Already vulnerable in normal times, the local shops have suffered the brunt of the health crisis and the closure imposed during the months of confinement. To ensure that they do not find themselves collateral victims of the epidemic of Covid-19, several mayors have developed plans to support and recovery, in addition to the part-time unemployment, postponement of expenses and government subsidies.
The goal : avoid the spiral of closing the businesses in their city centers, sometimes already well underway, only worsens with the crisis. "The quality of life in the city pass by the windows, by proximity, provides David Lisnard, mayor of Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes). I deeply believe that it is the future, that this is not nerdy. "Old merchant, the mayor said he immediately understood the magnitude of the crisis which is announced for them when Édouard Philippe announced their closing in the evening of 14 march.
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11 million euros of expenses tax-exempt
" For the first time in history, we had a stop simultaneously the supply and demand. "Re-elected in the first round, David Lisnard has given a free hand to launch a series of measures-immediate support to the local businesses, including waivers of expenses and offset of royalty payments for a cost of 11 million euros.
During the crisis, the city of Cannes has also appealed to private donors for the purchase of goods or services to the small traders of the city, and thus bring them a little cash for their closure. "For example, we have purchased clothing from shops in the city for the homeless, hosted in the palais des festivals, or bought chocolates from artisans to offer to older persons in long-term care facilities ", sets out there. Of the actions completed since the déconfinement by a poster campaign calling on them to " relocalis[er] our purchases ", and a distribution of vouchers to low-income individuals.
Several cities in france have also opted for the distribution of vouchers in support of the nearby shops. In Mont-de-Marsan (Landes), the recovery plan, one million euros, the town hall includes 300 000 euros of vouchers to spend in the shops in the town centre, offered to the inhabitants, but also to the passing tourists. Consumers must register on an online platform and buy a voucher of 10, 20 or 30 euros that the town hall abounds in the same amount.
The mayor of Coulommiers has distributed vouchers to the parents of students, to use in the shops partners of the city centre. © Thibaut Déléaz / Point
Attract new customers
At Coulommiers (Seine-et-Marne), the town hall has also chosen the distribution of vouchers, given to parents of students in compensation for the additional costs generated by the closure of the canteen. In the centre of the city, the idea seduced the partner merchants, particularly those who have had the closure. "This is a super good idea, even if it has not yet seen," says the saleswoman in a shoe store. Pauline Buerle, florist on the main square, has already had customers come in with their vouchers. "These are people who are not necessarily normal, so it allows them to explore the shops, and why not come back. "Not enough to make up for the revenue lost during the containment, but as a" gesture of welcome [the city council] to show the population of Coulommiers that they are in solidarity with the merchants."
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In Britain, not good for the shops lorientaises but an aid to the investments offered by the city. The program is " Pass trade ", which was used before the crisis to finance the projects of shops in the city centre of municipalities of less than 5,000 inhabitants, has been extended to small businesses of all the cities of the agglomeration of Lorient, off-trade areas.
"It is necessary that the customers replace the public assistance"
An investment of half a million euros, which "allows retailers forced to invest for the health measures to have a help and even an advance," says David Métairie, mayor of Lorient (Morbihan) and president of the agglomeration council, which didn't run in the elections. "We know that the small, independent traders are not necessarily able to benefit from loans of the State and of all the aids. "
The town has also launched a call for proposals to municipalities or to associations of traders to fund " collective tools ". "For example, they might organize a trade show, animations to attract tourists in the summer... We are going to spend 60 000 euros in 2020, but we can still contribute if needed. "
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All of these measures have a non-negligible cost to the local communities, but they are essential to ensure their officers. "It is an investment that, tomorrow, these small shops are still there in our city centres, justifies David Lisnard. In crises, the fragile die. But for the healthy who do not spend them also, there was an infusion of public. Now, you have to make sure that clients replace this public aid. "