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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2020-14/536 Updated – measures in France

Solidarity fund for very small companies, the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs

Fonds de solidarité pour les TPE, indépendants et micro-entrepreneurs

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 31 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 20 January 2022)

Background information

The State and the Regions have set up a solidarity fund to help small businesses most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Inter-municipalities and large companies will also be able to contribute to the financing of the fund. For instance, insurance companies have already announced a contribution of €200 million. This aid of up to €1,500 will be available to very small companies, the self-employed, micro-entrepreneurs and the liberal professions which have no more than 10 employees, a turnover of less than €1 million and an annual taxable profit of less than €60,000.

Content of measure

According to this measure:

  • From 31 March, all eligible businesses that have been subject to administrative closure or have suffered a loss of turnover of more than 70% in March 2020 compared with March 2019 will be able to make a simple declaration on the tax website - impots.gouv.fr - to receive aid of up to €1,500. This sum will be tax-free;
  • From 3 April, all eligible companies that have suffered a loss of turnover of more than 50% in March 2020 compared to March 2019 will also be able to make a simple declaration on the tax website - impots.gouv.fr - to receive tax-free aid of up to €1,500;
  • From 15 April, the companies experiencing the most difficulties will be able to apply for additional aid of €2,000 on a case-by-case basis from the regions.
  • Direct financial assistance may be granted to very small enterprises, the self-employed, micro-entrepreneurs and the liberal professions which have no more than 10 employees, an annual turnover of less than €1 million and an annual taxable profit of less than €60,000.

To be eligible for support, applicants must:

  • be banned from receiving the public under Article 8 of the decree of 23 March 2020, even if there is a residual activity such as takeaway sales, delivery and withdrawals of orders, "room service".
  • face a loss of turnover of at least 50% in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

It is sufficient to meet one of the two conditions to obtain this aid of €1,500 euros.

For the most difficult situations (inability to pay claims due within 30 days and refusal of a cash loan), additional support of €2,000 may be granted to companies that have at least one employee to avoid bankruptcy. Allocation decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 December 2021

A decree of 30 December 2021 extends, until 31 March 2022, the period of intervention of the solidarity fund for companies particularly affected by the economic, financial and social consequences of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, as permitted by Article 129 of the Finance Act for 2022. This extension is intended to allow applications made in respect of the month of October to be submitted, processed and paid.

29 June 2021

A decree of 29 June adapts the solidarity fund mechanism, extended until 16 August 2021, for the months of June and July. This concerns companies created before 31 January 2021, having benefited from the fund for the month of April or May and belonging to one of these two categories those which continue to be banned from receiving the public and have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 20%, which will receive monthly aid equal to 20% of the reference turnover; those that have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 10% and belong to the S1/S1bis/retail (except cars and motorbikes) or ship repair and maintenance sectors domiciled in certain overseas territories (Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, French Polynesia), which will benefit from a subsidy in respect of the months of June and July equal to, respectively, 40% and 30% of the loss of turnover within the limit of 20% of the reference turnover. In addition, for the months of June and July, the aid of €1,500 is renewed for companies with fewer than 50 employees that have lost 50% of their turnover and are domiciled in territories subject to containment measures for at least ten days during the monthly period in question. The decree adds, in S1bis, companies in the underwear and outerwear and knitwear manufacturing sectors.

28 January 2021

A decree of 28 January 2021 makes changes to the solidarity fund for businesses particularly affected by the economic, financial and social consequences of the health crisis. In particular, it provides for additional aid for the month of December 2020 to businesses in certain sectors particularly affected by the crisis that have lost at least 70% of their turnover. The decree entitles them to compensation covering 20% of their 2019 turnover, up to a maximum of €200,000 per month. This additional aid is also provided for businesses in ski resorts.

27 November 2020

The solidarity fund mechanism for companies particularly affected by the health crisis was adjusted by a decree dated 27 November 2020. Firstly, the decree extends the possibility of applying for aid until 31 October 2020, instead of 15 October. At the same time, the text addresses the specific situation of nightclubs and opens the scheme to nightclubs that started their activity before 31 August 2020. In addition, the reinforced part 2, which gives entitlement to aid of up to €45,000, has been adapted and may be applied for until 31 December 2020, for the months of September to November (D. nº 2020-1458 of 27 November 2020).

26 November 2020

A note on the Social security (URSSAF) website details the support dedicated to self-employed workers most affected by health measures, implemented by the National commission for health and social action of the council for the social protection of self-employed workers (CPSTI). Eligible for aid (of €500 or €1,000 depending on the case) are self-employed workers undergoing a total administrative closure (total interruption of activity) since 2 November 2020 (authorised activities of the "click and collect"/take-away or delivery type are not considered as an exclusion criterion). Other cumulative eligibility conditions have to be fulfilled and differ according to whether the applicant is a craftsman, trader, liberal profession or auto-entrepreneur. A simplified form is available on the URSSAF website and must be sent before 30 November 2020 via the secure messaging module.

Use of measure

The ministry of Economy has published a dashboard which presents the amounts allocated under the solidarity fund projected at departmental and regional level with a breakdown by sector of activity, legal structure and staff size. Over €21,370 million have been spent on 8 April 2021.

The solidarity fund, which ends on 1 October except in the overseas territories, has compensated around 2 million businesses for a total of more than €37.2 billion, according to the Ministry of the Economy's scoreboard. In detail, businesses in the accommodation and catering sector were the first to benefit, with more than €12.8 billion paid out. This was followed by the trade sector (€5 billion), specialised scientific and technical activities (€3.2 billion), arts, entertainment and recreational activities (€2.9 billion) and the transport and storage sector (€2.8 billion). By company size, the self-employed and companies with fewer than ten employees received more than half of the funds paid out (over €18 billion). These amounts are not yet fully finalised as they do not include aid attributable to September, which companies will start receiving in October.

On 31 December 2021, the funds has given 10,834,301 supports for 2,037,912 companies for a total amount of €38.8 billion, according to the last data available .

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
Solo-self-employed
SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Companies
Local funds
National funds
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No information available.

Views and reactions

No formal consultation, but according to the target such tools are discussed between the government and the employers' organisation representing SMEs.

Sources

  • 25 March 2020: Ordonnance n° 2020-324 du 25 mars 2020 portant mesures d'urgence en matière de revenus de remplacement (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 25 March 2020: Ordonnance n° 2020-317 du 25 mars 2020 portant création d'un fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences économiques, financières et sociales de la propagation de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 30 March 2020: Décret n° 2020-371 du 30 mars 2020 relatif au fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences économiques, financières et sociales de la propagation de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 02 April 2020: Décret n° 2020-394 du 2 avril 2020 modifiant le décret n° 2020-371 du 30 mars 2020 relatif au fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences économiques, financières et sociales de la propagation de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 27 November 2020: Décret n° 2020-1458 du 27 novembre 2020 relatif au fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences économiques, financières et sociales de la propagation de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 28 January 2021: Décret n° 2021-79 du 28 janvier 2021 relatif au fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences économiques, financières et sociales de la propagation de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 13 May 2021: Ministère de l'Economie: Aide du Fonds de solidarité - Tableau de bord interactif (www.economie.gouv.fr)
  • 30 June 2021: Décret n° 2021-840 du 29 juin 2021 relatif à l'adaptation au titre des mois de juin et juillet 2021 du fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences de l'épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)
  • 25 October 2021: Aide du Fonds de solidarité - Tableau de bord interactif (www.economie.gouv.fr)
  • 30 December 2021: Décret no 2021-1913 du 30 décembre 2021 relatif à la prolongation jusqu’au 31 mars 2022 du fonds de solidarité à destination des entreprises particulièrement touchées par les conséquences de l’épidémie de covid-19 et des mesures prises pour limiter cette propagation (www.legifrance.gouv.fr)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Solidarity fund for very small companies, the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs, measure FR-2020-14/536 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2020-14_536.html

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