The pandemic continues to increase its cost for the State, which maintains its “whatever the cost”. This is good news for SMEs with less than 50 employees in difficulty since they will still be able to benefit from the universal component of the solidarity fund for two more months. Until the government extends it again.
Aid that was to disappear on December 31, 2020
Launched in March 2020, when France was preparing to experience the first generalized confinement, the hardest so far, the solidarity fund provides assistance of 1,500 euros per month for any SME with less than 50 employees which would be affected by the crisis and the decline in activity.
Except that initially, the government had the hope that at the beginning of 2021 the situation would have stabilized or even resolved: as a reminder, on December 15, 2020, it was hoping for 5,000 cases per day and had even planned a reopening of bars, museums and cinemas between the mid-December and end of January. But the Covid-19 has been shown to be more persistent: the number of cases has not dropped below the 20,000 per day mark on average, while the vaccination campaign is progressing relatively slowly.
Result: curfew at 8 pm then 6 pm, persistent threat of Containment 3 that the government wants to avoid at all costs, keeping entire areas of activity closed… companies continue to accumulate difficulties.
1,500 euros in January and February… then in March, April, May?
Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, said on Wednesday February 10, 2021 that the government would, in fact, extend aid. “ We have decided that the 1,500 euros solidarity fund, which was the universal solidarity fund set up on March 1, 2020, which was to be suspended from December 31, 2020, will be maintained for the month of January and February 2021. “. To benefit from it, an SME with less than 50 employees must justify a decrease of at least 50% of its activity because of the health crisis.
But nothing is less certain than an improvement in the situation in March, April or even May: the level of contamination remains high in France, and the British and South African variants threaten to explode at any time. New announcements could therefore be made in March or even April 2020, further increasing the final bill for the health crisis.