Timid plan to protect small businesses and crafts

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Something promised, something due. The government communicates on its aid plan “in favor of local trade, crafts and the self-employed” while the general discussion of its 3e amending budget for the year to the National Assembly Monday, June 29.

The measures clearly gave birth in pain. “It took 15 fucking interdepartmental meetings,” says a minister who participated in their development. It must be said that the disappearance of small businesses or small independents is less visible than the announcements of social plans… It is however a question of avoiding what can “quickly become the first social plan of France which will not make the headlines newspapers, “fears Secretary of State Agnès Pannier-Runacher in Bercy. “Depending on the territories concerned, 15 to 35% of these small businesses wonder whether they will be able to finish the year,” she said.

Essentially, it is a question of putting forward the exemptions from social charges already announced at the time of the presentation of the third amending finance bill for traders who had to close their doors during confinement. Very small businesses, with fewer than 10 employees, will benefit from a cancellation of employers’ social security contributions for three months in March, April and May. This represents 400 million euros of budget. In the tourism sector, including restaurants, hotels and catering but also events, culture or sport, these exemptions will be extended until June.

In addition, the solidarity fund, which offers 1,500 euros to very small businesses, will be extended until June (excluding the tourism sector, where it has been extended until the end of the year). The condition of refusing the loan guaranteed by the State to benefit from the second part of the fund, distributed by the regions (up to 5,000 euros or 10,000 in the tourism sector), will be removed. This should represent an additional 500 million euros.

Read also: How Germany has better protected its companies than France

Help the digital transition and avoid desertification of city centers

As promised several weeks ago, the Madelin contracts, as well as the individual retirement savings plans resulting from the Pacte law, may be mobilized exceptionally, but within the limit of 8,000 euros, including 2,000 euros tax exempt.

The government also promises to encourage the digital development of small traders to allow them to increase their turnover, either by making themselves better known, or by developing distance selling or simply “click and collect”. This component should be financed within the framework of the economic recovery plan in preparation which should be revealed in detail at the end of August or the beginning of September. The State and the Territorial Bank promise to be “alongside local authorities to launch structuring actions in the digital transition which will revitalize trade in city centers located in fragile areas” … “The stakes are high in France. According to the Clothing Federation, 78% of their VSE do not have any digital solution, ”regrets Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

Faced with the increased risk of desertification of town centers and town centers, with the massive closure of small businesses, the government announces that it will mobilize the Banque des Territoires, managed by the Caisse des Dépôts, to help already existing property companies to “Acquire and renovate at least 6,000 businesses over five years”. Operations intended to fight “against the commercial vacancy which has doubled in France during the last ten years” and to “offer premises at moderate rent to traders and craftsmen”, explains the press kit released by the executive. In the 2021 finance bill, the State will compensate municipalities and inter-municipal groupings by 50%, which will exempt companies from property contributions from companies, and not just 30%.

A communication campaign will finally be broadcast “in the autumn to promote crafts and local trade among consumers and young people”.


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