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  • Governmental support for businesses based or originating from the countryside in Belorussia

    Belarusians who want to open a business in the countryside, are able to enjoy the relief with the easing and lessening of bureaucratic requirements starting from the current year. For example, authorities now allow the sale of alcohol in stores with the area of less than 50 square meters, and have reduced the income tax to 6%. Those who have already taken advantage of the benefits highlighted that it has become exceptionally easier to run their business along with the increase in profits.


    FINANCE.TUT.BY visited Pukhovichi district and interviewed a businessman who, thanks to new relaxed bureaucratic requirements, has opened two stores in the village.


    From 1stof January of the current year, entrepreneurs and legal entities can work on preferential terms in rural areas and in small settlements which is stipulated by presidential decree No. 345 "On the development of trade, public catering and consumer services". Entrepreneurs are able to enjoy relaxed bureaucratic requirements until December 31, 2022.


    The benefits include 6% profit tax from the sale of goods and services; exemption from real estate tax, land tax, rent for land owned by the state, turnovers for the sale of goods and services in rural areas and in small settlements are exempt from value added tax.

    Legal entities can also sell alcohol in village shops with a sales area of less than 50 square meters.


     

    "The biggest advantage is permission to sell alcohol in stores"


    The lists of settlements were identified in each of the regions to introduce preferential conditions for the operation of individual entrepreneurs and enterprises in the countryside. In Minsk region, easing of the requirements for business were introduced in some villages in the Borisov and Pukhovichi districts.


    Businessman Vyacheslav Derushko from Marina Gorka was interested in the presidential decree. His family already owned several shops and cafes in Pukhovichi district before the issuance of the document with easing of bureaucratic requirements for business in the countryside. Thanks to the decree adopted, the family opened two more stores and are about to open a restaurant with karaoke and one more shopping facility.


    "My father founded our family business 20 years ago. He was among the top ten entrepreneurs in the district and opened the first grocery store called "Spadchyna”. Then he added a cafe to it.” Vyacheslav said proudly.


    Initially, the entrepreneur opened the cafe to feed his employees. But it enjoyed great popularity among the residents and eventually developed into a thriving business.


    "Then my father opened the second, the third, and the fourth store, creating a small network of grocery stores. In 2010, my father handed the business over to me, and I became the CEO. Dad is now more engaged in horses. He owns a ranch with two horses and ponies. While this is a hobby, who knows maybe it will become one of his businesses.” Vyacheslav said.


    "We stagnated for three years without developing which became an economic crisis. It was also financially difficult for both us and other people. When we felt that the economy was beginning to stabilize, we decided that it was time to do something. And then came the decree. The biggest advantage that it gave us is permission to sell alcohol in stores with the area less than 50 square meters. We have two stores meeting the requirement. On January 1, 2018, we already had the license. This immediately gave us an increase in revenue by 30%.” Vyacheslav said.


    In addition to the alcohol license, the presidential decree allowed the opening of stores in buildings without changing their status.

    "For example, in Bluzha village we opened a shop in the building of a former dining room. Moreover, we got the support from Decree No.7, which simplified sanitary requirements and canceled a huge number of inspections.” Vyacheslav informed.


    Despite the fact that shops, cafes and a restaurant did not fall under tax incentives, Vyacheslav is pleased with the changes.


    "The villages where our stores are located, are not included in the list of settlements with tax breaks. Firstly, the authorities have chosen settlements with a very small number of residents. Secondly, the buildings that have a cheap rent are in a terrible state which I have observed to be unprofitable even with tax benefits and low rent”.


     

    "We also want people from Minsk to come, we have cheaper offers"


    In January, the businessman set a plan to open three grocery stores and a restaurant by June 1. By February, one of the planned stores was opened. In March, the second store was opened.


    "We plan to open a restaurant on May 25 and another grocery store on May 30. The decree allows entrepreneurs to obtain a license for alcohol which was impossible before.” Vyacheslav said.


    There used to be a shop offering laundry services in the building where the restaurant and karaoke lounge will soon start operating. Vyacheslav still rents the building, but plans to buy it in 3 years.


    Vyacheslav believes that the restaurant in Marina Gorka will be in demand, because there are very few places for recreation there.


    "We will have a lunch menu. There are about 70 thousand people living in the area. I think the restaurant will be in demand. We want more people from Minsk to come because we have cheaper offers and probably more comfortable conditions. For example, a banquet menu will cost 55 rubles per person. We have already organized the logistics so that we can even bring customers to the restaurant and drop them back to Minsk.” Vyacheslav informed.


    The businessman says that he does not hope that the restaurant and karaoke will bring him profits during the first year despite receiving numerous requests for organizing celebrations.


    The residents of Marina Gorka and the villagers residing nearby the new shops, the restaurant and karaoke lounge will not only be able to experiences new recreational places but also more jobs.


    "We planned to create and fill up 28 job positions with 20 people in the restaurant and 8 people in the store. All the positions are almost filled except for waiters. We don’t have enough waiters and we already have a list of people who wants to fill up these remaining positions. Our staff are currently in Minsk for training.” Vyacheslav shared.


    Alexander Valadko, the deputy chairman of the Puhovichi District Executive Committee, says that Vyacheslav Derushko is not the only one who became interested in business development because of easing of requirements. Local authorities have already held 15 meetings with explanations of the new relaxed bureaucratic requirements with individual entrepreneurs and legal entities of the whole region.


    "Now about 10 legal entities are ready to work under new conditions which are businesses related to trade. Being cautious, service providers are not ready and willing to enter the village market.” Alexander Valadko said.

     

    According to observations of local authorities, private entrepreneurs do not want to develop business in settlements with a population of up to 150 people. The villages where relaxed bureaucratic requirements are introduced do have a small population. It is an open question if entrepreneurs will get interested.
     
    Information sourse: "С алкоголем выручка выросла на треть. Как льготы по указу президента помогают бизнесу на селе"
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