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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government Gives Up to 2,000 Microloans

The government has doled out between 1,500 and 2,000 microloans as part of a program aimed at supporting small and midsize entrepreneurs, said Andrei Sharov, director of the Economic Development Ministry’s department to oversee the sector.

The state will grant loans of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,500) to be used as startup capital, he told Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an interview published Thursday. In the future, businessmen may get loans of up to 500,000 rubles, he said, adding that the state plans to issue a total of 15,000 to 17,000 microloans.

Among the most popular measures available now, Sharov said, is a state program to help businesses pay the interest on their bank loans.

In May, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said entrepreneurs would get up to 80 billion rubles of support in 2009.

Sharov also said the ministry would introduce legislation this fall that would provide for stricter penalties for officials violating the rights of small businesses.

The initiative will be good news for businessmen, who will receive only warnings for a larger number of infringements instead of fines.

The legislation also sees small and midsize businesses being granted as much as 20 percent of government contracts offered at auction, Sharov said.