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The artisan shops also reopened amidst many questions and with the awareness that the Coronavirus emergency has challenged the reference markets in the sector, especially those related to exports and tourism. The appeal of Artex, Center for artistic and traditional craftsmanship of Tuscany it is aimed at the most responsible and attentive local consumers so that at this particular moment they can rediscover the value of Made in Tuscany and a cultural heritage, traditions and techniques handed down for centuries that make handmade products unique.

The appeal is also relaunched through the re-presentation of the video by Lorenzo Baglioni, singer, actor, and Florentine author "Buy Craftsman”Which invites you to buy quality products, linked to the territory and above all unique. The video was launched but never as today its message must be current to support the activities of artistic craftsmanship as explained by the author himself.

"Never as in this moment is it important to privilege the excellence of the artisans who are the pride of our territory - comments Baglioni - It is good to always keep in mind the goodness of a choice of this kind both for the quality of the products we are going to buy and for supporting small entrepreneurs who are now struggling to restart: this is a choice that indirectly benefits the whole community. I am pleased that we can return to communicate this also to the youngest so that they can understand how much smarter it is to go and buy from our artisans who are excellences in the world rather than making anonymous purchases on online platforms ".

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Artex now needs to turn the spotlight on a particular sector of the Italian economy that requires attention. From the data processed in collaboration with Irpet, it emerges that the universe of artistic craftsmanship is made up of about 20 thousand Tuscan companies, which together employ over 100 thousand employees, including employees and independent workers. Of the 20 thousand companies, approximately 1.300 (6%) have more than 15 employees, 94% of which are small and micro companies that are very different in size, company organization, production techniques, styles but also for reference markets.

The leather sector has the largest number of companies (over 4 thousand) and employees (over 30 thousand), followed by the food sector (with 2.800 companies and 19 thousand employees) and that of bespoke clothing (which employs 9.600 people in 2.400 companies). The companies in these three sectors represent half of the total number of companies identified. The sectors of weaving (9.300 employees in 1.900 companies), decorations (8.800 employees in 2.200 companies), processing of precious metals and precious stones (1.5oo companies for 8.000 people employed) are also well represented.

"In the face of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus emergency, unfortunately, the closure of 30% of artisan businesses is expected - explains Gianni Lamioni, president of Artex, Center for artistic and traditional crafts of Tuscany - The situation is serious and deserves to be analyzed specifically because never as this time do we risk losing centuries of traditions and knowledge ”. The aid plan for small businesses is all the more urgent, as fundamental for the maintenance of jobs is this restart of the activity of the shops and laboratories. Once this step has been taken, it is vital for the sector to encourage the local market, an opportunity to make the value of the products of our artisans known more and better ".

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