Chamber of Commerce and the Lazio Region could develop support tools to liquidity to deal with energy price increases “, explains the president of Confartigianato Rome. “We are certainly in favor and we will give our support to all those interventions that provide for facilitations and investments in renewable energy and in the diversification of supply sources, in particular to create Energy Communities and to increase self-production. Having said that, however, we hope – he continues – that the institutional supply chain, given the nature and complexity of the interventions, acts in a system logic, anticipating the bottlenecks that characterize interventions that involve different administrations “In the opinion of Massimiliano Maselli, regional councilor of Fratelli d’Italia and vice president of Economic Development and Productive Activities Commission at Pisana, “the expensive bills are a real emergency but the Lazio Region does not seem to notice it because there is a lack of truly effective actions to counter the rise in energy prices. The data speak for themselves, there are thousands of Lazio companies that risk to quit because they fail to contain gas or electricity costs. The ‘connected’ to the budget, currently under discussion in the Regional Council, could have been the right opportunity to take specific measures and identify concrete interventions to support all those companies that risk failing with very heavy consequences on the economic, productive and social fabric of our region. But that was not the case. “” We expected – he continues – immediate action for 2022 because it is now that companies are in difficulty and instead we find a norm on energy income that allocates just 2 million euros for 2023 and a norm for the incentive for the electrification of domestic users which for the current year allocates the ridiculous figure of 400 thousand euros. That’s all. Nothing else. Rules clearly wanted by Zingaretti to try and try to reach an agreement with the 5 Stars which apparently is increasingly difficult. This is the ‘beautiful’ connection that the former president of the Lazio region is now talking about, while the companies in the area are in danger of closing down “.