Last year, tax collected by the city from small and medium-sized businesses exceeded that received from the oil and gas sector. This is what Sergei Sobyanin said during a visit he paid to Moskva Industrial Park. There he was attending the presentation of the Business Navigator for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (MSB Business Navigator) website.
“Small and medium-sized businesses play an essential role in the economic life of Moscow and are also an important social factor,” Sobyanin said. “One in ten adult city residents own a small or medium-sized business. About 30 percent of all people working in Moscow are employed by small or medium-sized businesses. Every year the city’s economy becomes ever stronger thanks to these going concerns.”
According to the Mayor, the number of enterprises in the city grows by the year. “Despite all the economic difficulties, the Moscow Government is raising more and more taxes,” Sobyanin said. “Last year, corporate tax, licencing fees and contributions made by micro-businesses alone went up 16 percent, significantly exceeding that from the oil and gas sector.”
During the presentation, the General Director of the Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Business (MSE Corporation) and its board member Alexander Braverman showed the Mayor how the consulting section of the MSB Business Navigator project works.
“We already spoke about the main objectives we wanted to achieve by introducing this tool,” Braverman said. “First, this is basic information for anyone who wants to have a clear view of their business, including an analysis of a niche that a business occupies, existing rivals and cash flows and information about where to obtain financial support, loans, surety bonds and support in the form of assets and legal support, as well as information about how to get a bank loan and how to repay it, interest rates and also guarantees from relevant organisations.”
The MSB Business Navigator allows entrepreneurs to assess and forecast risks that may occur when setting up a business. The system is expected to help budding entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes. For example, a business plan will be unavailable if there is insufficient demand for products or services offered by a chosen business, or the payback period exceeds five years or real property parameters fall short of the business plan’s objectives.
To enter the system, one has to register with one’s virtual private office or via an account on the state services website, which is linked to the register of small and medium-sized businesses run by the city’s tax service.
Sobyanin said he believed that the navigator would allow any person who had never been engaged in business before to find his or her niche and start an enterprise. “I want to thank Mr Braverman and his team for their vigorous efforts to promote small businesses in Moscow and across Russia,” the Mayor said. “In keeping with the Russian President’s instructions, they are carrying out the project referred to as the Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Business and today they have presented the first results of this large-scale systemic project.”
He added that small and medium-sized businesses in Moscow were developing at a much faster pace than in other regions – on average, Moscow has twice as many businesses this size as any other region in the country. “Of course, this is due to a metropolitan area effect, which offers a host of business opportunities in various sectors of the city’s economy, a vast and competitive market and invariably huge demand.”
At same time the rent on commercial and office premises in Moscow has gone down. “In recent years, we’ve commissioned over 12 million square metres of commercial premises, including shopping centres, offices and industrial enterprises,” Sobyanin said. “As a result, rental rates on commercial premises in the city have not increased for several years now and are even going down if we look at relevant amounts. The same applies to office premises.”
Sobyanin added that special measures to support high-tech businesses were also very important as there are 25 industrial parks in the city accommodating 1,500 companies with a total of about 30,000 employees.