A survey published in May by the Syndicat des Indépendants (SDI) shows that access to credit is deteriorating for very small businesses. In response, the organization proposes three concrete solutions to help them finance their projects.
Only half of VSEs that applied for credit obtained it
As part of its survey, the SDI looked at companies with a current EMP and those without, to determine the extent to which they have been affected by the deterioration in access to credit.
It appears that companies with an EMP have already exhausted their access to credit and find themselves without a solution in an economic context marked by the energy crisis and inflation. At the same time, they need to invest in machine tools and deal with their suppliers. Their first instinct is logically to turn to their banking partners for funds. However, the organization points out that this approach is unsuccessful for 70% of them.
The figures differ when all the companies involved in the study are taken into account. In fact, the SDI found that only 52.2% of them obtained a favorable credit application, a figure significantly lower than the data provided by the Banque de France, which had announced an acceptance rate of between 66% and 67%. This difference can be explained by the fact that the institution bases its figures on applications that have been drawn up and presented to the banks. In both cases, as the Business Ombudsman has also pointed out, there is a real difficulty in accessing credit for very small businesses. Today, the main difficulty lies in companies' cash flow, at a time when their sales are subject to high inflation.
This deterioration in access to credit is justified by the increase in key ECB rates to offset inflation and the cautious approach adopted by banks.
3 practical solutions to help VSEs in difficulty
To provide better support for VSEs in difficulty, the SDI proposes several solutions. The first consists of reforming the procedure for extending the repayment period for PGEs by referring the matter to the Credit Mediation Service. It should be possible to limit this request to PGEs, without regard to other outstanding debts or any prior requirement on the part of the lending institution.
Another proposed solution: a better framework for bank fees and charges on business current accounts. According to data collected by the SDI, 81% of professionals consider the bank fees charged for new payment methods, such as contactless payment, to be high or even very high. These fees, plus the cost of renting payment terminals, weigh heavily on their margins.
Finally, the SDI proposes the portability of business current accounts, a measure that would enable companies to play the competition. 39% of VSEs surveyed said they would like to benefit from this measure.