The strategy will be based on three pillars: early detection, guidance and support, commented Bruno Le Maire.
After more than a year of massive state aid, companies will see the tap gradually close, and Bercy does not intend to miss this strategic step. This Tuesday morning, Bruno Le Maire presented the support system for companies emerging from the crisis, which should establish a transition towards a return to normal economic activity.
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«This is the most delicate phase, and you have to tailor it», Commented the Minister of the Economy. The objective is clear: to get out of whatever it costs, but gradually, in order to allow a soft landing for companies supported by the police since March 2020. The groups concerned are “companies weakened by the crisis, but which remain economically viable“, is “those whose debt has increased and whose cash flow has decreased in recent months».
These companies must be supported: they represent “from 5 to 8%»French companies, and mainly come from the hotel and catering sector, certain industrial sectors and commerce. The strategy will be based on three pillars: early detection, guidance and support.
Early detection of companies in difficulty
First, the ministry wants to use innovative tools, including “algorithms and artificial intelligenceTo identify companies in difficulty. The DGE, URSSAF, Banque de France and DGFIP will share their data to detect these groups. Then, these will be contacted by the public actors, in a confidential manner, to discuss the situation. “It is the most essential pillar for success in helping businesses that need it.», Hammered the minister.
Then, a number is set up so that all companies in difficulty can ask their questions “on the choices they may have to make in coming out of the crisis“. The 0 806 000 245 is set up for this. A single point of contact, the “departmental crisis exit advisor“, Will be established at the local level, for”guide the business manager towards solutionsTo which he can appeal. A national crisis exit committee has also been created.
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Finally, financial and legal support was explained by the boss of Bercy. In addition to the solutions already known, including EMPs or direct exceptional loans for small businesses – which will be “maintained until December 31, 2021-, a new transition fund endowed with 3 billion euros appears for large companies and companies of intermediate size. He will grant “highly subordinated loans“, The maturity of which is indefinite, or loans”more traditional, with a deferred amortization».
This new fund should allow “to ensure a transition in the way out of the crisis […] between cyclical difficulties of a company and the return to normal», Noted Bruno Le Maire. Funding requests will be studied by an advisory committee chaired by the national crisis exit advisor, who “will issue a recommendation on each file».
Auditors, accountants, banking establishments, clerks of commercial courts and chambers of commerce, among others, are also committed to advising companies and helping them to take this strategic course.
No massive debt cancellation on the horizon
The Minister of the Economy in particular urged business leaders to report their difficulties, in order to avoid ending up with their backs to the wall. “Many will not dare, they hesitate […] they are afraid of failure. Don’t be afraid of it […] these failures are not dramas if we take them at the right time and provide the right solution», He underlined. “When difficulties appear, the entrepreneur is very often alone, he is ashamed and he does not dare», Added the Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti.
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The new fund, for its part, will have to concentrate “on businesses that will be economically viable“. The study of the files will be based on economic criteria only: “taxpayer money should only go to economically viable businesses“, Judged the minister. But no massive debt cancellation in sight for companies in difficulty: this solution would be “totally unreasonable“, At present, declared Bruno Le Maire.
Bercy remains confident over the coming months, however, confirming its forecast of 5% growth for 2021 and a return to pre-crisis levels of wealth from the first quarter of 2022.