Rent and service charge assistance, a new scheme for businesses

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance and the Minister Delegate for SMEs have introduced a new business support scheme, the "rent and rental charges" scheme. Companies can apply for this aid until February 28, 2022.

What is rental assistance?

The "rents and rental charges" scheme was approved by the European Commission, and introduced by the Minister for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.

This new support scheme, with a variable amount, has been set up to enable, under certain conditions, companies unable to welcome people in the first half of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to cope with unpaid rents.

Decree no. 2021-1488 of November 16, 2021 instituting this aid was published in the Journal Officiel on November 17. The aid introduced is specifically named " aid relating to rents or fees and charges for certain retail businesses and services closed to the public in order to combat the spread of the covid-19 epidemic ".

Which companies are concerned?

The businesses concerned by this aid are those that were prohibited from welcoming the public during the months of February to May 2021, due to the fight against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

To qualify for this new scheme, companies must meet a number of additional conditions. For example, they must not have received the solidarity fund or, in the case of companies with monthly sales in excess of €1 million, the fixed-cost subsidy.

If they have received the solidarity fund or fixed-cost assistance for these months of closure to the public, they can receive "rent" assistance provided they have reached the ceilings set at that time, i.e. 200,000 euros for the solidarity fund and 10 million euros for fixed-cost assistance.

Other conditions must also be met. To qualify for the "rent" scheme, companies must also :

  • Created before January 31, 2021;
  • Carry out at least one of the eligible activities set by decree during the period concerned;
  • Not to have been the subject of a prefectoral order requiring closure of the establishment for non-compliance with obligations ;
  • Not be subject to compulsory liquidation proceedings on the first day of the months concerned, i.e. February, March, April and May 2021.

How much can I get?

The amount of aid, calculated on a monthly basis, corresponds to the amount of rent and service charges paid by companies during the period from February to May 2021. Amounts are calculated on a pro rata basis for days closed to the public.

If the company concerned has benefited from the solidarity fund or fixed-cost assistance, for which it has reached the ceiling, the amounts paid out in this context are deducted from the "rent" assistance. Also deducted are "the result linked to the increase in online activity and any compensation guaranteed by insurance ", as specified in the decree of November 16, 2021.

Rent assistance: how do I apply?

Applications for "rent" assistance can be made until February 28, 2021 on the website. Several supporting documents are required:

  • A sworn statement from the company director confirming that he or she meets the conditions required to benefit from this scheme;
  • Proof of invoicing for rents and rental charges for the periods concerned;
  • A certificate from a chartered accountant certifying that the company is not in receivership.

Rent subsidies are only paid if the amount exceeds 500 euros. It is paid in a single instalment into the company's bank account.