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This was stated by Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, during the panel discussion "Support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the economic crisis associated with the spread of the coronavirus infection: challenges of the current phase. Key priorities of the national project updated to 2030". The Minister stressed that it is quite difficult to separate national projects from anti-crisis measures. "Everything we are witnessing now is a new reality and the national project is fully adapted to the new reality. The main task is the principle of providing support at every stage of the life cycle," Maxim Reshetnikov emphasised. The priorities of the updated SME national project are to create favourable conditions for the self-employed and increase their number; create conditions for an easy start-up and comfortable business environment, including the transition from the UTII to alternative tax regimes; accelerate SMEs; and create a digital SME platform.
The Minister noted that over the 2 years of the National Project, business support institutions have been established at both the federal and regional levels and have been tuned to national goals. My Business Centres operate in 84 regions of the country. Maxim Reshetnikov noted that all along, the availability of financial resources has been steadily increasing. In particular, as part of the SME national project, under the programme for preferential lending at 8.5% there has currently been concluded agreements for 1 trillion roubles, with 873 billion roubles actually disbursed. Maxim Reshetnikov stressed that from 2021 it is planned to reduce the rate from 8.5% to 7%.
Maxim Reshetnikov thanked the All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) and the business community for their help in finalising the list of industries affected by the spread of the coronavirus. The Minister said that due to the joint work, the coverage of the enterprises that received support has doubled. As a result, 1.7 million SMEs, employing more than 4.7 million citizens, were supported. They were able to benefit from lower insurance premiums, tax support measures, etc.
In addition, at the end of the first half of the year, entrepreneurs received financial support in the form of guarantees from regional guarantee organisations amounting to 69 billion roubles, and about 20,000 micro-loans were issued at the end of Q3 2020. The volume of purchases by major customers from small and medium-sized businesses has reached RUB 2.5 trillion, with over 300,000 contracts signed. Also this year, an experiment on a tax regime for the self-employed was launched, which proved successful - from 1 July this year it was extended to all regions. According to the Federal Tax Service, the number of registered self-employed citizens has now exceeded 1.4 million.
At the panel discussion, Sergey Kogogin, co-chairman of the ONF Central Headquarters, noted the promptness of the measures taken by the government to support the most affected part of entrepreneurs. "A long way has been covered in the last six months. Most entrepreneurs have had to adapt to the new business environment, many features of which will remain for a long time, to update their business model responsively, to revise their algorithms," stressed Sergey Kogogin.
Mikhail Mamuta, a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia and Head of the Consumer Rights Protection and Financial Services Accessibility Service of the Bank of Russia, noted that a project was launched in the spring, with all banks setting up special channels of interaction with entrepreneurs related to signing contracts, obtaining "repayment holiday", etc. "Here, working together, we have been able to achieve good results," emphasised Mikhail Mamuta.
Denis Kutergin, co-founder of YouDo, stressed that a new B2B direction is being developed based on the main YouDo platform, which allows both small and large businesses to find self-employed persons to provide various services. In total, there are several million registered self-employed on the platform and every month there has been a doubling of self-employment registration. "The tax regime that was adopted proved to be very much in demand," said Denis Kutergin. The service's co-founder stressed that the tax regime primarily enables the self-employed to work legally and thus to "shine light" on the entire sectors of grey economy.