but my heart still sinks when I see that yet another local business has closed down in the nearby towns round my part of rural France.
Recently, I noticed that the local kitchen and bathroom business in the enclave of Savigné had shut its doors for good. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised, they’d once quoted me €28,500 for two bathroom renovations.
An English expat friend, who owns a beautiful seven bedroom chateau in the Limousin, collapsed in fits of laughter at that quote, saying he’d managed to install five luxury bathrooms for less than €12,000.
But, while President Hollande dithers over how to get the nation back on its economic feet, business owners, employees and their suppliers are counting the cost in real terms of a country that refuses to modernise and create opportunities for the next generation of local entrepreneurs.
This is nothing new of course. Years ago, when I lived in the thriving Arabian emirate of Dubai, I met loads of young French folk who had forsaken their homeland for a nation that would encourage entrepreneurialism and reward their hard work.
One French friend said that it was almost impossible for anyone to set up their own business in France because the administrative costs are so high that you need to already have a fortune in order to get going. Even today, there’s a pile of government regulations and a raft of taxes to pay before you even serve your first customer. “That’s why so many people in France work for the government,” she said.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Almost impossible for anyone to set up their own business in France because the administrative costs are so high