Businesses in difficulty: the worst is yet to come

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Booth 360. Legal practitioners raise the alarm: failures “will multiply” after the end of confinement. Here are their recommendations.

Jurists are sounding the alarm: after the state of health emergency, the courts will be stormed after the end of confinement scheduled for June 10, says The Economist.

“Many companies have been forced to partially or completely shut down. They face difficulties such as stopping orders or a fall in their turnover … It is necessary to find solutions to avoid the massive liquidations of businesses that are going out of business, “says Kamal Habachi, lawyer. business in Casablanca.

The Bassamat & Laraqui cabinet agrees. This is effecture “an urgent assessment of the judicial practice of procedures for dealing with business difficulties. The recourse to these will be multiplied notwithstanding the financial supports put in place in favor of companies “, argues one of its founders, Bassamat Fassi-Fihri, quoted by the daily.

The government has decided to postpone payroll taxes for 18 months or exempt in some cases. The executive also plans to postpone tax collection until the end of June 2020. At the same time, banks have also planned to postpone the credit maturities.

However, the impact of these measures on businesses varies according to their type of activity, their volume of business and their size. The consequences of the pandemic will be more severe for SMEs, which largely dominate the economic fabric. “They don’t have as much cash as the big companies. Their charges have accumulated since the declaration of the state of health emergency in March 2020: rent, wages, supplier debts … These companies are facing immediate difficulties which will have repercussions on the years to come “, advances the academic Saida Bachlouch, president of the Observatory for companies in difficulty.

To get out of it, Bassamat & Laraqui recommends “rethinking requests to initiate proceedings” by arguing for a standard form. “It will establish an efficient diagnosis of the business situation. This solution is all the more possible in the short term. Because there is already a portal for lawyers dedicated to filing requests for certain procedures ”.

The daily also advocates the digitization of procedures. “This portal is limited to applications for interim measures, the injunction to pay a debt … Online payment of legal fees is only possible at the Commercial Court of Casablanca. And it is only operational for fixed taxes of 50 or 100 dirhams! “, Is surprised Me Rachid Diouri of the Casablanca bar. “This is just a small sample of digitalization that is slow to come. However, it has been programmed by the Justice Reform Charter since July 2013 ”, notes The Economist.

It is also necessary to reconcile the directors of companies with the law, believes the president of the Observatory of companies in difficulty. And the safeguarding measures are provided for by law. But “apart from ignorance of the law, the request for a rescue plan, for example, is perceived as an admission of failure, a shame … Some bosses, like that of Stroc Industrie, had to take their courage with both hands to seize justice and thus avoid bankruptcy ”, notes the daily.

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