This is not a return to “Whatever the cost” but a new adaptation “Targeted aid” for companies whose operation is undermined by the new health restrictions announced by the government on December 27. In particular, the ban on drinking while standing in cafes, the cancellation of greeting ceremonies, the return of gauges for major events (5,000 people outdoors, 2,000 indoors) or even compulsory teleworking three or four days a week. from January 3 and for a period of three weeks.
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After an hour and a half of discussions with representatives of the hotel and catering industry, tourism or even events, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, accompanied by that of SMEs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, announced this 3 January adjustments to several support devices.
The first relates to the support of the partial activity of employees. It will be provided by the State at 100% and without charge, for companies which suffer a loss of turnover of 65%. So far, this threshold has been 80%.
Reimbursement of fixed costs
The other modified device concerns the reimbursement of their companies fixed costs. This full reimbursement is only possible today for certain companies whose turnover has fallen by 65%. The threshold is now lowered to 50%.
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Even more, certain categories of companies such as events or indoor leisure were the only ones eligible for this device until now. “A very small number”, according to Bruno Le Maire, who has decided to extend this possibility to tourism companies such as hotels, restaurants or even travel agencies.
This reimbursement will also be much faster for sums of less than € 50,000, promised the minister who mentioned delays ” A few days “ and no longer a few weeks. Such sums would concern two thirds of the requests for support.
The expiry of the EMPs
While these measures have already been taken, two others are being considered at the request of the sectors received at Bercy. First, the exemption from charges for companies whose loss of turnover reaches at least 65% and which are subject to restrictions.
Then, and Bruno Le Maire raised a subject ” major “ for their cash flow: the issue of government guaranteed loans (PGEs). “Many companies, especially the smallest of them, very small businesses, artisans, traders, fear that they will not be able to meet the deadline next spring, in terms of repayment terms and in terms of payment. ‘repayment schedule’, he said.
However, he warned that a change in the method of reimbursement of EMPs had to be discussed beforehand with several interlocutors: the European Commission, the Bank of France and the French Banking Federation.
“Far from billions of euros”
When asked about the cost of these measures, Bruno Le Maire mentioned an order of magnitude of around one hundred million euros, far from the ” Billions of Euro’s “ from “Whatever the cost”. An amount bearable for public finances according to the latter who recalls that the government has 1.8 billion euros unused in the emergency fund in the face of the crisis.
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Among the first reactions to the announcements of economic support by Bruno Le Maire, that of the GNI, the union of independent hotel and catering. “The government has taken into account the situation of the sector, reacted its president Didier Chenet. There are still improvements to be made, this is the whole subject of the discussions that we are starting now because we have to act quickly, particularly concerning eligibility for short-time work. “