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Enhanced aid for businesses and the tourism sector – EURACTIV.com

Aid for companies affected by health restrictions will be reinforced and extended, particularly for the tourism sector, the government announced on Monday (January 3), as the Omicron variant threatens the French economy.

Two existing schemes have their access conditions extended, and two are under study. Provisions for which “there are no budgetary difficulties”assured the French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, after a meeting in Bercy bringing together employers’ organizations, and several representatives of tourism, hotels and restaurants.

All companies subject to health restriction measures will benefit from partial activity without remaining to be paid, said Mr. Le Maire.

The bases for triggering this device are broadened and “all companies that have lost 65% of their turnover” – against 80% until now – will be eligible for reimbursement of partial activity at 100% with no remaining charge.

The system for covering fixed costs, reserved until now for a limited number of companies (events, indoor leisure activities, caterers, etc.), will be extended to all tourism companies, to know “hotels, bars, restaurants, travel agencies, all activities that are in the field of tourism”underlined the Mayor.

The threshold for access to the device to support all fixed costs is also lowered, to 50% loss of turnover, against 65% previously.

The minister also promised to speed up reimbursement procedures for sums of less than 50,000 euros, ” in a few days “.

“A very good thing”

Asked about the cost for the State of this increased aid, he put forward an order of magnitude of “the hundred million euros”, ” very far “ billions from the regime “whatever it takes”.

“We have very precisely 1.8 billion euros that have not been spent in the emergency fund to respond to the economic crisis”recalled the Mayor, “so we have room for maneuver of 1.8 billion euros”.

The Minister also indicated that two requests from the sectors concerned were going to be examined: the exemption from charges for companies which would have lost 65% of their turnover or which would be subject to health restriction measures, as well as the repayment of state-guaranteed loans already granted.

The president of Travel Companies Jean-Pierre Mas is keen on this exemption from charges: “We have a lot of staff who work for little productivity: we have to reorganize trips, reimburse, modify, inform…” In addition, the aid announced “are planned for December, January and February if necessary: ​​it’s positive”he notes.

“Many companies, especially the smallest of them, VSEs, craftsmen, traders, fear not being able to meet the deadline for next spring, in terms of repayment deadlines and in terms of ‘reimbursement schedules’recognized the Mayor.

The Minister indicated that he was in discussions with the European Commission and the French Banking Federation.

According to participants in the meeting, the possibility of postponing the first installment by six months and the prospect of spreading repayments up to 10 years, on a case-by-case basis, would be considered. Bercy did not comment.

“The government has taken the situation in the sector into account. 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, in particular concerning eligibility for short-time working.reacted to AFP Didier Chenet, president of the GNI, the union of independent hotel and restaurant workers.

As for the accelerated compensation of companies up to 50,000 euros, ” It is a very good thing “he believes.

For his part, Roland Héguy, president of Umih, the main union in the hotel and catering industry, salutes “a real desire not to leave any company behind and restore confidence to VSEs”.

Like his counterparts in the GNI and Travel Companies, he wants companies that suffer from activity restrictions to benefit from partial activity covered at 100%, even if their loss of turnover is less than 65%. %.

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