Operation Frics, Episode #5 - Finish for Fries

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Latvian Television's Aizliegtais paņēmiens (Forbidden methods) show has unveiled the last episode about the reality of running a small business in Latvia. Monday's episode waltzed down memory lane in a retrospective look at the impact that the show has had on the business environment in Jurmala and in Latvia.

In the course of an investigative experiment journalists opened Frics, a french fries restaurant in the fashionable Jūrmala resort and chronicled how they fared by making numerous secret recordings.

They weren't trying to make some hard-earned cash, but rather wanted to understand, see and feel what's it like for a small business to face the bureaucracy and possible corruption behind the scenes in Latvia. 

In the studio

The Food and Veterinary Service (PVD), an inspector of which was caught selling permits for attending a hygiene course, will now be sending two inspectors on visits instead of one. This, they say, should decrease corruption risks. 

The Jūrmala City Council, as one of its employees was icily unresponsive against LTV's businesswoman, will teach employees communication skills and, starting next year, may record telephone calls so that particular situations might be evaluated.

The council will also make the construction requirements more widely available to the public, but the regulations, criticized by many entrepreneurs, are state-level so they cannot be changed by the city council.

As for state institutions, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency is planning to open up business support spots in twenty cities across Latvia where entrepreneurs could easily access all the information they need about setting up and running a business.

Jānis Endziņš, the head of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the chamber will try going through industry by industry and remove obstacles companies may encounter while working.

While Kristaps Soms, director of the Business Competitiveness Department at the Economics Ministry, said that even though much has been done - and it was attested by Operation Frics - to make starting a business much easier, there's much to do in order to simplify the everyday activities of a business.

He said that there is talk about possible tax cuts for low-income businesses that have defined at the very start that development and expanding isn't a priority for them. 

With that, LSM's recaps of the episodes have concluded. The episodes are available at the replay.lsm.lv website under 'Aizliegtais paņēmiens'. The replay.lsm.lv website hosts all content from the Public broadcasting of Latvia.

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