The state-guaranteed loan scheme set up by the public authorities helped economic players facing financial difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis. Today, however, some companies are struggling to make monthly repayments on their PGE as the economic situation worsens.
PGE: time for reimbursement
The PGE is an exceptional guarantee scheme set up by the French government in response to the economic shock caused by the coronavirus crisis. For 2 years, eligible companies were able to take out a state-guaranteed loan with their usual banking institution or with lending platforms with the status of intermediary in participative financing.
Now it's time for these players to pay it back. In June, they had to repay, in a single instalment, at least one-sixth of the sums borrowed during the health crisis.
Several companies are already experiencing repayment difficulties. It has to be said that PGEs are not free. The government guarantee represents a rate of 1% for VSEs and SMEs that have opted for a longer repayment period. Added to this is the cost of credit for the banks, even though they have undertaken not to make a mark-up on such financing.
The difficulties faced by entrepreneurs are all the greater because most of them have other loans in repayment. Many already have to repay traditional loans, for the purchase of premises for example.
An unfavorable economic situation
Following the post-Covid economic recovery in France, companies have been able to strengthen their cash positions. However, in view of inflation, the energy crisis, supply problems and recruitment difficulties, the economic environment remains uncertain and is penalizing some companies.
"150,000 businesses are at risk of shutting down, or even going bankrupt, because of energy bills," warns @AsselinFasselin, president of the @CPMEnationale, guest on Radio Classique this morning.https://t.co/ebIKEAslYE- François Geffrier (@FrancoisGeff) September 29, 2022
VSEs, representing 90% of EMP beneficiaries, are the most exposed. A report by the Cour des Comptes, published at the end of July 2022, states that monthly payments can amount to as much as 9% of their sales when added to Urssaf charges.
Faced with this situation, the CPME (Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and players in the tourism sector have sounded the alarm, calling for " the PGE debt to be spread over 10 years ". For its part, the UMIH (Union des métiers et des industries de l'hôtellerie) estimates that 25% of its members are having difficulty repaying. However, the government remains impassive, refusing to review the terms of the scheme, which would then become state aid.
#PGE Ukraine | Like any debtor who can't repay his debt, this leads to the company going into default: "This scheme is not a solution" hammered @AsselinFasselin #CPME via @LesEchos ⤵️ https://t.co/X6pMhUhB3S- CPME (@CPMEnationale) September 28, 2022
" The order books are there, the morale of entrepreneurs and the business climate are not stalling," adds Olivia Grégoire, Minister for SMEs, interviewed by Les Echos.
Since this intervention, however, indicators have changed, and the Banque de France recently predicted a " limited recession " for 2023.