Covid-19: support for the most fragile economic sectors but no return to “whatever the cost”

There will be support for sectors in difficulty suffering from restrictions in the face of Covid-19. Bruno Le Maire promises it, but the state aid will be channel by sector, on a case-by-case basis, because the situation is different from the previous waves of the epidemic. Apart from the discotheques which will remain closed until the end of January, all other shops, restaurants or businesses are open and can therefore work.

Of course, their activity can be strongly affected by new sanitary restrictions such as caterers. Most have seen their sales collapse with the cancellation of receptions, but also the greeting ceremonies that are usually held around this time and which, with the virus, will not take place.

But the government does not want to spend it all. And he warns: he will be vigilant. According to him, some caterers, for example, have managed to save the day by making a lot of deliveries during these holidays. The Ministry of the Economy also recalls that it can control: it has access to the expenses of the French via payments by bank cards.

What can employer representatives expect from this meeting? Not really new aid because before Christmas, already, for these very affected sectors, the government has already promised exemptions from social contributions, and support for fixed costs, if the loss of turnover exceeds 50%! Still, companies complain that the supporting documents to be provided are too complicated. The government should therefore rather announce a series of simplifications, to lighten and shorten the administrative procedures.

One of the important points that will be discussed remains the partial activity. Since December 1, the government has relaxed the conditions for benefiting from partial activity for companies largely dependent on public reception. It is now necessary to justify a loss of 65% of turnover, whereas before it was 80%.

But this remains very insufficient according to the employers’ organizations, which demand that the threshold be lowered further. Not sure, however, that the government accepts even if it expects the use of short-time work to increase with the Omicron variant.

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