a financial boost to cover fixed costs, cash management

A breath of fresh air in the perspective of French zoos. that system to cover fixed costs has been in operation since 31 March with retroactive effect from 1 Marcheh January. The measure was necessary, according to Sébastien Laurent, director of the La Boissière du Doré zoo in the Loire-Atlantique: ” We have been closed since October 29, and while working on live items, our specificity had not been taken into account since the second containment. Notes the leader of this small structure, which achieves an annual turnover of 2.7 million euros.

The fixed cost of a zoo? They can go up to more than 2 million euros per monthdepending on the structure. In the Loir-et-Cher in Beauval (70 million euros in turnover), which presents itself as the fourth most beautiful zoo in the world, for example, they are not far from reaching 100,000 euros a day, between animal feed, salaries for veterinarians, groomers and maintenance personnel as well as heating and electricity bills.

Companies will be able to apply for support without a condition of size or turnover at 70% of their fixed costs for companies with more than 50 employees or 90% for companies with less than 50 employeesspecifies the office of Alain Griset, Minister Delegate for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

bear park

After the two and a half months of closure in the spring of 2020, zoos have accumulated almost since the autumn six months of inactivity. They have certainly already been able to benefit from the Solidarity Fund – up to 20% of the monthly turnover within the limit of 200,000 euros per month. And many are those who have used a state-guaranteed loan (PGE). But for everyone, the goal is to repay as soon as possible.

In the long run, EMP is a trap. It is expensive debt and it means less investment. However, investments are at the core of the business model Summarizes Rodolphe Delord, President of the French Association of Zoos (AFdPZ) and Director of the Beauval Zoo. AFdPZ unites one hundred zoos of various sizes, which generate 200 million euros in turnover.

In these times of health crisis and in the absence of visitors, the instructions have an obsession: ” Keep the parks level “. If it was first a matter of bringing the usual care to the animals, it was also necessary to carry out here and there the renovation work. However, it is not always possible to maintain the investment. In La Boissière du Doré zoo the construction of a 2 , 5 hectares of bear park – which at least represents a financing need of 500,000 euros – is postponed.The development plan for the park, which provides XXL enclosures for all its carnivorous animals and targets 34 hectares in 2024, against 21 today, will be delayed.

Recruitment of seasonal workers

However, professionals can count on the enthusiasm of the public. It was not lacking during the summer of 2020. With 1 million visitors in Beauval or 276,000 in Sainte-Croix in the Moselle, zoos even accumulated in five months what they achieved in a normal season. .

To note
In the spring of 2020, the envelope for zoos for animal feed reached 17 million euros.

But today, when the large botanical gardens are accessible to all walkers, without any kind of control, the professionals are more urgent. For several weeks, they have been negotiating the immediate opening of outdoor zoos with take-out catering and the reopening of the others by 6 April. ” We would thus let an Easter weekend pass with too many visitors. “, suggested Rodolphe Delord, who is” in permanent contact “with the relevant ministerial offices.

Beauval Zoo, which has many relief activities, has put 500 of its 750 employees on partial unemployment, pending reopening. corn” we are recruiting about 500 seasonal workers for the summer period Says Rodolphe Delord, who does not hide his impatience. Here and elsewhere, local elected representatives are behind. In the Loire-Atlantique, Christelle Morançais, the president of the region, in the past year has not failed to step up to the plate in favor of these jewels in the tourism economy.

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