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Small Businesses Get Marketing Support From City

Moscow City Hall made a limited number of subsidies available to small and medium-sized businesses to compensate expenses associated with exhibitions and other events used for marketing their products and services, Dmitry Knyazev, deputy head of the science, industrial and entrepreneurship department of the city government said at a news conference Monday.

The government is offering up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000) per applicant per year, to cover up to 70 percent of the cost incurred of having a display at a trade show or a conference anytime since January 1, 2012.

Only businesses with a turnover of less than 1 billion rubles ($30 million) and fewer than 250 employees may apply. They will be required to provide supporting financial documents and be able to prove that the event was beneficial for business.

Each case will be assessed on its merit, and funds spent on nonessential items, such as hiring luxury cars, will not be reimbursed, Knyazev said.

The Moscow Small Business Agency, a state-funded organization founded in 2012 to support small and medium entrepreneurship in Moscow, will be responsible for processing applications.

The application process is simple and transparent, with most cases reviewed within 1 1/2 weeks, said agency spokesman Dmitry Burlakov.

It involves an initial compliancy check, assessment of the business' financial health and a vote by a committee consisting of the department's bureaucrats and small business representatives.

The program is only available to businesses registered in Moscow. If a business is partly owned by a foreign person or a company, their share must not exceed 25 percent in order to qualify, Knyazev said.

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