The Ifema exhibition consortium , the second economic engine of the Community of Madrid after the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport, is negotiating a temporary employment regulation file (ERTE) with its entire workforce, just over 420 workers.
The mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida (PP), has considered that this process is “essential”, after the invoicing of the fairgrounds ―a consortium made up of the City Council of the capital, among others―, has been sunk last January to 100,000 euros as a result of the pandemic, which has also swept away fairs, congresses and visitors.
The usual income in the same month of the last years ranged between 15 and 17 million euros. That is, up to 150 times less.
The poor evolution of the coronavirus has prevented the calendar from being maintained and that, with the arrival of 2021, the fairs would be retaken in person, as planned . The management is currently trying to agree in the best possible way on the regulatory file, advanced by the SER chain .
“We do not want to stop doing what is scheduled for now,” state sources from the entity, while admitting that the data of the covid-19 does not predict a promising future in the short and medium term, which allows us to be optimistic with what right now they have on the agenda.
Throughout February there are no scheduled fairs and the big event this year is the International Tourism Fair (Fitur), which has not been able to keep its usual January appointment and is set for the second half of May.
Ifema still maintains some open appointments, but the entity does not hide that the data on the evolution of the pandemic lead to a scenario of “great uncertainty.” The first quarter of each year, with a turnover of around 50 million euros, is Ifema’s busiest period, with fairs such as Fitur, Cibeles Fashion Week, Arco and other events around the world of gifts or jewelry.
“Nobody is aware that being the first activity of Ifema the organization of fairs and congresses, since it produced the first declaration of the state of alarm, it has practically not been able to register economic activity,” stressed the mayor of Madrid. Almeida believes that it is “essential” to apply the ERTE tool to try to “guarantee” the stability of jobs and the viability of Ifema, which accounts for up to 5% of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In the managing body of Ifema, a consortium born in 1980, the Community of Madrid, the City Council of the capital, the Chamber of Commerce and the MonteMadrid Foundation participate. Its activity represents, according to data published on its website, an economic impact of 4,374 million euros and generates more than 26,000 jobs.
From the beginning of the first state of alarm, the institution put itself at the service of the authorities and hosted an emergency hospital and a shelter for the homeless in several of its pavilions .