Thanks to aid, a spectacular drop in the number of unemployed business leaders

A Pôle emploi agency in Besançon (Doubs). Illustrative photo. (CHRISTOPHE MEY / FRANCE-BLEU BESANÇON)

It is indeed a surprise. We could expect a wave of bankruptcies during this year marked by two lockdowns, the administrative closure of many businesses for long weeks. But it is not. On the contrary. These 33,189 business leaders who had to cease their activity is indeed much less than in previous years. It is precisely a decrease of 31.4% of judicial liquidations compared to 2019. Better, for five years than the association GSC which informs the leaders on the risks of their loss of employment and Altarès, which provides the information to companies, measure these failures, the numbers have never been so low.

“State measures have allowed companies to keep their heads above water“, analyzes Anthony Streicher, president of the GSC association. But beware, he warns, “The gradual cessation of aid will cause a tidal wave for thousands of business leaders”. This state aid is, for example, the solidarity fund. The companies most affected by the crisis, for example those in tourism, catering or events, can benefit from the assumption of responsibility for the loss of their monthly turnover, under certain conditions.

Structures with fewer than five employees are those experiencing the greatest decline in bankruptcies. For the authors of this study, it is because they are young and have shown more flexibility than others. In contrast, it is the managers of SMEs established for several years, over the age of 50, who have experienced the most cessation of activity. Some sectors are more affected than others. Construction and trade concentrate half of the judicial liquidations. In particular all so-called non-essential shops. Not to mention catering and business services.

These good figures are reminiscent of those for business creation. The crisis has decidedly paradoxical effects. As we recall, INSEE recorded a record number of business creations. An increase of 4% compared to 2019. But here too it is a figure in trompe l’oeil. Few traditional business creations, but a boom in micro-entrepreneurs, and especially in home delivery.

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