Small French businesses wich have suffered under lockdown are eligible for the aid
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have brought enormously challenging times for businesses in France, none more so than small hospitality businesses, including those opened by expats starting a new venture. Small businesses are of huge importance to France – according to Insee, ‘micro-enterprises’ (businesses employing 10 people or fewer) make up around 96% of the total businesses in France, accounting for around 9% of France’s GDP. They are crucial to keeping small towns and villages alive, keeping communities active, and catering for the country’s tourism industry, one of the largest in the world.
Several steps have already been taken to offer support to those businesses: at the beginning of the first lockdown the government announced a multi-billion scheme to provide small businesses with emergency grants, and also implemented a nationwhide furlough scheme, which over 12 million people were enrolled in.
The second lockdown, however, has brought a new wave of devastation for businesses, many of whom have seen their typically slower winter custom reduced to zero.
Therefore, on 24 November the French government announced an extension and increase of financial support for small businesses that will remain administratively closed as a result of Covid-19. According to Service-Public.fr, companies that qualify will be able to benefit from “aid equal to 20% of their 2019 turnover or € 10,000 depending on the option that is most favourable to them”. The scheme will run until at least the end of December, with the possibility of being renewed.
The extended scheme is mainly targeted at hospitality businesses including restaurants, bars, nightclubs and sports facilities. The full list includes companies in the following industries: Tourism/Leisure/Transport, Bar/Catering, Art/Event, Sport, Fishing, Alcohol production, Trade, Nightclubs, and Other. Within these fields, companies, associations, self-employed workers, micro-entrepreneurs, liberal professions, farmers who are members of a GAEC and artist-authors are all eligible.
What are the conditions?
The applications for aid must be made within two months of the end of the month in question – for example, claims made regarding to trade in October must be submitted by 31st December.
The conditions for qualifying for aid are different depending on the month.
For claims relating to September: the company must have been banned from opening due to lockdown, and/or have suffered a loss of turnover of 50% compared to the same period the year before.
For claims relating to October: the company must have been banned from opening due to lockdown, and/or have suffered a significant loss of turnover.
For claims relating to November: the company must have been banned from opening due to lockdown, and/or have suffered a loss of turnover.
For full details of the conditions, and for information relating to businesses formed within the last year, read the official article here.
How much am I eligible for?
The recently announced extension states that companies “will receive aid covering the amount of lost turnover up to a limit of € 10,000”. In the preceding months of September and October, there were other conditions and calculations for the amount that would be given, the full details of which can be found in the official article.
How do I apply?
Use your tax number to access the online service here
For more information on the support available to businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, visit the economie.gouv.fr website.
Many local councils in France have also put in place support schemes for business – speak to your mairie or visit your local council website for more information.
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