The coronavirus is seriously affecting labor markets, economies, and businesses, including global supply chains, causing widespread trade disruptions, Even in such an economically developed country like France, the business is in decline today.
Small business support measures
Emmanuel Macron, addressing small and medium-sized businesses, noted that “those who face difficulties could not pay taxes or social security contributions this time” In addition, “bills for electricity, water, and gas, as well as rent are deferred currently.”
Moreover, a solidarity fund financed by the state has been created for entrepreneurs, vendors, artisans.
To save the business from the current situation with Covid 19, the French authorities have developed measures to support the business.
- Deferral of social and/or tax payments (Union for the Collection of Social Security and Family Benefits (URSSAF), direct taxes)
- The decision on tax benefits is made based on the results of the consideration of specific requests.
- Small businesses in difficulty will benefit from the deferred payment of their gas, electricity, water, and rental bills.
- Financial assistance of up to € 1,500 will go to micro-enterprises, self-employed, and micro-entrepreneurs in the most affected sectors of the economy.
- The state will provide an amount of 300 billion euros for the creation of credit lines by banks for businesses that may need funds in an epidemic.
- Support from the state and the Bank of France (which in this case acts as a credit broker) in the process of revising the maturity of bank loans.
- Preservation of jobs in companies through a simplified and strengthened “system of partial unemployment”.
- Business Mediation Center support in resolving disputes with clients or suppliers.
- Public Procurement: No delay penalties will apply.
Taxes without penalty
Due to Covid-19, local companies can send a request to the General Directorate of Public Finance for a three-month deferral of payment of direct taxes (income tax, payroll tax) without penalty.
Procedure: contracts for a monthly payment of land tax from enterprises or land are temporarily suspended. The remaining amount will be deducted from the balance without penalty.
Business support. Measures against the spread of coronavirus 2020
In accordance with the rules, in public places in Paris, it is now forbidden to serve alcohol and turn on music after 10 pm, student parties and meetings with groups of more than 10 people have also become taboo.
Gyms, swimming pools, and fitness clubs are closed to everyone except school classes. Universities had to cut the number of students in lecture halls in half. Similar restrictions apply to sports grounds and shopping centers, which must ensure that no more than one person falls on four square meters of their area.
Restaurants can stay open
Partial restrictions on public life did not affect restaurants. But their visitors were obliged to leave their contact information there, which can be useful in case it becomes necessary to restore a possible chain of infection. A maximum of six people can sit at one table, and guests who are not currently eating are required to wear masks. The question of how the freedom-loving French will perceive these rules remains open. They are already actively opposing restrictions.
At the same time, the rules developed for gastronomic establishments are considered a compromise. After the repeated closure of restaurants can lead to protests and actions of civil disobedience, as it happened at the end of September in Marseille. By the way, about Marseille: they are now considering plans on how to get out of the control of Paris in the fight against the pandemic and create its own department for this.
Expert forecasts for business in France 2020-21
France should be ready for both the third and fourth waves of the coronavirus epidemic. Such a gloomy forecast was made by the Scientific Council of France, an advisory body to the government of the Fifth Republic, which provides planning recommendations.
According to the most optimistic forecast of the National Statistical Office Insee, France’s GDP in the 4th quarter of 2020 will decline by 2.5%. In the event that the current situation lasts until the end of December, the fall in GDP may reach 6%, according to Insee.
Meanwhile, French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire lowered its forecast for GDP growth for 2021 to 6% from 8%, noting that tight restrictive measures pose long-term risks for many sectors of the economy, Bloomberg reported.