Covid-19: French business failures at their lowest for 35 years

We haven’t seen that for 35 years, tells us the Altarès firm, which is carrying out the study: in 2021, barely 28,000 business failures, whereas before the health crisis, the annual average was more around 50,000 .

It was roughly speaking rhythm for 10 years. According to the authors of the study, it is indeed the government’s policy of “whatever the cost” that has enabled these companies to maintain themselves, almost everywhere in the territory. Even those most affected by the crisis resisted.

The most striking example is undoubtedly the hotel and catering industry: despite months of closure, and very significant drops in activity, there were, in 2021, a third less liquidations compared to previous years thanks to to the solidarity fund, to partial unemployment, to the loan guaranteed by the State. These companies were thus able to keep their cash, their capital, etc.

Only downside, however, the end of the year is a little less exceptional, a little darker. In December 2021, the study notes a significant increase of almost 10% in failures, which corresponds to the moment when the State began to gradually disconnect aid, but also to the sudden resumption of the epidemic with the arrival of Omicron which affected business activity.

The most affected sector is construction, structural work, real estate development, public works. But in industry, we also see companies going out of business, particularly because of supply problems, lack of materials, or even soaring energy prices.

This year, we can therefore expect a return to pre-crisis levels. It’s still a little early to tell, but the signals are not good and suggest normalization, a return to the pre-crisis situation, even if with Omicron, a number of aids were quickly reactivated at the end of last year. Some could even be intensified to help the sectors most affected by this wave such as cafes, restaurants or events.

Good news however: if companies disappear, others are born and at the moment, the movement is very dynamic: according to INSEE, creations have never been so numerous with almost a million in 2021. is there also, a historic level.

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