Costa Rica vows to boost small businesses

July 16, 2010

 

In two separate announcements over the past five days, President Laura Chinchilla and Vice President Luis Liberman each put forth plans to improve the prospects for Costa Rica’s small and mid-sized businesses. In order to accomplish this, Chinchilla and Liberman said the administration will work with banks to offer small companies easier access to credit, simplify the bureaucratic processes used in regulation and lessen government control to provide more autonomy.
 
Overseeing these improvements will by the Economy Ministry (MEIC), which in early June announced the creation of the National Strategy for Better Regulation and Simplification of Bureaucratic Processes, designed  to reduce the stumbling blocks created by trámites, the bureaucratic processes used to obtain licenses, permits and documents (TT, June 4). According to Liberman, the simplification of processes “is necessary to reduce unnecessary stresses for business owners.”
 
In addition to the reducing of trámites, the administration said that it is in discussions with Banco Nacional and Banco Popular to modify the existing laws to allow banks to offer more funding for small companies.  
 
“Micro, small and medium-sized businesses are large providers of employment in our country and are a necessary motor for social and economic integration,” Liberman said. “I am sure that the more we work with them, the more that will translate into prosperity.” 
 
In response to this announcement, Fundecooperación, a cooperative that offers funding to environmentally sustainable companies, announced plans to provide financial support for small businesses that demonstrate sustainable development, as well as assist them in marketing their products.
 
“We will support and promote sustainable projects of companies with a vision,” said Marianella Feoli, general manager of Fundecooperación.
 
Fundecooperación backs more than 50 small and mid-sized businesses, including agricultural companies, artisans, sustainable tourism operators and clean technology producers.

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