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Hotels, restaurants, cafes: France offers new aid for Covid losses

Catering companies and event management companies and travel agents are also among those eligible for the support

Restaurants in France losing at least 30% revenue in December and January are among the businesses entitled to new government aid Pic: ventdusud / Shutterstock

The government has announced new financial aid measures for businesses in the hospitality and travel sectors affected by the recent surge in Covid cases. 

This support will be given to hotels, restaurants, caterers, event management companies, travel agencies and others in these sectors with less than 250 employees that have lost at least 30% of revenue in December 2021 and January 2022 (compared to 2019 figures).

Eligible businesses will be entitled to receive aid equal to 20% of their staff wage bill. 

Previously, businesses in these sectors impacted by Covid were only eligible for financial aid if their monthly turnover was 50% down. 

Prime Minister Jean Castex said yesterday (January 18) that businesses “continue to be heavily impacted by the health crisis”. 

In addition, those that lose 65% of revenue in these months will also be exempt from paying one part of social charges imposed on salaries – the charges patronales, which is between 25% and 42% of a person’s gross salary. 

In France, social charges are split into charges patronales and charges salariales, with the former making up the bigger percentage. 

Currently, all businesses that are currently losing 65% of their turnover due to Covid restrictions can receive 100% reimbursement for furloughed staff, Mr Castex stated. 

Those in the tourism sector that are losing 50% of their revenue have all their fixed costs covered by the government. These costs include insurance payments, salaries, rent, any legal fees, etc.

It is not yet known how many businesses will be eligible to receive the new financial support announced by the government yesterday, or how much it will cost the state. 

However, the amount “will remain moderate compared to [financial aid packages] provided in the past,” the prime minister’s office stated. 

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