The president of the Union of Solidarity Professionals in Events (UPSE), Clément Tournier, assures Wednesday January 5 on franceinfo that the losses linked to the Covid-19 health crisis are estimated at “13 million euros” in December for 500 companies that responded to a union survey, and “around 10 million euros” in January. He contacted the government on Tuesday to ask, again, that the 30,000 auto-entrepreneurs in the sector be eligible for state aid.
franceinfo: How much do you estimate the losses for the companies you represent?
Clement Tournier: We do not yet have all the exact figures, because the losses have really been quite significant. We had collected data via a survey in mid-December: we were about 13 million euros in losses in December out of 500 responses and we were already on an estimate of losses of just around 10 million euros. for the month of January.
Many event professionals are not eligible for state aid during the health crisis. What are the consequences ?
There are two issues. First, executive compensation. Companies are holding up today, but leaders no longer pay themselves a salary at all. There are even some who have not paid themselves a salary for two years. Lowering salaries allows you not to be in debt and not find yourself in a situation of administrative debt which can be embarrassing.
“Some today find themselves in great precariousness and have no right to any assistance.”Clément Tournier, President of UPSE
There was no partial unemployment. And then, we also effectively have the self-employed who today, with this self-employed status, are not entitled to aid. They lost their contracts, events, turnover… These are people who sometimes work at home, at home, have few fixed costs, few charges and therefore do not enter the business either. “fixed costs” aid framework.
Are you currently in contact with the government to request aid for this sector?
We contacted the government again yesterday, Tuesday. The tourism sector was listened to at the start of the week so we waited a bit to see the announcements, since there are other unions that represent self-employed people in France. We did not have sufficient feedback. This is why today, it was important for us to re-challenge. The discussions are not easy. We are really trying to explain that there are a number of companies that will be or are quite simply forgotten. We are trying to alert the government again so that it takes into account the self-employed, their status as non-salaried bosses, and the self-employed, who were not eligible for the aid put in place.
For you, would the solution be to extend the Solidarity Fund to events and self-employed people?
It is indeed the easiest solution to implement. But these are budgets that must be negotiated with Brussels, which is less obvious, because it is aid that had been included in the finance law. For example, for the overseas territories, the Solidarity Fund was included in the 2022 finance law with an extension of the Fund, taking into account the months of December and January. It was written down in a decree, therefore, for us, it is the easiest. A priori, it is not the aid axis that the government would like to put back in place. This was not the case in early December. It does not seem to be the case at the beginning of January. Now, are there any other leads possibly? Compensation for loss of contracts, loss of salary? The idea is to just discuss it.