Since March, the order books at Antonio Faria have been almost empty. And since the curfew was put in place, he knows they won’t fill up for several weeks. The boss of Monddia France manages a coach company specializing in tourism in Île-de-France. But the crisis never ends. For him the most disturbing is his brutality: “Today, says Antonio Faria, it is true that it is difficult to admit, being close to retirement, that all the efforts that I have made so far could be nullified by a small virus. “
Almost in three months, everything flies away. This is what is difficult to admit: that the work that we have done for thirty years disappears and just as quickly.Antonio Faria
We often talk about them through their sluggish turnover or the aid granted to them by the State, but faced with the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, after confinement, the weeks of closures, the small bosses have the blues. For them, for their employees, and above all for what they have sometimes taken a lifetime to build: their company. And their financial distress is often accompanied by moral distress.
So not to remain powerless, to feel less alone, a collective of independent coach operators was set up in May. Antonio Faria is its spokesperson. This is also what Brice Étienne decided to do, DJ in Lyon, private from weddings and corporate parties. The Union of Solidarity Professionals in Events (UPSE) was created last spring in Rhône-Alpes as a bulwark both professional and psychological.
“There is a real need and a real feeling to want to come together, explains Brice Étienne. We are a huge chain of tens of thousands of companies, SMEs, very small businesses, auto-entrepreneurs etc. who all have the same problems, and who today do not know where to turn to have their questions answered and their voice heard. “
We have no more work, no more income and for the most part, we will not have unemployment behind! We have no security. Obviously everyone is worried …Brice Etienne
Other forms of support for entrepreneurs exist. All those who take part make this observation: for example, the number of calls has increased tenfold since the health crisis to the SOS entrepreneurs association, in particular to obtain support from jurists, lawyers before filing for bankruptcy. Also, Bruno Delcampe, former business manager, founder of the SOS Entrepreneur association, is more and more worried. “Today, contrary to calls for the start of containment in March, explains Bruno Delcampe, they are above all distress calls, about future repayments because business leaders are totally anemic on the cash flow level “.
“We feel absolute panic and the worst is about to come, he predicts. It is certain that business leaders are currently in absolutely critical situations, both psychologically and financially. Unfortunately I don’t think they can all get by on their own because the shock is too violent… “
The toll-free number set up by Bercy (0 805 65 50 50), managed by the Apesa association (Psychological assistance to entrepreneurs in acute suffering) supports twice as many bosses than last year at the same period: florists, restaurateurs, bowling managers. Marc Binnié, clerk at the commercial court of Saintes and co-founder and president of Apesa, explains that the status of boss often leads to isolation.
“Business leaders are people who speak little of their difficulties, underlines Marc Binnié, and it is never easy for a business owner to talk about his problems, even to those close to him. We know the theory of three D-Bankruptcy / Divorce / Depression. And when an entrepreneur puts on one knee and agrees to be helped by a third party, he really needs it.“The president of Apesa fears the worst, when in the coming weeks state aid or the collectives of small employers will no longer be sufficient.