It hurt her stomach, because she “never asked for a loan” in her life. “With my brother, we opened our establishment eight years ago without any help.” This Thursday, March 26, Amaya Rodriguez, patron of the Café des Artisans in Lausanne, “had no other choice” than to fill out a form for a request for transitional credit guaranteed by the Confederation with Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV ).
“We took the necessary steps to obtain the allowances for our staff. But for us, it’s going to be a disaster what we’re going to touch as bosses. That was it or putting the key under the mat. “
Like the restaurateur, who has just returned from ten days of illness with symptoms comparable to those of Covid-19, a thousand SMEs had already called BCV between 9 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the bank’s accounts. “We expect that the pace will remain very strong for the next three or four days,” said Didier Müller, head of the task force of seventy employees set up by BCV to manage requests. According to him, the vast majority of requests arrive via the online forms available, in particular on the bank’s website.
The control work is carried out very quickly, specifies Didier Müller: fifteen to twenty minutes, to verify in particular that the company has its headquarters in Switzerland. “But the amount of forms we receive means that it takes a little longer.” At 3:30 p.m., he estimated that two-thirds of the requests had already been processed, and that one-third of the SMEs involved could have access to the funds between the end of the day Thursday and Friday.
“In around 300 cases, we had to return the forms due to errors,” said the official. Some entrepreneurs especially forget to indicate the desired amount. Understandably, people are under stress. Some independents saw their sources of income stop overnight. They wonder how they are going to pay for their groceries. ”
A 20 billion program
Announced on Wednesday, the program set up by the Federal Council covers 20 billion made available to SMEs in the form of transitional credits at the rate of 0% (for amounts below 500,000 francs), guaranteed by the Confederation. The companies concerned can request these loans from their bank up to a maximum of 10% of their turnover. The amounts are repayable within five years.
BCV is one of five Swiss banks to have “tied the package” in recent days to ensure that SMEs can make their requests as early as Thursday morning, said its CEO, Pascal Kiener. “Despite the crisis, our bank paradoxically has more work than before. I had to ask a few collaborators to come back to participate in the task force. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that cases are settled within 24 hours, so that companies can have cash immediately. ”
Many people, like Amaya Rodriguez, are worried about going into debt. “It makes sense to invite companies to repay, given that these credits are guaranteed by taxpayers’ money,” notes Pascal Kiener. But everyone is aware that some SMEs are unlikely to be able to do this. ” At the end of the day Thursday, the owner of the Café des Artisans announced that the money was already available on her account.
Created: 03/26.2020, 8:15 p.m.