Within the framework of the Moscow Urban Forum, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a panel discussion on the development of small and medium-sized businesses in large cities
On July 17, the work of the Moscow Urban Forum began. One of the first business events of the MUF was the panel discussion "Small and medium business in the urban environment, organized by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Since the event was attended by representatives of CCIs of a number of major megacities of both the Russian Federation and other countries, the main topics of discussion were the prospects and challenges facing small and medium-sized businesses in large cities. 

At the meeting, it was noted that today, small and medium business is the basis of financial stability of the countries of market economy. The President of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Vladimir Platonov, said that last year, the share of revenues from the activity of SMEs was 26% of the Moscow's city budget. "This year these figures have significantly increased, and only in the first quarter we received more than 500 billion rubles (about 9 billion dollars). The city authorities implement various mechanisms for supporting SMEs in the city, such as a simplified taxation system, tax holidays have been introduced for beginning entrepreneurs, part of costs under lease agreements and credit agreements are provided for ", the head of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry underscored.

Specifically, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moscow dwelled on the role of public business associations, since their support is essential for SME representatives.

Mr. Andrei Zheleznyakov, the General Director of the State Budgetary Institution of the city of Moscow “Small Business of Moscow”, narrated how the city authorities assist entrepreneurs. In particular, he informed that 15 Centers for Business Services have been established in the capital, where any entrepreneur can receive informational and consultation assistance. Various online services are being  developed. "An entrepreneur, working with a simplified form of taxation, may fill out several graphs on the Internet and a completed tax return will be forwarded to him on the same day”, was an example of innovations, cited by Mr. Zheleznyakov.

Foreign experience was widely discussed at the discussion. Thus, the head of the Paris-Ile de France Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Etienne Jean Guyot, said that the main objective of the Chamber's activities is to build a dialogue between SME representatives, with the participation of city authorities. As the main obstacles to the development of small and medium-sized businesses, he named high taxes, limited access to new markets and financial resources. 

Similar difficulties arise for SMEs in Istanbul. This was mentioned by the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of Istanbul, Mr. Dursun Topchu. He noted that 58 percent of investments in his city are in small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, the representative of Turkey highlighted the serious competition that is characteristic of Istanbul. At the same time, the high density of the market is, he said, not so much an obstacle to the development of SMEs, but a driver of market development. As one of the areas of support for entrepreneurship and innovation, Mr. Topchu cited the creation of an industrial park in Istanbul. As the Vice President of the MCCI, Mr. Suren Vardanyan noted, in Moscow, there are 33 techno parks and their interaction with their Turkish counterparts can become one of the new directions of cooperation between the two chambers – of Moscow and Istanbul. 

Among the difficulties, faced by entrepreneurs in the Russian capital, professional consultant in the field of marketing and communications, Mr. Paul Brook (Austria), dwelt on the need to ease the number of bureaucratic procedures. For example, in Austria, the registration process for an LLC takes only one week and does not require the provision of redundant data and documents. "Sometimes a young entrepreneur starts a business without having enough funds or an office. And, while trying to draw up all the necessary documents, the desire to start one’s own business may be lost ", the expert said. 

Ms. Marina Chmatova, the Chairman of the Youth Committee of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke about the activities of the Youth Committee. She singled out such areas of work as weekly business breakfasts for start-up entrepreneurs, where anyone can put forward absolutely any business idea for discussion; about various festivals, including fashion industry, development of theatrical and poetic arts, etc. "The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a unique business community and is very proud that for several years now it has been its active member, " said the head of the MCCI’s Committee. 

In addition, the President of the National Council for Medicine, Chairman of Medinvestclub, Mr. Dmitry Akhtuba, spoke about how the activities of these associations contribute to the formation of the market for quality medical services. 

Summarizing the results of the event, the participants agreed that large cities face similar problems in terms of developing small and medium-sized businesses and the ways they are being solved are also similar. " So we are on the right path", said the President of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Platonov. 

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