23 September 2021, Thursday, 0:32
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Small Business Is Dying Out in Belarus

Small Business Is Dying Out in Belarus

The number of small companies continues to decline.

The authorities have updated information on the number of small and medium-sized businesses that pay taxes and fees. The data as of July 1 are now available, the website banki24.by writes.

For six months, the number of active small businesses in Belarus has decreased by more than 4 thousand - from 102,231 to 98,060. Small businesses in the Republic of Belarus include enterprises with hired personnel from 1 to 100 people.

At the same time, the category of microbusiness includes companies with staff from 1 to 15 people, and the category of small businesses - with staff from 16 to 100. In the first category, the number of companies in 6 months decreased from 90.9 to 87.2 thousand, in the second - from 11.3 to 10.9 thousand.

Maybe small companies have grown and moved into the medium category? No, this is not supported by statistics. From January 1 to July 1, the number of medium-sized enterprises that pay taxes remained unchanged - 2,152. Medium-sized businesses in Belarus include companies with 101 to 250 employees.

This means that the matter is either in the termination of the business or in the transition to individual entrepreneurs (IP) or generally to hired workers. For the country and the budget, these are indirect losses in economic activity and state treasury occupancy.

The downward trend in active small companies has been noted for many years. So, as of July 1, 2015, the number of small businesses that pay taxes was 113.1 thousand, as of July 1, 2016 - 108.9 thousand, as of July 1, 2017 - 108.8 thousand, as of July 1, 2018 - 105.4 thousand, as of July 1, 2019 - 103.7 thousand, as of July 1, 2020 - 102.4 thousand.

It is clearly seen that the number of small businesses in the country is steadily declining. And these businesses do not develop into medium-sized enterprises, but at best they descend to the IP level.

Judge for yourself: as of July 1, 2015, there were 2,384 medium-sized enterprises in Belarus that paid taxes and 245.3 thousand individual entrepreneurs. At the same date in 2021, there were 2,152 "medium-sized" companies, but the number of individual entrepreneurs has grown to 272.9 thousand. Apparently, it is about the business climate: it is more convenient and profitable to stay in the status of sole proprietorship and not to register a company.

As for Minsk, the main Belarusian trends are true for it. A drop in the number of small companies is also observed in the capital. For half of 2021, the number of small organizations in Minsk decreased from 41.5 to 39.6 thousand.

Rather than being a growth driver, the capital sets a negative example for the rest of the country. But just six years ago (as of July 1, 2015), there were 45.3 thousand active small businesses in Minsk.