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Tatiana Ilyushnikova, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, spoke at a plenary session on Thursday, December 24, dedicated to the results of the 2020 business support work and discussion of the updated national SME project. The meeting was attended by representatives of Opora Russia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the All-Russia People's Front, and regional leaders.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Development, who is the administrator of the national project "Small and medium sized businesses and support of individual entrepreneurial initiatives", in her speech named the regions that have achieved the best results in implementing the national project, and suggested to learn from their best practices and experiences.
For example, all regions have now met the key indicators for the self-employed. Today, there are about 1.5 million self-employed persons in the country. Among the leading regions starting in 2020 in terms of self-employment are St Petersburg, the Sverdlovsk Oblast, the Samara Oblast, the Rostov Oblast and the Krasnodar Krai.
Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Moscow Oblast, the Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Republic of Tatarstan achieved the best results in state procurement from SMEs. "We have about 2,000 state-owned companies that make purchases from SMEs worth almost RUB 3.5 trillion," Tatyana Ilyushnikova said.
In terms of regional guarantee organisations (RGOs), Kabardino-Balkaria, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, the Oryol Oblast, the Samara Oblast and the Ulyanovsk Oblast performed most effectively during the crisis period. "To date, RGOs have provided direct guarantees worth 40 billion roubles. It was possible to build up a loan portfolio worth nearly 111 billion roubles against these guarantees", said the deputy minister.
Microfinance organisations (MFOs) are another important block in terms of access to credit resources that has played a major role in the implementation of anti-crisis measures. "As of today, regional MFOs have practically fulfilled the annual plan at the end of the third quarter: 19,500 loan agreements have been signed," the Deputy Minister of Economic Development stressed. The most active MFOs during the crisis period were from Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Kamchatka Krai, Udmurtia, Adygea, Novgorod Oblast and Kirov Oblast.
"Our 'front office' is the My Business Centre," Tatiana Ilyushnikova continued. She reminded that the centres operate in almost all regions. The Deputy Minister also thanked all the regions that have joined the "My Business Helps" campaign. "As of today, about 30 regions have joined the December campaign. It is a labor of love, what people see and what makes us human," she stressed.
An important and complex area within the national project is industrial parks and technology parks. This year, 10 facilities have been commissioned in the country - in Karelia, Tatarstan, Tyva, the Chechen Republic, the Belgorod Oblast, the Kaliningrad Oblast, the Lipetsk Oblast and the Khabarovsk Krai. "Our main task for 2021 will be to analyse performance, work with residents and work out a new funding model for projects. I believe we will resume the work of this instrument in a year, but on different principles," the Deputy Minister of Economic Development said.
When talking about training for aspiring entrepreneurs, Tatyana Ilyushnikova said that despite the current situation and the pandemic, more than 200,000 people have gone through it. The most active regions in this sector were Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, North Ossetia – Alania and Magadan Oblast. She specially focused on the Tula Oblast, which exceeded the target by more than 5 times.
The Deputy Minister also drew attention to the fact that all My Business centres have specialised export support centres. "More than 2,000 SMEs entered into export contracts worth $712 million in 2020," she said, noting the Kaliningrad Oblast, the Smolensk Oblast, the Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Pskov Oblast and the Altai Krai. "These are the leading regions for working with SME exporters," explained the deputy head of the MED.
"According to our estimates, during the crisis My Business centres worked most effectively in the Tyumen Oblast, the Khabarovsk Krai, the Leningrad Oblast, Udmurtia and the Republic of Bashkortostan," Tatiana Ilyushnikova concluded.
Alexander Kalinin, President of Opora Russia, noted in his speech that the Russian Government and the Federal Tax Service have done everything necessary for a "seamless" transition from UTII to other tax regimes. In particular, they expanded the possibility for individual entrepreneurs to apply the patent system and extended the possibility of introducing a self-employed regime to all regions. According to the head of the organisation, the abolition of UTII should be facilitated by at least five points: expanding the criteria for the patent, the ability to reduce the amount of taxes on it by the amount of insurance payments, increasing the upper threshold for the "simplified tax" to 200 million roubles and reducing the property tax rate in many regions.
Opora Russia has also put forward a proposal that the self-employment tax be credited to municipal budgets at the place of business registration. "By receiving income from taxation of self-employed citizens, municipal authorities will be interested in increasing the number of these individuals on their territory, including through explanatory work on the benefits of official registration and popularisation of municipal rent," says Alexander Kalinin.