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Lazio gives a shoulder to small bookstores and publishers

Lazio gives a shoulder to small bookstores and publishers

The belief of regional authorities is that these entrepreneurs hold the most power to encourage reading

On 21 May, the Lazio regional council gave the green light for the release of over 1.8 million euros in support of independent bookshops and small publishing houses located on the territory of the Italian region.

The executive has in fact approved the resolution, proposed by the councilor for Economic Development, Commerce and Handicraft, University, Research, Start-Up and Innovation, Paolo Orneli. Тhe purpose of the measure is to enhance the competitiveness especially of those entities that have suffered the greatest difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will be given out as a non-repayable contribution equal to 100% of the expenses incurred - in the period between 1 January and 15 October 2021. These should be projects on reading promotion to be carried out digitally or in-person (such as presentations, events or workshops), digitization projects through the use of software and technological tools, adaptation of spaces and activities to new needs related to social distancing, sanitation requirements or projects to improve accessibility.

Bookstores and small publishers – the grassroots of literary culture

A little bit over 900 thousand euros will go to each of the two target categories (independent bookstores and publishing houses) with the provision that each approved project can expect to receive a grant not exceeding 10,500 euros.

Apart from demonstrating that their operations have suffered the economic impact of Covid, there are additional incentives if the entrepreneurs take steps in the cultural sphere. For the bookstores, that means implementing initiatives related to the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death – either presential or digital. For publishers, that means organizing reading promotion activities in collaboration with local bookshops.

"Lazio Region intervenes again in support of businesses in the book and reading sector, which are much more than important economic activities,” explained Councilor Orneli, continuing: “They are also principals of culture and I do not hesitate to say civilization and they carry out important social functions, especially as regards the youngest, helping to fight against the social and cultural desertification of the territory. 

It is now that we decide what our communities will be like after Covid and we are convinced that independent bookstores and small publishing houses should be among the protagonists”.

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