Posted on Jan 4, 2022, 11:20 a.m.Updated Jan 4, 2022, 12:15 PM
The strong epidemic rebound and the new health restrictions that accompany it push the government to go back to the bedside of small businesses. The Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced on Tuesday that companies which would have difficulty repaying their loan guaranteed by the State (PGE) will have the possibility of postponing the first repayment deadlines to the end of 2022 and spread them over ten years.
Originally, the first PGEs were to begin to be repaid in March 2021. Then, faced with the persistence of the crisis, the deadline was postponed for the first time to March 2022, with a maturity of six years, ie an end of repayment planned in 2026 for loans signed in 2020. To date, 697,000 companies have contracted an EMP, including a large number of micro-enterprises, for a total amount of 143 billion euros.
Not all companies would be affected by the new postponement. It is, according to the minister, to come to the aid of “a few thousand companies which see the spring deadline arriving by saying to themselves: ‘I will not be able to repay'”. They would be “between 25,000 and 30,000” in this case, mainly traders, artisans and restaurateurs, “he said on RTL.
The credit mediator will decide
However, there is no question of granting these new modalities to everyone. The study of the files will have to be done on a case-by-case basis, and it is the credit mediator who will give his approval or not. This entity backed by the Banque de France is traditionally responsible for unblocking the dialogue between a company and its bank in the event of a loan refusal.
The EMP system has continued to evolve as the health crisis continued. Launched at the end of March 2020, during the first confinement, these loans granted by the banks and guaranteed at 90% by the State originally made it possible to borrow up to 25% of its turnover and to spread repayments over six years, with first maturities after only one year.
The rule changed at the beginning of last year, with the possibility offered to companies to start repaying after two years, while maintaining the term of the loan of six years. According to data released last year by the French Banking Federation (FBF), a majority of borrowers had chosen this option. It will now be possible to start the first payments to his bank “six months later than expected”, according to Bercy.
Employers’ organizations satisfied
These new rules, decided a few months before the presidential election, were “validated by the European Commission, by the Governor of the Bank of France François Villeroy de Galhau, and by the French Banking Federation with which I will sign an agreement at the start of this year. next week, ”said Bruno Le Maire.
Bercy’s announcements have been welcomed by employers’ organizations, which have long called for a relaxation of the EMP rules. “Many entrepreneurs who saw with anguish approaching the repayment deadlines of the EMP, which come to accumulate, let us remember, with the reimbursements of deferral of social and tax charges, will be relieved by this announcement”, reacted the Confederation of SMEs, this Tuesday.
According to a business survey carried out in December by the organization, before the new health restrictions, 29% of companies having used an EMP already felt “they did not have the capacity to reimburse it under current conditions”. The CPME pleads for the deferral and staggering of reimbursements of EMPs to be open “to all companies, regardless of their size or their sector of activity”.