The number of mediation requests from companies to resolve payment or rent problems was almost quintupled in 2020 because of the coronavirus, company mediator Pierre Pelouzet said on Tuesday.
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In total, more than 9,600 solicitations and requests for mediation were handled by the teams of the business mediator who reports to the Ministry of the Economy, against 2,000 in 2019.
Disputes over payment terms, deadlines and delays between companies accounted for more than half of the mediations handled by this organization.
Companies with less than 25 employees in the first place
In total, 80% of mediations are requested by companies with less than 25 employees, "
which suffer the most from late payment,
" explained Pierre Pelouzet during an online press conference.
In view of these payment difficulties, the health crisis has given rise to a new source of litigation: tensions over commercial leases.
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Thus, disputes between landlords and tenant companies represented more than one in ten mediation requests last year.
The commercial leases in question
According to Mr. Pelouzet "
the cash flow problems
" faced by businesses are "
lessened by state aid
" but accentuated by "
problems related to rent payments
When you are a trader and benefit from partial unemployment, the biggest mass of money to pay is commercial leases.
We have seen a lot of problems of this type happen, especially in hotels, restaurants or sports halls,
But all causes of disputes combined, "
in 7 out of 10 cases, mediation is successful,
" he said.
At the start of 2021, "
the mediation activity
" is "
" and "
returned to a normal-degraded level
", according to him.
We are no longer at the level of the March-May period
", when the first confinement had almost brought the economy to a standstill, noted Mr. Pelouzet.
Particularly affected by the economic crisis linked to Covid-19, aeronautics called on a “
” dedicated solely to dialogue between companies in the sector, he also indicated.
Read also: In 2020 credit mediation came to the aid of ten times more businesses than in 2019
Created in 2010, the business mediator reports to the Ministry of the Economy and Finance and its mission is to help businesses and public bodies to help resolve disputes free of charge through mediation.