Fear or Boon for Entrepreneurs?

Public Holiday in May 2023, an exceptional vintage! A legacy of our history and our religious tradition, holidays abound in May: Labor Day (May 1), Armistice 1945 (May 8), Ascension Day (May 18) and Whit Monday (May 29). When these get closer to the weekend, they give rise to a very French tradition, the bridge. For entrepreneurs, it is either an inevitable headache or a godsend.

After closures, months of demonstrations and repeated strikes, the month of May’s bridges seem very unwanted. And yet in this gloomy context, they will bring a breath of fresh air and restore hope.

an extraordinary 2023 vintage

This year, the calendar system reduces the number of days worked by the French in May to 17. This extraordinary situation does not fail to revive the debate between its supporters and opponents these days. This generally opposes the French sea serpent productivity and the French way of life. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of this debate. However, not all entrepreneurs are losers, far from it! Someone’s happiness and someone’s misfortune!

Happy people: tourism, leisure and DIY

Some semblance of the catering, hotel, leisure and delivery sectors can only rejoice at this blizzard of the long weekend. As long as the sun shines, the French won’t fail to fill the terraces of cafes, restaurant rooms, hotel rooms, survey tourist sites and plunder the shelves of DIY stores. This month of May is synonymous with turnover for these sectors!

Unfortunate: Entrepreneurs in the Production Sectors

Winning markets in a globalized economy, and therefore highly competitive, cannot be achieved without competitiveness. Whether you belong to the CAC40, whether you are an SME or a VSE, this economic reality applies to all. Many companies, eager to respond personally to their customers, are now operating in tighter flow. In this context, honoring orders without prior stock requires maintaining production rates. For these entrepreneurs, the arrival of the month of May is experienced with dread. The accumulation of non-working days destroys productivity and tarnishes the image of French business abroad. Those who fight competitors for whom May is only the fifth month of the year are the big losers of this French peculiarity.

However, to put into perspective a real problem

According to INSEE’s calculations, public holidays cost France 0.1% of a growth point. The effect is not quantifiable in terms of the image, even though it is not negligible. However, the problem must be put into perspective when approached on an annual scale. In terms of the number of public holidays per year, with 11 days, France is in the middle of the European pack: between 8 in the United Kingdom and 15 in Slovakia. Our main partner, Germany is at 9, while our Spanish neighbor is at 14! If it’s any consolation to you in Japan, the month of May is called “Golden Week”. Yes, these tireless workers take the opportunity to visit their families, bring essential gifts, use transportation, visit tourist places… In short, they make the economy work like the French and they probably spend all their savings. Will choose France to do!

Because neither history nor scripture is being reconstructed, let’s bet the month of May in France will be filled with lilies of the valley long before production records are reached. Having made this observation, it is hoped that an intelligent social dialogue, in the most affected areas, may in the future offer negotiated solutions acceptable to all. In the meantime, for those who can, enjoy a terrace or a nice restaurant table to recreate the world… economically!

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