Paris wants to save its small businesses with its animation and commercial diversity plan

The objective is simple and ambitious: preserve the Parisian way of life», supporting local commerce, cafes and restaurants, all at the foot of the living buildings that make up the charm of Paris. Its density, as well as its diversity, are envied in cities where the curtains are increasingly closed. Emmanuel Grégoire (PS), Anne Hidalgo’s first assistant in charge of urban planning, and Olivia Polski (PS), trade and crafts assistant, reveal at JDD the “ Paris’ new plan for retail », which will be discussed at the Paris Council next week*. The municipal executive is proud of a “ very proactive policy🇧🇷 With this plan, we are going to protect and liven up our streets by creating businesses that are missing: bakeries, cheese shops, local services…“, assures the assistant. The Parisian right is skeptical.
The capital has 61,500 stores, 28 stores per 1,000 inhabitants or 4.3 stores per 100 meters of street, in other words, a commercial density 30% greater than in Bordeaux or Nice, 60% greater than in Lyon, Marseille or Lille. According to the Atelier parisien d’urbanisme (Apur) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris (CCIP), the number of commercial establishments decreased slightly between 2017 and 2020 (-1,164, or -1.9%). New consumption habits, the advent of electronic commerce, then the demonstrations by the Yellow Vests and against pension reform, followed by the health crisis – the closure during the first confinement and the disappearance of foreign visitors – particularly affected the arteries for ” strong tourist activity“. O “local routes with local appeal », they were relatively spared.

Decline in tourist arteries

The study updated in June 2022 shows that the overall decline has not increased in Paris. The shock was cushioned by the city’s €200m post-Covid recovery plan. For axles with local appeal, “the variation is almost stable (-0.2% on average per year between 2020 and 2022)“. Several streets, such as Martyrs, Faubourg-Saint-Denis or Belleville, even registered an increase. The number of food stores is growing, the number of bars and restaurants is stable. On the other hand, “the decline accelerates between October 2020 and March 2022 (-3.8%)» on tourist streets such as the Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, Rue de Rivoli or Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Boulevard de la Madeleine or Boulevard des Capucines. At stake: the absence of tourists in this period, but also telecommuting, which takes employees away.

What comes after this announcement

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What comes after this announcement

Looking to the future, the Apur report points to both a “resumption of economic, tourist and commercial activity” and “Uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine […] and the rise of inflation“. Bakers, butchers and delicatessens are currently alarmed by the rise in energy prices, which puts them at risk. Other threats hang over small Parisian traders:We must slow the speculative movement on commercial leases to maintain diversitysays Emmanuel Grégoire.We have already put an end to the transformation of commercial spaces on Airbnb – in Central Paris, a quarter of the stores have been transformed in this way. And we hope, at the end of December or beginning of January, the decree that will allow us to ban dark shops more easily.🇧🇷
And the new strategy? 🇧🇷We are going to open a one stop shop for merchants, SEM Paris Commerces, which will help them to find premises and open a store,announces the first deputy.They will thus have access to around 8,000 stores in the City network, i.e. 12% of all commercial spaces in Paris.This new mixed-capital company will result from the merger of Semaest (founded in 2004 for the acquisition of facilities) and GIE Paris Commerces (created in 2017 to aggregate the ground floors belonging to social landlords).

An “insufficient and incomplete” plan for the oppositions

SEM Paris Commerces will have a “200 million euro fund“, including 60 million financed by the prefecture, the rest by parapublic co-investors such as the Métropole du Grand Paris, the Caisse des dépôts or Sogaris. This will give it the capacity to acquire 250 to 300 new stores by 2026, which will be added to the 500 already acquired. 🇧🇷the big newssays Olivia Polski,is that we will be able to anticipate commercial installations throughout the Parisian territory🇧🇷 The idea is to be inspired by the social housing policy, offeringpublic storeswith an advantageous rent.
ONE “single Parisian trade commissionwill also be released, in order toset goals“. This, chaired by Olivia Polski, will bring together the district chambers, Apur and city services. A second commission, calledpreemption dedicated to tradewill implement this strategy. 🇧🇷Once a year, the mayors will define geographic and sectoral priorities (food stores, medical services, etc.), assures the assistant. Finally, the city hall will launch a notice in 2023 to select a “exclusive sales manager in Paris“. This operator will support merchants in their development: e-commerce, energy transition, experimentation with new concepts, organic, short circuits, “Made in Paris”, etc.

What comes after this announcement

What comes after this announcement

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For Rachida Dati’s entourage (LR), at the head of the Changer Paris group, this plan is just a “new gas plant […]🇧🇷 doomed business planning with insignificant and wasted funds“. It is presented while the Regional Chamber of Accounts (CRC) has just published a report on the judgment of Semaest”very heavy” by the Parisian right (and “very goodby Emmanuel Grégoire). Less serious, the mayor of the 17th, Geoffroy Boulard (LR), recognizes “progress and some good ideas“but finds the plan”insufficient and incomplete🇧🇷We remain in our hunger. I call a meeting that brings together elected officials, mayors and class entities.“🇧🇷
To go further, Emmanuel Grégoire recently joined the initiative of the mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry (PS), who asks the government for a “commercial rent control🇧🇷We engage in joint technical work,he said,to provide lawmakers with a turnkey solution before summer 2023🇧🇷 🇧🇷

* The last Paris Council of the year will take place from the 13th to the 16th of December. Those elected will debate the 2023 budget (with the increase in IPTU), the video protection plan (contested by the Greens), support for school funds, rehabilitation of social housing, etc.

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