Every day, the coronavirus crisis reveals its new effects, and the government is trying to adapt, in real time, the measures in its health emergency plan and the measures to support the economy. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, clarified this Tuesday morning certain aid schemes for companies and employees forced to continue their activity.
The boosted Macron premium
Bercy will make it possible to double the premium of 1,000 euros and extend the payment period until August 31 (versus late June at the start). Concretely, companies which have not set up a profit-sharing plan will be able to pay it, tax-exempt and "de-socialized" (ie exempt from social security contributions), up to 1000 euros. Those who have implemented a profit-sharing agreement may increase it up to 2,000 euros. "Companies that have already paid a bonus of 1000 euros to their employees can add 1000 euros if they wish, tax exempt and desocialized," says Bruno Le Maire.
Clear objective: to reward the “employees who deserve our respect, our consideration and our support”, insisted the Minister. Objective less clearly assumed, to fight against the absenteeism of certain employees, some slip.
Solidarity fund more accessible from April
With around € 2 billion (€ billion), this fund is dedicated to very small businesses, the self-employed and the liberal professions. By the end of the week, it will target those who generate less than a million euros in turnover and who will have lost 50% of their activity in March 2020 (compared to March 2019). Initially, the loss of turnover was established at 70%, but Bercy has just relaxed this criterion.
"The calculation will be applied to 50% of turnover from March, and" the 50% threshold will remain the benchmark for the month of April, "insists Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy and Finances. "We have heard the comments of the independents and those of the deputies and we have decided to modify this criterion," continues the minister. He also indicated that a decree would be signed in the coming days to "make these provisions applicable from Friday morning".
An announcement highly appreciated by Alain Griset, the president of the U2P, which represents 2.8 million craft and local trade companies: “Until now, some were excluded from the outset. By taking into account a loss of 50% of turnover rather than 70%, I think it is much more suited to the reality on the ground. It is the public finance department (DGFip) which will then compensate the loss of turnover of up to 1,500 euros to all companies that meet these conditions.
"On a case by case basis", the government will look to see if it can go beyond 1500 euros. The regions, which also abound in this solidarity fund, have already announced that they will study the files in order, according to the profiles, to pay an additional 2,000 euros to this lump sum indemnity of 1,500 euros. "This system will be extended for the duration of the state of health emergency," said Bruno Le Maire.
Already 21,000 companies benefiting from a loan guaranteed by the State
Opened four days ago, this support system for VSEs and SMEs has already met with “considerable success”, according to Bruno Le Maire. On average, the 21,000 companies that won their case with their bank were granted a loan of 135,000 euros. “There is a very strong demand, specifies the Minister for the Economy. We have already received 3.8 billion euros in requests. But are all banks playing the game? If it is still too early to say, Alain Griset, from U2P, believes that “some agencies, here and there, and not a network as such, are sometimes lacking. We get the message back and, overall, we find a solution. "