29 November 2021, Monday, 2:46
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“Belarusian Entrepreneurs Are Now in Shock”

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“Belarusian Entrepreneurs Are Now in Shock”
Photo: KP.BY

How will changes for entrepreneurs affect sole proprietorships?

An activist of the European Belarus civil campaign from Slonim, ex-entrepreneur Viktar Marchyk told Charter97.org about the situation of private business in the country.

- It became known about the changes in tax payments for entrepreneurs. How do individual entrepreneurs feel about these changes? How will they affect their work?

- Entrepreneurs are now in shock and do not know how to behave and what to do. So far, they work as they can, but there is an opinion among them that they will have to close down and wind up their business. Someone is already planning to move their business abroad, to the Russian Federation or Poland, that is, to the nearest neighboring countries, and someone will simply close.

Of course, someone will try to do everything to the end, but, most likely, they will just go bankrupt. Especially due to this order on payment by bank transfer when purchasing goods. This worries people most of all, since most small businesses purchase small batches on the Russian market, and there is no non-cash payment there. Everyone pays in cash. Probably, this issue will not be resolved, and they will have to close or will look for some gray schemes, that's the only way.

- What is the state of Belarusian business today?

- It is unprofitable and decadent. In general, the best month for those who sell clothes is August. Sometimes they can still earn something during the off-season. This is, let's say, 3-4 months a year, and the rest of the year they are basically at a loss. If the more so the income on bets is taken off now, people are going to start having serious problems. They will just go bankrupt.

Today I was on the market, and many are already closed, there are very few people who work. Basically, people work only on weekends because on weekdays there is nothing to do, only tax is paid, and there is no profit or revenue. If someone works as a pensioner, then it is easier for him, because he can close down and survive on pension.

People before retirement age have a dilemma of where to go and what to do - whether to go to work for 250-300 rubles since it is hard to find a job for 400 rubles in the region. Most often, there is a part-time job, they offer to the minimum wage. So it is very difficult to get a job, so we will have more unemployed people.

Our minds and brains, the advanced youth will flow abroad. They could benefit the country, organize jobs, pay taxes and salaries to people without taking anything from the state, but such people will simply leave.

- Do people have an understanding that, under this power, individual entrepreneurs will not be allowed to work normally?

- They all say that if the situation does not change, then we can only hope for the Lord God and the wisdom of our officials. If the situation in the country does not change, or rather, the attitude towards small and medium-sized businesses, then there will be complete bankruptcy and that's it. Small and medium-sized businesses will simply be closed, and whoever remains working will be completely under the control of the mafia.

- Were there any worse times for Belarusian entrepreneurs, or is what we are witnessing the worst?

- In fact, since the end of the 90s, pressure on small and medium-sized businesses has already begun. Not only tax increases, but all sorts of FZSN and everything else. At first, everything was on a voluntary basis, then on a compulsory basis.

Every law was piled one on top of the other from the FZSN, and the Tax Inspectorate, and the tax laws, and certification. One individual entrepreneur, aka the owner, aka the accountant, aka the seamstress, and the reaper. Naturally, such obligations were imposed on them that it was completely unrealistic to fulfill them in order not to get under some kind of pressure.

Once upon a time, people defended their interests, the public organization Perspektiva worked as an intermediary between entrepreneurs and the authorities. The issues were resolved. They listened to something, some laws were still edited. Entrepreneurs could work at the very least, but now they have already brought them to such a point that it's practically impossible to work.