MOSCOW, July 12 (RAPSI) — The economic support measures taken by the authorities have helped to save small and medium-sized businesses during the period of the pandemic and respective restrictions, according to Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov. 

This Monday, Titov presented President Vladimir Putin with a report on the results of his activities in 2020. Special attention in the report was paid to business support measures amid the pandemic, the Kremlin press service informs.

Titov believes that measures to support business and entrepreneurship over the pandemic period have been very balanced.

In spite of the fact that initially these measures were somewhat frowned at, basing on their results it can be seen that the measures were weighed, effective, and timely, Titov is quoted as saying.

The best practice on the part of the authorities, the Business Ombudsman believes, is that they refrained from massive lock downs.

In the III-IV quarters of 2020, small and medium-sized businesses practically recovered, and large ones were generally loosing less, Titov observes.

According to the Business Rights Commissioner, the measure providing for a 15% reduction in social contributions from businesses worked very well and was economically justified, for instance, the personal income tax has grown by more than 6% in terms of budget revenues. At the same time, he praised the fact that in 2020 the number of business inspections decreased and asked the President to extend the moratorium on inspections of small and medium-sized businesses until 2022.

However, Titov notes, the figures registered in the first quarter of 2021, unfortunately, were not so good. A special index developed by his Office in cooperation with Sberbank demonstrates that the revenue of small businesses decreased by 19% over this period, and the current situation demands to ask for working out additional support measures and reintroduction of some already used ones in the event new restrictions on businesses are needed because of the pandemic, the Business Ombudsman stressed.