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Solidarity Fund: access to the second strand of aid is facilitated

The solidarity fund set up by order 2020-317 of 25 March 2020 allows the payment of financial aid to companies particularly affected by the economic, financial and social consequences of the spread of Covid-19. The first part of the aid is extended to all companies for the losses incurred in June. Access to the second component is also facilitated, since companies no longer have to justify a loan refusal by their bank to access the second component.

The fund has three components:

- an initial aid equal to the amount of the loss of turnover and capped at €1 500, paid by the Directorate-General for Public Finance (DGFIP). It can be applied for each month for which the fund is open;

- additional aid of between €2,000 and €5,000 paid by the regions to the companies most in difficulty (this aid may be up to €10,000 for companies in the sectors listed in Annexes 1 and 2). It can be applied for only once;

- additional aid at the discretion of local authorities and public establishments for inter-municipal cooperation with their own tax system.

Second strand: one condition less

Firms eligible for the second part of the aid shall be those which, on the day of their application, benefit from the first part of the aid and :

- employed on 1 March 2020 (or on 10 March 2020, in the case of companies created after 1 March 2020) at least one employee on a permanent or fixed-term contract, or have been banned from receiving the public between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 (instead of 31 May 2020);

- had a turnover of €8,000 or more during the last financial year (exceptions are however provided for companies that have not yet closed their financial year or that were created after 1 March 2020);

- and are unable to settle their debts due within 30 days. Indeed, the balance between their available assets on the one hand and their debts due within 30 days on the other hand and the amount of fixed charges to be paid for the months of March, April and May 2020 must be negative.

On the other hand, the payment of the aid is no longer conditional on the refusal of a bank loan. Indeed, the decree of 16 July 2020 removes this condition to which companies "outside the sectors" were subject.

Thus, from now on, any company eligible for the other conditions of the aid no longer has to indicate in its application the amount of the refused loan, the name of the bank that refused it and the contact details of its contact in the bank.

Additional time limit for applying for the aid

Companies eligible for the second part of the aid now have until 15 September 2020 (instead of 15 August 2020) to send their application and the corresponding supporting documents by electronic means to the local authority in which they are domiciled.

Good to know : Local authorities and public establishments for inter-municipal cooperation with their own tax system still have the possibility of financing additional aid for companies benefiting from the second strand located on their territory. The amount of this aid can be €500, €1,000, €2,000, €2,500 or €3,000. To be eligible, companies must submit their application before 15 September 2020 (instead of before 15 August 2020).

Source: decree 2020-873 of 16.07.2020 : JO 17

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