Rivne, city of refuge for companies fleeing the war

Rivne (Ukraine)

From our special correspondent

Alexandre Niesterov created the Finca coffee brand in Ukraine eight years ago. He had two roasting workshops, one in kyiv, the other in Gostomel, near the capital. It employed 50 employees. In the early days of the war, Gostomel’s workshop was destroyed. So, with his partner, originally from Rivne, they decided to move part of the production from kyiv to this city in western Ukraine, largely spared by the war.

“It was quite complicated because kyiv was almost surrounded. The truck could not approach. We had to go through small roads and drive back and forth to get the coffee beans which we then put in the truck,” testifies Alexander Niesterov. Then, with the help of the regional authorities, he was able to bring ten of his employees to Rivne, house them there and find premises to resume production.

The Rivne region, in fact, is doing everything to welcome businesses located in areas affected by the war, and to help them restart. “This is part of our support for the country as Ukraine fights for its survival. Since the outbreak of hostilities, we have welcomed 21 small businesses. We are currently talking with about 100 others,” explains Sergei Guimberg, in charge of economic issues with the governor of the region, Vitaly Koval.

A town of 230,000 inhabitants in northwestern Ukraine, Rivne has suffered some bombardments, but is still relatively safe. The Rivne region belongs to this part of Ukraine left aside by the Soviet regime, but which is experiencing a revival today, due to its proximity to Poland. “To facilitate the reception, newly installed business leaders have a meeting every Thursday with the governor of the region. We are trying to solve the administrative problems,” says Sergei Guimberg.

Recently, with state support, regional authorities have even been able to offer guaranteed loans to finance the relocation of businesses to Rivne. The first to benefit is Taras Parandii, 34, a canned meat producer, who moved part of his production here, also based in kyiv.

“It’s an interest-free loan for a period of three years. The region also helped me by placing the first orders, intended for humanitarian aid, and by offering me premises”, says the entrepreneur. And he specifies: “For us, maintaining our activity, paying salaries and taxes, is vital. It’s also a way to help win the war. »


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