It’s already been more than a month since the beginning of Phase 2 in Italy, which marked the reopening of all industrial and commercial activities in the country. In many cases, however, reopening did not mean restarting, as plenty of business owners were met with a stagnating market situation, frozen orders, and substantial lack of demand.
We had a word with Giuseppe Parroco, owner of Essebi Srl, specializing in the construction of cold heading machines for standard or special parts, to take a deeper look at the state of health of the fasteners sector from the inside.
Lockdown: one day we wake up and all of a sudden the virus that seemed so far away, confined in a city located in eastern China, is at our doorstep.
“I don't think anyone could have ever anticipated a world pandemic. It was shocking to find the virus in our home country, especially for us in Northern Italy. Suddenly we found ourselves having to close the company and take shelter at home. Obviously, we had no choice but to follow the ministerial decrees. I believe health is a priority."
Phase 2: after enduring this situation for weeks, Italy finally restarts the engines.
"First of all, I think the timing was right. As I said before, health is always a priority. For the reopening we followed ministerial protocols to the letter, just as we did before, during the lockdown. We started checking and recording the body temperature of anyone who set foot inside the company while carrying out frequent workplace sanitizations. In addition, we provided everyone with masks, gloves, and sanitizing products. Luckily for us, the number of employees is relatively small. Plus, the workplace is huge, so we don't have any gathering issues (Laughs - Editor’s note).
Going back to the safety provisions implemented by the government, I believe that any solution that can potentially reduce the danger of a new wave is fair. We have to do everything we can to safeguard the safety of our workers - continued Mr Parroco.
We resume our activities with great enthusiasm and we are willing to roll up our sleeves to provide the best possible service to our clientele. Given the emergency situation, I think it is our duty to make sure our customers do not lose even one minute of production.
Fortunately, we did not need any form of economic support, though I believe that, when it comes to funding for companies in critical conditions, it’s imperative to get the timing right. And I think Italy acted too late in this regard... this was a big mistake on the part of the government."
Future: what is ahead of us in the short to medium term?
"Certainly the Covid-19 epidemic will leave a deep mark, but I like to be hopelessly optimistic, and I know how strong Italian workers and entrepreneurs can be in dire moments. Our people have so much creativity and passion that is unique in the world. If the Government supports us properly we will be able to come out even stronger than before. Speaking of the fastener sector, I think we will see an initial drop in demand, but I am confident that within a few months everything will return to its previous state. I am absolutely certain that we will soon be back to our old habits.”