FederlegnoArredo has disbursed more than 28 million in loans, of which more than 10 million in non-repayable grants, and has helped around 800 companies, 150 of which have been assisted in their access to credit, providing them with tools and knowledge to deal with the liquidity emergency in particular.
These are the figures that provide a snapshot of the first seven months of activity of FederlegnoArredo's Loan Desk, which has been active since July 2020. A service created to provide concrete help to member companies during the first months of lockdown. In the first days of activity in 2021, already 50 companies have turned to the structure's financing desk.
"Starting from the needs of our entrepreneurs and giving them effective answers is the main task of a federation. This help desk," says Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo, "was born out of an urgent need and the figures show that it has been able to provide adequate solutions. And it is in this direction that we will continue to work in an attempt to make life easier for entrepreneurs. After the finance desk, we have also opened a customs office, focusing on the issue of certifications, which we could now define as real customs barriers that undermine the competitiveness of our companies".
FLA's Financing Desk at the side of entrepreneurs
Initially, the work of FederlegnoArredo's Financing Desk focused above all on showing entrepreneurs the tools made available by institutions, such as access to state guarantees, dialogue with the banking system, and access to the many forms of compensation. Webinars were also used to provide information on subsidised financing opportunities in partnership with the managing bodies (Sace, Simest, Invitalia), bringing companies closer to the various forms of financing. FederlegnoArredo's task was therefore to stand by entrepreneurs and guide them through the maze of regulations and bureaucracy, which are often a difficult obstacle to overcome if the right tools are not available.
In the first phase, requests focused on the liquidity emergency and then on investment support tools, particularly for internationalisation, a fundamental item for a sector that relies above all on exports.
Simest's measures have met with a high level of interest from members, especially in the formula that provides for no guarantees, a non-repayable quota and reduced interest rates, and that finances expenses for trade fairs and e-commerce. Both of these are essential tools for penetrating the international market, which is vital for the wood-furniture industry. Around 80 companies requested assistance from the Financing Desk in submitting their applications, with an acceptance rate close to 100%.
Guide for wood-furnishing companies
As of this year, the activity of the FLA Financing Desk has been enriched by a Guide for wood-furnishing companies, which is constantly updated and published on the website of the federation in order to take into account the introduction of new opportunities. It is a document that monitors and describes all the measures available to companies, providing a comprehensive and easy-to-use framework for orientation. Entrepreneurs will find an indication of the different types of facilities aimed at internationalisation, capital strengthening, productive and digital investments, innovation and green and an indication of the access requirements and related benefits.