(Updated March 15) Assosport, the association of the Italian sporting goods industry, has published an open letter to its members from its president, Federico De Ponti, in relation to the coronavirus crisis. In the letter, De Ponti explains that Assosport has taken action through Confindustria, the Italian employers’ federation and national chamber of commerce, to push the government to support the companies impacted by the emergency. Support could take the form of social safety nets, tax exemptions and credit facilities, among other things, and not only for the companies that are located in the municipalities on so-called “red alert,” which are more directly impacted by the outbreak of the virus.
Assosport is also working on the international front, says De Ponti. More specifically, the organization is working with ICE, the Italian trade agency, to encourage new business opportunities, as many have been impacted by the cancellation of major international trade shows. The coronavirus crisis is affecting production, due to the difficulties in receiving supplies from China. It is also impacting retail, as many of Assosport members also have a retail chain.
In a final and extended part of the letter, De Ponti recommends containing fear, which he calls “our worst enemy.” Certain countries have indeed taken measures to limit travel to and from the affected Italian regions. Assosport, explains De Ponti, is following the recommendations of the Italian public authorities, and is available to its members to provide the necessary support.
Update: All news and announcements by Assosport regarding the situation can be read (in Italian) here.