PADUA – Maximum bills, difficulties in paying taxes and the nightmare of autumn storage. Federica Luniowner of the pastry shop Estense in via Forcellini with his brother Francesco, shakes his head: “Continuing like this is difficult”.
«We are very worried, especially for the autumn-winter season and we continue to receive messages about increased costs of raw materials: the flour costs 60 cents now we are at 2 euros per kilogram. We have reached levels of increases never seen before, just think of the price of milk which has risen three times since December: by 11%, by 7% in March and again by 10% in June. And we are not only talking about raw materials, I pay more than € 1.30 for boxes for cakes compared to € 0.90 before ».
There are places that have chosen to change their opening hours and there is talk of increasing the cost of products…
«There are no reliable solutions. You can reduce the opening hours of the restaurant to save on lighting and staff, you can also remove certain products on sale and thus reduce the range, but in the end it is still a drama. You get bills immediately that you don’t expect, in my case we went from 1800 euros to 6 thousand and not only me, we all had increases of 300%. A situation, the one with expensive bills and municipal taxes, which also affects families. This means that the purchasing power of the end consumer decreases ».
Does this also affect the possibilities of making investments?
«All investments planned for the future of us small business owners have been blocked indefinitely due to the increase in costs. The consequence is a relative blocking of the other sectors: if I do not buy new equipment or if I do not renovate the premises, I not only lose, but also the related companies to which I assign the work. We are like a domino, if the first pawn falls, all others fall ».
The situation, as he describes it, seems to have no way out. What can be done about it?
“At this moment, it is clear to us as never before that our sector seems to be operating as a social safety net: everyone has raised prices in response, but we are still wondering if we should increase coffee by 10 cents. For this reason, we have called for a meeting with Appe management and a second meeting on September 1st with the confectioners in Padua, perhaps the first industry meeting ever held.We are tired of using the velvet glove and keeping our heads down, now is the time to make our voices heard and clearly reveal our requirements for the government”.
What will you do?
“Let’s see, something really has to be done. Because this way we will get nowhere ».