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Gironde, intercommunities mobilize for the local economy

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Despite the financial difficulties, intercommunities continue to mobilize to support the local economy. In this context, the AMF published in November 2020 a financial analysis of municipalities and ECPIs on the levers of investment (1). The opportunity to question the economic consequences of the health crisis on the investment capacities of municipalities and intercommunities. For the AMF, in the medium and long term, they may well find it difficult to meet their share of the recovery plan,for lack of sufficient compensation from the government. In Gironde, municipalities and intercommunities are doing their best to support the local economy in the short and medium term. However, they do not yet have visibility for 2022, a year that is expected to be even more difficult according to the AMF’s predictions.

Recovery plan, difficult for municipalities and intercommunities to maintain investment

As part of the recovery plan, local authorities at all scales are called upon. As such, municipalities and communities of communes are on the front line. Indeed, in direct contact with populations and needs, they are responsible in particular for ensuring the maintenance of economic activity in the local area. On the other hand, their financial capacity is diminishing with the health crisis.

For good reason, the health crisis is deeply disrupting the traditional budget of the communal block. Which undergoes exceptional changes to cover new expenses for the social,support for thelocal economy and the recovery plan, the implementation of health measures,etc.

Between new expenses to cope and loss of revenue, the AMF estimates the additional costs at about $8 billion over three years. Inevitably, this has a direct impact on theself-financing of intercommunities and their investment in local communities.

It should also be noted that the report on investment levers acknowledges large disparities in economic situations between intercommunities. These depend in particular on the usual investment capacity and the local economic fabric. As a result, not all are able to meet the funding needs of their constituents at the same level.

In this context, Philippe Laurent, Secretary General of the AMF, questions the ability of communities to deliver on their commitments to the recovery plan. Which, he said, could lead more to “the announced destruction of the fiscal and financial autonomy of communities.” (2)

In any case, the municipalities of Gironde seem to be able, to date, to offer measures to support the economy. Especially in strong economic areas such as Bordeaux Metropole and the Arcachon Basin.

Investing in digital and online sales, municipal aid in Gironde

With a significant delay in digitalization,the economic fabric of France may have the opportunity to seize a second chance to change business management. Thus, both the state and the communities of municipalities are putting in place mechanisms to invest in digital and online sales.

On the financing side, COBAS offers a digital cheque to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in digital transformation. The same goes for Bordeaux Metropole. As part of its immediate emergency plan, an entire component is dedicated to an emergency fund for the digitalization of companies and associations. (3)

This endowment of 6.5 million euros is aimed at small businesses in administrative closure. Which can apply for a grant for digital expenses for the period November and December 2020. Equipment, services, membership in a marketplace… The expenditure is very broad. The scheme then provides for a subsidy of up to 80% of the expenditure, starting at 300 euros. File filing remains open until February 28, 2021.

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In addition to direct financial assistance, some communities are investing in consumer support.

For this, many have set up e-commerce platforms to promote online sales for local businesses.

As such, the Val de l’Eyre community of municipalities offers free referencing on its RCommerceplatform. As for Bordeaux Metropole, it participates to the tune of 100,000 euros in the development of the mavillemonshopping.fr platform for merchants in girona. This initiative allows merchants to quickly and easily create their own e-shop.

In the longer term, the Bordeaux metropolis is unlocking a plan to support the digital transition of EPTs.

The aim is to support 1200 companies, 200 of which are from the social and solidarity economy in 2021 and 2022.

Funds and financial aid from intercommunities for businesses and associations in Gironde

Intercommunities also offer financial aid for local businesses. For example, COBAN is launching a “small business boost.” It comes in the form of a lump sum aid for businesses with a premises, closed administratively during the 2nd containment.

As for the support funds, Bordeaux Metropole does not skimp on resources (3). Its immediate emergency plan includes a cash support fund of 10 million euros. It is aimed at TPEs and associations not eligible for the Solidarity Fund of the State and the New Aquitaine Region. As well as those closed administratively from November 2020 until january 2021. It is also open to start-ups for 1000 euros for EPTs and 10,000 euros for associations, and is also open to start-ups for a grant of 1000 euros.

Bordeaux Métropole also offers a rent assistance fund for 1.3 million euros. Available to companies and associations listed in the decree of 2 November 2020, it allows to benefit from assistance for rents in November and December. Which ranges from 500 to 1000 euros per month depending on the size of the structure. On the other hand, nothing is currently planned forreal estate in the recovery plan.

The Bordeaux metropolis is also putting in place schemes for more specific sectors. In particular, it supports tourism professionals by proposing a deferral of payment of the residence tax.

It is also developing a recovery plan for companies without employees. As well as associations of the city’s political districts (QPV) and the active watch districts (QVA). This plan includes a fund to help associations of 40,000 euros; An exceptional fund for the rental of additional premises; stimulus (self-employed, EURL, SARL without an employee); an honorary loan fund for individual entrepreneurs (self-employed entrepreneurs, EURL, SARL without an employee).

Sources

  1. “ThePrime Minister has spoken with the AMF Executive Board on the health crisis and local authorities’ current events,”AMF, press release of 19 December 2020
  2. “Localfinance: in the face of the crisis, the recovery looks “uncertain”“, AMF, press release of 1 December 2020
  3. “Metropolitansupport plan for the local economy”,Bordeaux Metropole, updated on 18 December 2020
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