Presidential Holidays and Small Business: 'It's All Tantamount to Murder'

Small business representatives of Russia – about&# 160; survival&# 160; in&# 160; conditions of epidemic and quarantine and under&# 160; lack of assistance from the state&# 160;

Recently, the Dossier Center published the content of an analytical note, which was given to it by a source in the presidential administration of the Russian Federation. The document discusses what the main information trends should be in the situation with the coronavirus in Russia. It is proposed, in particular, to show “a wave of news creating positive economic expectations”, to make it clear that the economic recovery is already underway. In addition, according to the authors of the note, there is a need for “advertising of positive ‘opening’ practices”: “Here and there, one thing or another will be discovered all the time. This should make it into the news. Today auto repair shops, tomorrow beauty salons, the day after tomorrow something else. And everyone says “thank you, doctors,” they offer doctors something for free or at a discount ”.
Around the same time, an interactive map called “Business is in disaster” appeared on the Internet. If you look at it, you can see hundreds, if not thousands of not “opening”, but “closing” practices: small and medium-sized business owners mark their enterprises on this map, which, due to the “non-working regime” and in the absence of help from states were on the brink of survival.
In two days, the number of marks on the map approached one and a half thousand. Hundreds of thousands of users visit the site every day, even had to fight off the attack of bots and trolls.
Such a picture is evidence of how small businesses are doing in Russia amid epidemics and quarantines, says the creator of the map, a former employee of the Ministry of Finance, a sociologist. Danil Makhnitsky. His family also suffered from the “presidential vacation”: Makhnitsky’s father has been in business since the beginning of the 2000s, and quarantine hit his small company very seriously.
Danil Makhnitsky began by publishing a petition on change.org. After seeing how many people signed up for it, he decided to create a map of a business in distress..
“It turned out that most of the business in Russia exists literally on a monthly turnover,” says Makhnitsky, “as soon as it falls, even uncritically, they are on the verge of bankruptcy. This shows the initial weakness of small business in our country, and this situation, even after a week’s “vacation”, very much emphasized everything. Monthly “vacation” simply put everyone on the brink of collapse “.

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Presidential Holidays and Small Business: 'It's All Tantamount to Murder'

The entrepreneur Lyali Sadykova from St. Petersburg – a network of economy hairdressing salons and beauty clubs – business class nail service. Sadykova has been working in these two segments since 2004 and says that her business has never faced such a situation, even during the 2008 crisis. Back in March, she and her colleagues in the beauty industry wrote a petition, turned to the governor for help and hoped that the authorities would enter into dialogue. However, officials ignored all of Sadykova’s letters. Meanwhile, the situation was getting worse. If the large landlords (hypermarkets) gave a small rental vacation, then the small ones said: “This is your problem, pay in full”. Someone just asked to move out. Sadykova’s employees faced the same problems..
“The situation is really critical,” she says. – There is no support from the state. I myself am a single mother with many children, I have employees, one of my mothers rents an apartment with three children. We had to negotiate with her landlord so that he would make concessions, that we would pay him the rent for the apartment when we open. He categorically insisted that she sweep out with the children into the street. The authorities do not see or hear this, the situation is normal for them, they believe that small business has enough money to hold out. “.

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Petitions site change.org – cries for help from dozens of industries, from hospitality to flower business.
One of the largest petition signatures ever comes from the book industry, which was not included in the hit list. This means that book publishers and bookstore owners cannot count on any help. In addition, it deprives them of the legal ability to negotiate with tenants to reduce, transfer or cancel the lease for this period..
According to the publisher, co-founder of the Falanster bookstore Boris Kupriyanov, for the book world, all this is tantamount to murder.
“It’s amazing that this happens in the country of Tolstoy, Pushkin and Dostoevsky. Still happening. I must say that we all really expected that the book industry would be included in the composition of the most affected, – says Kupriyanov and shares an unpleasant forecast: – If we talk about the most tragic scenarios that can happen, then we will simply achieve that small publishers will die, large publishing houses will release, as they did in the late 90s, only pop music, and we can again raise a generation for which reading is not a daily habit.
That is, this story with our authorities, which did not include books in the list of industries affected by the pandemic, it shows our status: that books, like culture in general, are not something important ”.

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Boris Kupriyanov, publisher

Armed Services, Social Engineering and Sensationalist Reporting

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To save the business at the very beginning of the “presidential vacation” could be saved by the zeroing of taxes (property taxes and insurance premiums), says Danil Makhnitsky, the compiler of the “Business is in disaster” card. However, now the situation has worsened, and such a measure, according to him, will not be enough..
“The question has now acquired a political character,” says Makhnitsky. – We are talking about whether we will help business or not, will we unpack the sovereign wealth fund for this or not. Because it is obvious that against the background of falling energy prices, there is no money in the federal budget. Naturally, there will not be a few trillion rubles to support small and medium-sized businesses. This money is only in the National Welfare Fund ”.
Almost 300 thousand people have already subscribed to the petition “For zero taxes” on Change.org.

  • Ksenia Turkova

    Journalist, TV and radio host, philologist. She started as a correspondent and presenter on NTV under the leadership of Evgeny Kiselev, worked on TV6, TVS, REN TV, radio stations "Echo of Moscow", "City FM", "Kommersant FM". From 2013 to 2017 she lived and worked in Kiev, participated in the creation of an information radio station "Radio Vesti", directed the Russian-language broadcasting of the Ukrainian channel Hromadske TV, was a host and executive producer. Since 2017 works for "Voice of America" in Washington.

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