The “portale in saor”: Venetian artisans launch e-commerce portal on the web

New web e-commerce portal eBotteghe is launched for Venetian producers. The city is empty, but on 4 December there will be the tree lighting and other initiatives. The commissioner to the deputies: “We are building projects with the artisans. Support us.”

By Antonella Gasparini

27 November 2020

One can breathe more of the Christmas atmosphere  on the platforms of the multi-nationals, which for months have been focused on the business of Black Friday, than in the historic cities. The festive climate is absent in Venice, along with the luminaries, the shop displays, hidden everywhere by lowered shutters, and the people. On the mainland things are happening, you see lights, decorated trees, open stores. In the historic center too, the institutions assure, on 4 December there will be the lighting of the digital tree by artist Fabrizio Plessi at San Marco and other surprise initiatives, like those at Mestre. “We are in a wartime economy – said Secretary of Confartigianato di Venezia Gianni De Checchi, in the office at San Lio – and like in a war there are casualties. At this hour the rite of Black Friday is being celebrated, which will see a piece of the 3.5 billion in purchases made on the Internet, 700 – 800 million transactions, go to the global electronic commerce companies, taking oxygen out of local economies”.

Confartigianato Venezia has played its own card: an e-commerce site called eBotteghe, “so that the local can retake the global” – affirms De Checchi – with a “portale in saor” to promote crafts and get them on the web. As Simone Padovani, cofounder of the free and voluntary project together with Alice Bianco and Sara Prian says, “we aim to give a new form to the sale of crafts. We are adapting e-commerce to crafts and their slow and not very “industrial” pace. There are 20 local businesses that have signed up. Ten more are joining. “We have to reacquaint the customer with quality”. The project was born from a meeting with Marco Ziliotto, the founder of “Chebateo”, the integrated system that cross-references transportation needs of travelers with the water lines of the historic city, and which has become indispensable.

With eBotteghe “the pearls” of craftsmanship will go online, through events, direct streaming of work, videos and 360 degree visualizations of workshops and showrooms, and a blog for the development of the portal. Purchases take place online, with delivery not only at home but also in-store. It is as if those who sign up are adding a piece to the “wonders of Venice”, which has always been a city of local artisans. “Non-aggressive communication, quality followers, not quantity – says Sara Prian – Work that is never shouted about but related, as with the discovery of treasures”. “It’s not a presentation of products – affirms Ziliotto – but of everything that lies behind them. People who buy are not just purchasing the object, but a ‘know how’ of gained experience and understanding. We aim to create experiences”. At the meeting with the artisans on Friday was also the Commissioner of Productive Business and Commerce, Sebastiano Costalonga. “The administration supports this type of path. Far from bureaucratic complications, close to the life and needs of the businesses. We want to restart in the city from quality, also of tourism.

In the afternoon at the fixed meeting for Commerce, streaming with the Parliament, Costalonga and Professor Luciano Massa requested resources for this activity, as spokesmen for the needs of the local socio-economic system. “In Parliament we are talking of commercial rents – said the Honorable Giorgia Andreuzza – It is good that concrete projects start from the grassroots. As has been the case with the ZES (Special Economic Zone) for Venice: a well-constructed plan, well presented, that has made headway at the national level”. The Honorable Nicola Pellicani lined up the latest government initiatives to support the economy: 120 billion spent (in eight months of the pandemic), the last budget variation approved for 8 billion, and the move of the IRAP and other payment deadlines up to April 2021. “We are discussing the Ristori Decree, between Sunday and Monday this provision will also see the light. From January 2021 – continues Pellicani – we will work on financing for the cities of art”, in addition to the Special Statute, for which refinancing of 150 million Euro a year for 10  years has been requested of the government by the entire City Council”.

Some of the party-leader Councilors also spoke at the meeting. “In Florence – suggested Councilor Marco Gasparinetti, speaking on the subject of rents for artisan shops – the City has adopted a provision to reduce the IMU by a third for those who pay rent, and as for the funding – he said – there are structural regional funds from the statute on crafts that can be brought to bear”. For European Deputy Rosanna Conte, “we cannot think that the Recovery fund, now under discussion, is the cure for all the ills”. It is yet to be known if and what conditions will be imposed by the UE. For the Honorable and City Councilor Alex Bazzaro one figure is enough to summarize the emergency: “a 74% decrease in arrivals at the Tessera airport during the year of the pandemic”. The digital transformation to revitalize Venetian crafts was also discussed in this venue. Here are some of the figures Confartigianato provided for sales in Venice: -70% income in the glass sector; -74% for masks, -78% for jewelry, -46% for hairdressers and beauticians, and finally, holding on a bit more, the home sector (painters, electricians, plumbers and installers), -34%.

Source: Venezia Today

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