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How are entrepreneurs supported in Almaty?

More than 1000 Almaty entrepreneurs received support within the established anti-crisis center on the basis of Qoldaý center. In this center, businessmen of the city are provided free consultations on measures of state support, as well as full support in solving many of their issues of concern, including financing and obtaining approval documents. The Anti-Crisis Center was created on the basis of the Qoldaý Entrepreneurship Center, which has practically become a single operator to support SMEs in Almaty. And this is especially important for the recovery and revitalization of the city’s economy after quarantine measures applied in connection with the pandemic.

One of the structures of the anti-crisis center for SMEs is the entrepreneurship hotline, which provides advisory support, including on the issues of concessional financing under government-sanctioned programs, to the city’s business. Among them are such as «Business Roadmap 2025», «Economy of Simple Things», the regional program Almaty Business – 2025, according to which you can get a loan to start and expand your business at a rate of 2 and 6%.

«If earlier we received many calls to our hotline related to the search for the necessary medicines, now more often businessmen are already asking questions about auditing and obtaining permits for creation of enterprises, asking at the same time for an advice on measures of state support for SMEs», – states the first deputy director general of the Qoldaý Entrepreneurship Center.

Since the very first day of its opening, the Qoldaý has been helping city entrepreneurs to obtain permits for starting their own business from both governmental authorities, and subjects of natural monopolies, public organizations and financial institutions. These include the Departments of Land Relations, Urban Development and Planning, Urban Planning Control, Agency for Employment, the «Almaty Su» Municipal Enterprise, the Department for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services, as well as the Department for Emergency Situations, «KazTransGaz Aimak», «Alatau Zharyk Kompaniyasy», «Almaty Heating Networks», Public Service Centers, KazakhExport, «Damu» Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Therefore, a businessman gets an opportunity to solve all these issues with the help of competent experts in one specific place, namely in the Qoldaý Entrepreneurship Center.

«Each of our experience has experience in the field of a particular industry, including governmental authorities, which helps them in removing administrative barriers for entrepreneurs», – says he.

In addition to consulting on government-sanctioned programs, as well as resolving issues on permits, experienced professionals of the Qoldaý Entrepreneurship Center provide businessmen with free assistance in developing a business plan for taking part in these government-sanctioned programs, providing support to the client from the very beginning of the application process and up to obtaining funding.

«Our professionals support investment projects in various sectors of the economy. This work is under the special control of the city administration. We monitor the implementation of investments. We literally work through each investment project in a manual mode, identifying all issues of concern, as well as taking part in their solution», – said Serik Mamytov.

As of today, the anti-crisis center is also carrying out a lot of work in the field of informing and explaining to city entrepreneurs about the opportunities and preferential terms of state support for business. For this purpose, meetings are currently being held in all districts of the city, which are attended by dozens of representatives of SMEs in Almaty, among which there are both beginners and experienced players. State support is provided both for investment purposes and for replenishment of working capital. Representatives of all SME support institutions, including Almaty Finance LLP, Almaty MFO, DAMU and others, take part in these regular meetings with the city’s business.

«During the quarantine, we helped more than 200 entrepreneurs in the city to receive tax exemptions introduced by the state to support SMEs during the period of the state of emergency due to the pandemic. In other words, our experts gave full explanations about who and on what conditions, as well as for what period, has the right to apply for tax exemption. In addition to this, we provided advice to businesses in obtaining deferrals for loan payments for the period of the state of emergency. Our employees visited banks together with entrepreneurs and helped them to submit relevant applications», – says Serik Mamytov.

«Our goal is to help entrepreneurs of the city as much as possible, in order not only to preserve, but also to improve their existing business. We help all representatives of SMEs, regardless of the industry in which they work. Many businessmen from industry, trade, services and others apply to us, since all of them have credit loans. In this case, government-sanctioned program, such as, for example, «Business Roadmap 2025», greatly helped businesses to refinance their loans. Thus, if earlier they paid at a rate of 16-17%, then we helped them reduce it to 6% within the framework of the refinancing mechanism. And this is quite a lot of support for business, – states Serik Mamytov. – In addition, when providing support to entrepreneurs within the investment programs, we also help businessmen to register the collateralized property and only after that we visit financial institutions together with them in order to obtain financing».

The active work of the Qoldaý Entrepreneurship Center has allowed Almaty to rise from 14th to 2nd place in the republican rating over the past six months under the «Economy of Simple Things» government-sanctioned program. As of today, 50 projects totaling 89.4 billion tenge have been approved and funded under this program in the southern capital. In addition to this, 13 projects worth 29.2 billion tenge are currently under consideration and provision of documents. This is production in various sectors of the economy, including clothing, food, drinks, pharmaceuticals, building materials, furniture, construction of schools, a medical center, processing in the agro-industrial complex, etc. Projects are developing in all districts of the city, resuming SME activity and creating new workplaces, as well as restoring economic activity in the city as a whole.

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