€30 million to support the city's microenterprises and promote sustainable mobility
In order to help one of Italy's hardest-hit areasdue to the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Bergamo Municipality and Intesa Sanpaolo have launched the "Rinascimento Programme" (which translates as the "Rebirth Programme"). The initiative, with €30 million made available by the Bank, was presented today by the Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, and Intesa Sanpaolo's CEO, Carlo Messina.
The "Rinascimento Programme" will be used to support Bergamo's microenterprises and small businesses as they start up again but find themselves in difficulty and do not qualify for subsidies or financial grants from central or regional institutions. The Programme is a concrete tool to support Bergamo's local economy, helping companies face the costs incurred during the lockdown and the investments needed to start up again. The Programme will also provide incentives for sustainable mobility for commuting between home and work.
The "RinascimentoProgramme" includes €3 million of non-repayable grants to cover expenses that artisans and small businesses faced during the lockdown. These grants will be accompanied by innovative impact loans (for a total of €20 million, offeringextended repayment terms and highly advantageous rates) to help these businesses make the investments required to adapt their spaces and services to the new reality of life alongside COVID-19; the impact loans may in turn be combined with non-repayable grants for an additional €7 million.
These measures may also be granted to businesses hit by severe drops in turnover even after they reopen – forexample tourism-related activities– orstart-ups created to meet the new needs and lifestyles that will characterise post-COVID life.
Finally, considering the impact that health measures will have on urban mobility –including public transport's heavily-reduced capacity –the Programme will encourage sustainable mobility as an alternative to the use of private cars.
The total amount of €10 million available for non-repayable grants will be paid into the Mutual Aid Fund created by the Bergamo Municipality to help relaunch the city following the Coronavirus emergency and will be used specifically for private business activities.
The agreement between the Bergamo Municipality and Intesa Sanpaolo also foresees services to assist companies in planning their projects. This activity, together with disbursement, monitoring and reporting related to the non-repayable grants,will be managed by the non-profit CESVI Fondazione, one of the most important and accredited Third Sector institutions, with which the Bergamo Municipality has defined a special agreement. A five-member Technical Committee, representing the institutions involved in the project, will act as supervising steering committee.
"The 'RinascimentoProgramme'born thanks to the generous contribution of Intesa Sanpaolo,"commented Bergamo's Mayor Giorgio Gori,"is an extraordinary form of support and assistance for our City's economic ecosystem. Bergamo is the city hardest-hit by the epidemic that has traumatised the world. And while it remains a sound city, with a developed fabric of economic activities, it is today, a city in great difficulty. That is why the Bergamo Municipality created the Mutual Aid Fund and why we are sincerely grateful to Intesa Sanpaolo for its initiative.After the misfortune of becoming the city that most symbolises the pandemic, we now want to be the city that stands for our Country's recovery.We are honoured that Intesa Sanpaolo has chosen Bergamo to experiment with this unprecedented and innovative form of cooperation between Local Government a Financial Institution – thatwill then be extended to other areas – and we will make every effort to ensure that it fully benefits our community".