Updated at 20:14,02-06-2020

Belarusian entrepreneurs to go bankrupt on large scale

Ian Babitsky,, Belsat.eu

There will be no benefits. But numerous bankruptcies are expected from January 1st. SMEs in Belarus are under unprecedented threat. On Friday, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Advisory Board supervising the development of entrepreneurship. At the meeting were present both officials and business representatives. However, officials once again refused to hear the voice of the people.

There are empty shops and entire markets. This pattern can be expected in Belarus in less than a month. Entrepreneurs are literally cornered. Starting from January, they are completely prohibited to sell products without accompanying documentation and certificates.

“Everyone is panicking. Nobody knows what to do after the New Year,”said the businessman.

“What mood can we have, if we have no future?” added another entrepreneur.

On Friday, officials could once again to listen to the voice of the people. Minsk hosted a meeting of the special Social and Advisory Board. The business association “Perspective” published a proposal to prepare a “Plan B”, to avoid the paralysis of markets and the bankruptcy of thousands of small businessmen. However, the response of the authorities was unequivocal.

“You have to work under the new conditions, there will be no concessions. This meeting was for show, it did not have any meaningful results. Obviously, the decisions will be made after the first of January. They will be political. It is obviously a big problem for small businesses,” said Anatol Shumchanka from the “Perspective”.

The main problem here is the presidential Decree 222, which came into force last year in July. According to him, traders are required to have accompanying documents and certificates for the goods. But, according to the entrepreneurs, in most cases it is not possible to receive the necessary documents.

“We importing products from Russia. Nothing is done there for us to obtain the necessary documents,” explains the businessman.

Until now, there was the so-called transitional period: the traders were able to sell the rest of the goods under the old rules. But on the first of January the non-certified products are to be removed from the outlets. It is impossible not only to sell it, but even to give away for free. The violations are frought with fines of 20 to 200 basic units.

“It threatens to destroy all small businesses. In particular, the companies of individual entrepreneurs,” said Anatol Shumchanka.

“We do not earn much. Buying in stores is expensive. Here we can get a deal,” noted a female customer at the market.

Now the question is how entrepreneurts will react to the new situation after the New Year. Will large protests, organized by businessmen to protect their jobs return to Belarus? According to the leaders of the movement, this question can be answered individually and collectively.