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Perspectives and challenges of logging enterprises in the Italian Alps

Spinelli, Raffaele, Magagnotti, Natascia, Jessup, Eric, Soucy, Michel
Forest policy and economics 2017 v.80 pp. 44-51
business enterprises, entrepreneurship, equipment, issues and policy, logging, modernization, profits and margins, renewable resources, surveys, taxes, Alps region, Italy
This study surveyed logging businesses in the Italian Alps to obtain a first detailed description of their current financial wellbeing, of their future intentions and of the success factors and obstacles perceived by the entrepreneurs. Answers from 322 respondents suggest a relatively stable group of enterprises, where the large majority (ca. 90%) intends to stay in business, but where investment intentions are limited (50% of the respondents). This is consistent with the self-assessed financial performance of either breaking even or of generating small profits (80% of the respondents). While equipment modernization was commonly reported as a success factor, professional skills seemed to be recognized as playing an even stronger role. There was strong agreement between respondents on the main business hurdles being related to rising costs, taxes and regulations, and unfair competition. The perspectives and information provided from this survey are discussed with the intent to help policy makers in designing successful strategies to stimulate the business growth required to reach the increasing bio-based and renewable products goals set in place throughout the world.