Going for a free “business floating”, a new entrepreneur strongly believes he must rely only on his own. Such personal insights are totally mistaken. The government is always ready to support enterprising, purposeful and passionate about their works people. Businessmen should and must resort to this assistance.
To find out how Crimea handled the coronavirus lockdown and how comfortable the local business environment is, correspondents of “The Crimean Magazine” (CM) have decided to talk to the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers — Minister of Finance of the Republic of Crimea Irina Kiviko.
CM: Irina Valeryevna, let’s start from painful points. In spring, many businessmen worried: could they save their enterprises? Of course, they hoped for the government assistance. All in all, a large number of supportive measures were suggested, but have they reached their addressees and have these measures given the expected results?
Indeed, our “hot line” received thousands of requests and most of them related exactly to the supportive measures. The credit programs aimed at the sustainment of employment became the most in-demand — loans are extended at 2 %. Entrepreneurs got almost 4 billion of roubles and this sum is equivalent to more than two thousand of credit agreements. For instance, if a venture retains at least 90 % of its personnel, then the debt with interest will be written off and the government will pay off all the amount. About more than a billion of roubles credit at zero interest rate was granted for paying salaries. Apart from that, the tax rates have been reduced and the obligatory payments have been abolished or reduced too. In fact, we had to finalize and update our list of supportive measures every week to provide business owners with required help as much as possible. As a result, a number of entrepreneurs increased. For example, if we compare the period of the first of March with the period of the first of August, then we will see the number of representatives of small and medium-sized business companies have been increased by 4 % and amount of employed people have risen by 18 %. The business operates well. As for the ventures requiring assistance, so we will definitely help.
CM: Aside from the Federal Programs, Crimea possesses its own support tools. Did they function well during that period?
The Fund for Microfinance of Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Crimea has shown positive results — the financial organization has provided the Crimean business with microloans at a value of 885 million of roubles at concessionary interest rate and we plan to overcome the bar of a billion of roubles. By the way, currently we are elaborating the same solution for self-employed people and plan to put it in practice from the next year. Recently, this category has been included in the national project and now self-employed people will be able to get free of charge consultations, training courses, microloans and guarantee support.
In fact, we had to finalize and update our list of supportive measures every week to provide business owners with required help as much as possible
CM: Self-employment is another method to make a business project legal. Many years, the government of Crimea has been wrestling with a problem of bringing entrepreneurs out of the shadows, so did you make any progress in this area?
From the beginning of the year, we have registered 8 thousand of people as self-employed workers. Certainly, it is not the limit and we will interact with people in issues of registering ventures.
CM: Well, speaking of the guarantee support. Just a few years ago, businessmen were complaining of difficulties connected with obtaining credits, including problems affecting credit histories of the companies. Has the Crimean Guarantee Fund helped to remedy the situation?
The guarantee support is one of the most effective measures we resort to. It was exactly this measure allows entrepreneurs to stay reliable in the eyes of bankers, who traditionally consider this sector very risky. The fund acts as guarantor for receiving loans up to 100 million of roubles and since the beginning of its activity the fund has provided almost 700 sureties what allowed businessmen to get credits at a value of over than 7,7 billion of roubles.
CM: A goal of any company is to develop its own capacities and reach new markets. In the ideal case, a final purpose of an enterprise is to deliver its production to customers not only within the country, but also export goods abroad. Do sanctions hamper the Crimean entrepreneurs or politics is politics, but business is business and it is separate from politics?
For the last five years, a level of the Crimean export has increased and continues steadily growing. We have got the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization “Southern Regional Export Support Center”, which helps us to conclude contracts. The peninsula’s main trade partners are Kazakhstan, Belarus and China. Products of the Crimean food industry are in great demand: our amazing wines are liked both by China and Kazakhstan and our tasty ice-cream is exported to the People’s Republic of China more than a year.
CM: The production and brand recognition is a very important element for occupying new markets. This summer the Federal Law “About Geographical Indications” was passed. Do citizens of Crimea actively take this opportunity?
Entrepreneurs became registering rights for their production and service they provide more often, as it’s is impossible to compete within the civilized market in another way. Nevertheless, even among a hundred thousand of the Crimean businessmen, not all entrepreneurs can understand what kind of consequences they will face with if they don’t find time for registering their trade marks. Meanwhile, Crimea possesses a high potential, especially in the area of wine production. Talking about branding, we help small and medium enterprises to solve such issues via the Cluster Development Center of the Crimean Entrepreneurship Support Fund.
First of all, an entrepreneur is a person, who is able to take responsibility and start a private business
CM: Well, currently a Crimean businessman is able to get the diverse assistance. But does he have such a right? Some people suppose that if you open your own business, then you shouldn’t rely on the government help. Please, can you arbitrate who is right?
Nowadays, an entrepreneur is a person, who is able to take responsibility and start a private business. The government will not do it for you. However, small and medium enterprises are a sustainable cornerstone of any economy. Thus, we do all our best that Crimean entrepreneurs feel comfortable and confident. We are trying to create conditions for implementation of any business project notwithstanding emerging difficulties.
Reference: Crimean Magazine