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Turin's small-business owners can get comfortable with conquering the digital space, Source: Digitalesottocasa

Turin pushes ahead with digital transition of small business even after pandemic

Turin pushes ahead with digital transition of small business even after pandemic

The local Chamber of Commerce wants to ensure that every entrepreneur has an online presence

The COVID pandemic demonstrated the importance of being able to do business online, even for the small neighbourhood businesses in Italy. Using the impetus created from that period, the Turin Chamber of Commerce aims to continue promoting digital transition for SMEs in the city with its #digitalesottocasa project.

The name in Italian means “digital at my doorstep”, and unlike other collective projects aimed to help the small business community, it is not meant as a one-stop shop or generalist e-commerce portal. It is instead a community that aims to provide practical training and useful examples so that retail merchants and artisans can carve their own space in the online world.

Moving SMEs to the digital sphere

The platform has already been active in beta version since September 2021 and currently has over 700 businesses, of which approximately 47% work in the food delivery/catering sector, one of the most affected by the effects of the pandemic but which has also been able to quickly convert to digital presence.

All interested merchants and artisans, operating in Turin and its province, are invited to join the project during the year 2022. The goal is to reach the largest possible number of subjects and to be able to involve them in personalized initiatives, also through the identification of forms of financing to support the digitization process.

Among the upcoming benefits for members, there is also preferential access to some particular digital training sessions offered by the Digital Enterprise Point of the Chamber of Commerce. For example, on 20 April a new training session called Google My Business will start. Every 15 days there will be specific meetings dedicated to Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

"We offer a platform that aggregates all the free services that the Chamber of Commerce and trade associations make available to entrepreneurs to grow digitally: whoever gets on board is accompanied in a transformation that is now indispensable,” explained Dario Gallina, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin.

He concluded: “It is not a question of upsetting one's way of doing business or one's entrepreneurial identity, but of reaching previously unexplored sales channels, retaining customers even ones who are geographically further away, reacting to the post-pandemic crisis with a long-term strategy that knows how to grasp opportunities, needs and changes in consumer behaviour".

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