Over 55% of Russian businessmen adapted to sanctions - ombudsman's office
MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) - Most Russian businessmen say they have adapted or are continuing to adapt to the fallout from Western sanctions, according to a poll conducted by the office of Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov.
"While 10.5% of the respondents said they failed to cope with the aftermath of sanctions, 16.3% did not experience any restrictions, and 55.4% have either adapted or are continuing to adapt to the Western sanctions. This means that a larger part of the community has pulled through the sanctions," the office said.
The office polled 5,760 businessmen from all parts of the country, among them microbusinesses (74%), small businesses (21%), medium businesses (3.4%) and big businesses (1.6%). The majority of respondents sell non-foods, and 11% are food distributors. Companies from public catering, manufacturing industries, construction, production of building materials, household services, agriculture, forestry, education, and the tourism and hospitality industry were also polled. The share of each industry does not exceed 3% in the total number of respondents.
According to the respondents, the partial mobilization in Russia did not affect 66% of collectives, while 34% reported mobilization of some of their employees. Over a half of companies whose employees were mobilized did not need any personnel replacements or found them very fast. Nineteen percent of respondents said they did not find a replacement for the mobilized employees just yet.
Over 60% of businessmen named a decline in domestic demand as their biggest problem. About 26% said they failed to find analogues for critical foreign products or services, which are no longer available in Russia because of the sanctions. However, most businesses have found new suppliers of the same or similar products both inside and outside Russia.
As for the status of their businesses, only 6% of respondents said they "already had to shut down their business or would have to do that soon." The others said that the situation had worsened but is manageable. Nine percent reported a steady growth in earnings, 30.4% said that earnings were smaller but manageable, 27% noted a substantial decline, and 7% said they were in crisis, the office said.
As for support measures, businessmen praised the moratorium on inspections, lower rates of simplified taxation and property taxes in regions, soft loans for small and medium companies and backbone companies, and the suspension of the introduction of new requirements for labeling goods.
As for the desirable support measures, they mentioned partial tax write-offs, insurance contribution reduction to 15% of the total salary, cheaper and more accessible working loans, and a freeze on the rates of natural monopoly entities.