A new total or partial Covid-19-related lockdown could lead to a “collapse” of the French economy, according to the Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (CPME).

CPME warned that companies are currently “much weaker” than in March, when the government introduced a lockdown, and many, especially the smaller ones, would not be able to sustain additional debt.

The French government has guaranteed 120 billion euros in loans to support companies since the beginning of the health crisis.

Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the president of the French employer association MEDEF, had also previously warned that a new lockdown would cause “a collapse of the French economy.”

CPME added that it is essential that companies continue their activity, even in the case of stricter restrictions. It also urged that consumers be allowed to buy non-essential goods without having to rely solely on e-commerce.