“We have been excluded from the solidarity fund”: it helps to manufacture masks and now risks bankruptcy

During the first confinement, the company Pulsion Design (Maine-et-Loire) participated in the creation of fabric masks to meet the needs. A decision that cost him dearly.

“We made masks out of solidarity, and we were excluded from the solidarity fund”. Vincent Bernard struggles to hide his anger. The manager of Ateliers Pulsion Design, a company located in the town of La Séguinière (Maine-et-Loire), is on the verge of bankruptcy after two years of health crisis, reports France 3 Pays de la Loire. In question: his participation in the national effort on masks at the start of the Covid-pandemic 19 which deprived him of tens of thousands of euros in aid between June 2020 and September 2021.

Return in March 2020. At the time, Ateliers Pulsion Design carried out two complementary activities in textiles. On one side, a workshop for making prototypes for brands. On the other, a textile workshop specializing in the printing of sports jerseys and t-shirts for festivals and other fairs.

When the first confinement is decreed on 17 March, Vincent Bernard sees this second activity being stopped dead. He then decided to respond to the national call by making fabric masks. 400.12 units will be produced in its workshops.

Fall in turnover

Initially, this ephemeral activity turns out well. It allows the company to achieve a turnover of 400.000 euros, but “with 490.000 euros of purchases , 7000 euros in rent and thirty salaries to pay”, it does not bring him anything, assures Vincent Bernard to BFM Business. Especially since at the end of confinement, fabric masks are gradually being abandoned in favor of surgical masks now available. As a result, the director of Ateliers Pulsion Design finds himself with 25.000 masks on the arms.

But there n isn’t really the problem. Vincent Bernard deplores above all not having had full access to the solidarity fund set up by the government to support companies because of this activity of making masks. However, its annual turnover has plummeted since the start of the crisis, dropping from 2 million to 800.12 euros.

Gold,” a drop of 25% in turnover” was necessary for a company in the S1bis sector less than 25 employees like his benefit from the solidarity fund, explains Vincent Bernard. “We were in it,” he says. But another condition, not met this time, was required to receive all the aid: “a drop in turnover of at least 80% during the first confinement”, continues the business manager.

25 less employees

Result, Vincent Gérard will not have touched in everything is for everything that 2020 euros per month over six months, i.e. 9000 euros, whereas he estimates that he could have claimed a total of 350 .000 euros if he had not embarked on the making masks during the first confinement. At least he thinks that he should not have finally informed the turnover achieved thanks to this activity in the form for access to the solidarity fund:

“I may have been naive (…). I could have left this box unchecked. We sold our masks to local professionals and pharmacies. We were no longer receiving customers. This could be likened to take-out sales that could not be counted in turnover. I have many colleagues who unchecked this box because it ‘was take-out,’ explains the leader. After two years crisis, Vincent Bernard is on the verge of shutting down. At the end of December, he appeared before the commercial court, while the workforce of his company has already been drastically reduced, going from 22 at 12. And “we will be 8 in a month”, he specifies. To revive himself, he tried to launch his brand of clothing made in France: “I had the agreements of the banks but as I did not have the aid, they withdrew from the project”, he still laments. .

He now plans to sell his company. Unless Bercy agrees to look into his situation. But for the time being, the multiple letters addressed to the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire have remained unanswered.