Lot-et-Garonne: a support system for municipalities without shops

the essential
The government has implemented its new trade recapture system to help municipalities that don’t have it. Each project can receive a financial contribution of up to 80,000 euros.

We have long known of the rise of medical deserts, today it is commercial deserts that are becoming increasingly problematic. It is a phenomenon that has clearly increased in recent years, the share of municipalities without activity has drastically increased in the last fifty years. According to INSEE data, in 1980 25% of municipalities in France did not have any, in 2021 the figure almost tripled, rising to 21,000 municipalities, equal to 62%. The commercial decline observed in these municipalities, essentially rural, is largely explained by various factors such as demographic decline or the aging of the population. To remedy this, the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT) launched its new support system for the establishment of businesses in municipalities located in rural areas that do not have one, last March. To do this, the State is mobilizing a budget of 61 million euros.

Up to 80,000 euros in aid

The challenge behind this device called “Commercial Reconquest” is to allow each of the municipalities in the area to have access to an activity less than ten minutes from home. In sparsely populated (most often rural) areas, the average journey to the nearest shopping center is 10 minutes compared to 2.6 in densely populated areas. Each project can therefore receive aid of up to 80,000 euros according to various criteria, in particular in terms of need. According to the ANTS, the territories targeted and classified as priorities are: rural municipalities classified as sparse habitat, a road journey of more than 10 minutes to reach the nearest emergency room and municipalities without commercial activities or whose latest activities do not satisfy the basic requirements needs of the population. Applications are open directly on the ANTS website, however the prefecture recommends contacting the departmental directorate of the territories in advance, which can guide project managers on the steps to follow.

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