Municipalities: the gateway for investors

Why choose Lombardy for a productive investment? Perhaps because it is the richest region of Italy and one of the strongest economies in Europe. In addition, its international appeal and the widespread entrepreneurship play a role. What if we took into account also the characteristics of Lombardy territory, giving an eye to its municipalities?

Analyzing the latest data from the guide “The Municipalities of Lombardy 2018” drawn up by ANCI, regarding more than 1,500 Municipalities located in the 23,800 square kilometers of the region, one finds that investors would mainly deal with small municipalities, considered that 69% of them host less than 5,000 inhabitants. The area of Sondrio has the highest share of small Municipalities: 71 out of the 77 that constitute the Province. In fact, most of those under one thousand inhabitants are located in the mountains (61.9%) while the majority of the Municipalities of the region are based in plain (66.2%). Bergamo is the province that hosts most of them (242, 16% of the total Lombard).

The mergers obviously concern the smallest Municipalities, in 27.9% of the cases those with less than 1,000 inhabitants. Cremona is the province that shows the greatest number of operations among its Municipalities.

It is also worth recalling that Lombardy Municipalities have a high financial autonomy, thanks to the excellent results in the collection of local taxes. For this reason, transfers from the State are significantly lower in Lombardy compared to the average national figure (76 euros per capita compared to 117).

Municipalities are also sensitive and attentive to the new tools that the 4.0 era encourages to use, in order to streamline and simplify relations with citizens and meet the needs of increasingly demanding users and specially investors. For this purpose they established a “Single Window for Productive Activities” (SUAP – Sportello Unico per le Attività Produttive) that coordinates all the fulfillments required for the creation of a business and a “Single Window for Building” (SUE – Sportello Unico per l’Edilizia) that acts as a direct link between companies and Public Administration and allows to transmit every act concerning the building activity without presenting any papers at the municipal offices.

SUAP and SUE are the branches of the Municipalities most involved in the investment and settlement processes of companies, and this is why they play a key role within the AttrACT program. The participating Municipalities committed to improve these instruments in order to make the authorization processes faster. The final goal of this development is to reach the “Enterprise in One Day” (IUG – Impresa in un giorno) program, which is currently provided by 63% of the member municipalities, and allows to obtain all the permits to start a new business in a single day.

Who are the Municipalities of AttrACT?  There are 56 Municipalities participating today to the AttrACT program promoted by Regione Lombardia and Unioncamere Lombardia. If we look more in detail, we find that most of them are medium and large sized municipalities (almost 70% have more than 5,000 inhabitants), they provide investors with over 100 settlement opportunities, both brownfield and greenfield. The most represented province is Mantua with 21% of the municipalities participating in the initiative. The second is Bergamo with 14% and the third is Milan with 13%, followed by Cremona (9%), Pavia, Como and Brescia (7%), Sondrio, Monza and Brianza, Lodi (5%), Varese (4%) and Lecco (1%).

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