Over 160,000 small businesses shut down in 2014

Closures lead to 'impoverishment of local social fabric'

(ANSA) - Venice, February 26 - At least 165,779 businesses operating in the retail and artisan sectors shut down in 2014, the Association of Artisans and Small Businesses of Mestre (CGIA) said Thursday.
    It said 131,369 businesses of this type opened in the same period, translating into a negative balance of 34,410. This in turn translated into over 93,400 jobs lost, of which nearly 42,000 in retail and around 51,500 in the artisan sector, CGIA said. The decline was due to a combination of a drop in sales, recent tax increases and strong competition from large-scale distribution channels such as supermarkets. "Besides the economic damage, there is also a social aspect that must not be overlooked," CGIA secretary Giuseppe Bortolussi said.
    "When a small shop or artisan workshop closes for good, the quality of life in the neighbourhood declines," he added.
   

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