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30.03.2020 Europe

France boosts financial aid for small businesses hit by Covid-19

By Zeenat Hansrod - RFI
© Reuters/Eric Gaillard
LISTEN MAR 30, 2020
© Reuters/Eric Gaillard

The French government is to offer larger financial rescue packages for small companies likely to face bankruptcy from the coronavirus lockdown. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday that the solidarity fund will now be maintained for the duration of the public health emergency.

The solidarity fund was set up to support small companies struggling with the economic challenges brought by the Covid-19 outbreak. It is part of a financial rescue package put in place by the government to save its economy and help struggling companies.

“This fund is for very small companies and independent entrepreneurs whose activities have either been stopped or considerably reduced by the coronavirus economic crisis,” declared Le Maire.

He added that more companies will now be eligible for monthly financial aid from the government.

The 1,500 euro per month package was until now allocated to companies which either had to close due to the coronavirus lockdown, or had lost more than 70 percent of their turnover, compared to profits in March 2019.

Now, the threshold has been lowered to 50 percent losses of turnover.

The finance minister also said he is willing to “go beyond” the 2,000-euro monthly grant that has been made available to small companies facing bankruptcy.

“We are aware that 2,000 euros, even when added to the 1,500 euros, is not enough for some companies which might go bankrupt because they have to cope with salaries and social security charges,” said Le Maire.

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