Small Business, Big Potential
The national project for the development of small and medium-sized businesses is a significant tool for the Arctic development
“The whole development of small and medium-sized businesses in the next few years is packed in a national project. 481.5 billion roubles is the total amount of funds allocated for the implementation of this national project by 2024. <...> Small and medium-sized business is to get a 32% share of the national GDP and 25 million people employed as a result of this project's implementation. <...> By the end of this year, together with the expert business community, colleagues from government departments we are to propose a set of solutions on the specifics of running small and medium-sized businesses in the Arctic,” Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
“If the development of the Arctic is on the political agenda, then the state should look after the business there, Sergey Katyrin, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.
Arctic oil and gas projects are an essential market for energy efficient technologies
“The Arctic is a crucial market for our companies [residents of the Skolkovo Foundation, – Ed.]. <...> Of the 470 companies from [energy efficient technologies, – Ed.] cluster, more than 100 are companies targeting the oil and gas sector,” Oleg Dubnov, Vice President, Executive Director, Cluster of Energy Efficient Technologies, Skolkovo Foundation.
There is no stable small business development dynamics in the region
“Compared to 2015, the number of small companies in Norilsk has remained the same, and the number of entrepreneurs grew 1.2 times. There were 3,407 in 2015 and 4,029 in 2018,” Svetlana Rubashkina, Director, Norilsk Development Agency.
“As of 1 January 2018, we had 295,000 small businesses in these nine regions [along the Northern Sea Route, - Ed.], which employed 900,000 citizens, and as of 1 January 2019, already 291,000 entities employing 875 thousand. That means there are 4,000 fewer businesses and 25,000 fewer employees,” Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA RUSSIA.
Features of the Arctic region disadvantage the business
“Entrepreneurs are looking for an opportunity to register their business in a straightforward regulatory environment, unlike the Arctic with its peculiarities. <...> One of the factors that affect the number of entrepreneurs here [in the North, - Ed.] is the features of social legislation that require Northern allowance for employees,” Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
“In the true sense of the word, there is no [small] business in the Arctic, at least in [its part located in] Yakutia. There are several mining enterprises,” Vladimir Solodov, Chairman of the Government of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
Comprehensive state support for entrepreneurs in the region
“It is necessary to spell out the specifics of small business participation in the procurement of those companies implementing large-scale projects in the Arctic,” Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA RUSSIA.
“Business in the Arctic is to gain special regime benefits; Soviet mechanisms are ineffective,” Ivan Kulyavtsev, Minister of Economic Development of Arkhangelsk Region.
“We need to find other ways to support entrepreneurs of the Arctic. The development of cooperation, joint ventures are examples out of many,” Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
Northern benefits system reform
“We need to think about a completely different system of northern benefits, more fair and reasonable. And now, first of all, we need to relieve business people of this burden,” Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chair, The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.