The package will be announced on Wednesday, although the French finance ministry has not named any exact numbers yet. The virus has had crippling effects in France, killing around 800 people so far. The government has acted to try to confine it, asking people not to leave their homes except for short exercise stints or essential shopping runs.
The package is a collaboration between the finance ministry and Bpifrance, a state-backed lender and investor, and it will boost the nascent startup scene in the country. The number of new French startups was on the rise until recently when the virus hit, and President Emmanuel Macron has had a goal of hitting a new record of unicorn companies, or those which are valued at over $1 billion.
To do so, Macron had plans pre-virus of funneling $5.5 billion into a new initiative to spur investors to look closer at French startups. There are only five French unicorns as of right now, according to stats, per the report. Macron wants to see at least 25 by 2025.
Now, though, the government has been focused on trying to pump up the falling economy. Bpifrance Executive Director Nicolas Dufourcq called the current situation a “financial heart attack.” The government is also working on a slate of 300 billion euros ($324.1 billion)-worth in state-guaranteed loans, which is also set to be finalized Wednesday.
Germany’s startups are also in talks with officials about relief or aid packages in relation to the virus, focusing on the most useful ways to help younger companies.
The HDE retail association in Germany has asked for assistance with tax relief and other such assistance, saying it is looking at billions of euros in losses otherwise.