Today, we are launching the “Declaration of the Small Business Bill of Rights”, which aims to inform entrepreneurs about their rights in relation to government institutions.
According to AIM President David Smith, such a statement is necessary because many companies in the Republic of Moldova either do not know how to defend their rights or are afraid to do so. “SMEs are the engine of the Republic of Moldova’s economy. Almost 98% of the total number of enterprises are SME’s and they are the most vulnerable in front of the state and its officials. That is why we hope that the Declaration of Small Business Bill of Rights will enable both the strengthening of entrepreneurs’ capacities and, on the other hand, a fundamental commitment for public authorities in relation to the sector that employs and secures income for almost 60% of the labour force in the country, ” said AIM President David Smith.
Although the rights in the Statement refer to very simple things, however, entrepreneurial practice shows that there are multiple shortcomings at this level too. In order to remove the constraints and inform entrepreneurs about their rights, AIM will organize an information campaign in the next period and urge entrepreneurs to sign the Declaration either electronically or physically, at the Alliance headquarters. Subsequently, the document will be submitted to the central authorities and discussed with them to ensure the support of those rights.
AIM Executive Director Liliana Busuioc urged the Government of the Republic of Moldova to promote reforms, modify or develop new laws and implement existing legislation to protect the rights from the Declaration. “If these rights are protected, we appeal to officials from different institutions at the national and local level to make every effort to ensure that these rights are respected and promoted in a spirit of fair competition and good governance,” said Liliana Busuioc.
The signatory companies of the Declaration will instead engage in the building of a prosperous, free and transparent economy in the Republic of Moldova, underlined Liliana Busuioc.
Small Business Bill of Rights
Recognizing that small businesses are the engine of any stable economy, and realizing that many companies in the Republic of Moldova neither know, nor feel safe defending their rights, we, the Alliance of Small Enterprises form Moldova, declare a “Small Business Bill of Rights” in order to clearly identify the rights of Small and Medium Enterprises with regards to their government. As such, we declare that all Small Businesses in the Republic of Moldova have a Right…
Title 1. Access to Information
Art. 1. To Clear and Transparent Authorizations and Control Processes, communicated with requirements, recommendations and best practices separately noted. These processes and authorizations should be presented as checklists at the time of inspection, control and available online publically.
Art 2. To receive information requested about rules and processes in a timely and useful manner.
Art 3. To correct, up to date, information, identically presented in Romanian and Russian, and in a clear, machine readable, electronic form when requested.
Art 4. To publicly released, precedent setting and universally binding rulings or clarifications by state authorities in response to a business request.
Title 2. Taxes
Art 1. To pay taxes in accordance with the Moldovan legislation, and benefit from quality services, delivered by friendly and professional Public Servants.
Art 2. To a tax regime and process that stimulates growth and fair competition.
Title 3. Regulation
Art 1. To a regulatory framework that will protect the small business from corruption, and unloyal competition, while ensuring a universal application of regulation, and preventing preferential treatment.
Art 2. To freedom from dual permitting, overlapping controls, and other conflicts resulting from multiple agencies developing independent processes to controlling identical or materially similar processes.
Title 4. Recourse
Art 1. To complain, anonymously or publically, about the conduct of any Public Servant, controlling body, or other element of national or local government.
Art 2. To appeal for a control or authorization to be reviewed or re-inspected by a new official in a timely manner, and according to clear and transparent criteria.
Art 3. To contest a violation or penalty via a hearing, or clearly identified mechanism, in a timely manner.
Art 4. To financial compensation in the case that an appeal is upheld and an official deemed to be incompetent or corrupt.
Title 5. Fair and Professional Treatment
Art 1. To courteous and professional treatment from all Representatives of the State and to inspectors who are polite, competent, helpful, professionally dressed, and properly identified.
Art 2. To controls that are as unobtrusive as possible while still allowing them to be completed, and to knowledgeable inspectors who enforce rules uniformly without unfair favor, scrutiny or punishment.
Title 6: Borrowers and Debtors Bill of Rights
Art 1. To a Borrower’s and Debtor’s Bill of Rights drafted and implemented to protect businesses from predatory lending practices by banks and private lending institutions.
Title 7: Associations
Art 1. To associate, with other small business owners, around issues of common interest and collectively engage the authorities for their resolution, take action and otherwise advocate.
Title 8: Business Advocate
Art 1. To protest against a violation of these rights to a central, competent authority whose responsibility it is to investigate and respond. This authority is to function as a “business advocate” and must be empowered to investigate such complaints in any department referenced.
With this declaration we raise our voices in solidarity, as Business Owners, Associations, NGOs, Citizens and Friends of Moldova, to advocate for these rights.
We declare our desire for the Government to reform, modify or create laws to support each element of this Bill of Rights.
Further, where these rights are already enacted, we call on all Public Servants, national and local, to do their utmost to respect and promote these rights and the spirit of fair competition and good governance they represent. .
So declared, and having committed ourselves to the cause of seeing our rights and the rights of our fellows protected, we look forward to doing out part in ensuring an economic future for Moldova that is prosperous, fair and free.
Alliance of Small Enterprises form Moldova
Disclaimer: This activity and article is a part of the project funded by a grant from the United States Department of State – A Stronger Voice for Small Businesses. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.