Chelyabinsk Region Government adopts SME development program

24 July 2008 (08:04)

The Government of Chelyabinsk Region adopted a special program aimed at supporting the small and medium enterprises’ development in 2009-2011, the spokesperson for the Governor reports.

The region’s Minister for Economic Development Elena Murzina reports this program is meant to contribute to the officials’ earlier efforts in the field of business promotion. In fact, over the last three years, the regional government has assisted the setting up of 6,800 SMEs, which was five times better than what was initially planned. As a result, 23,700 new jobs were created, while the people who run these enterprises received some subsidies and even the Governor’s grants (the latter were awarded to winners of regional competitions). This means 261 out of Chelyabinsk Region’s small and medium-scale enterprises were provided with 24.4 million RUR worth of grants and regional budget subsidies in 2006-2007.

The Ministry for Economic Development expects 12,400 more businesses with 42,900 new jobs to emerge over the next three years. In addition, some special self-regulatory organizations targeted at enhancing the level of trust within the business community will be supported by the regional authorities as well. All in all, the program adopted by Chelyabinsk Region Government provides for 258 million RUR worth of subsidies in 2009-2011.

Apart from financing the small and medium-scale businesses’ development, the officials are going to pay more attention to their financial and social transparency. Elena Murzina says companies that pay their taxes and legal salaries can count on the decent state support. According to the available statistical data, an average regional worker makes over 13,000 RUR a month, while people employed in the small business sector only earn 9,100 RUR a month on average. Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin feels the Ministry for Economic Development should help the business expand geographically, introduce new investment formats, and make the salaries go higher. ‘Nearly 600,000 people work in the small business sector here – this is half of the region’s population. Their salaries must be legal and the retirement and healthcare funds payments must be made regularly be the employer,’ the Governor remarked.

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