Business
SPAR to open 24 more stores in Latvia
The international retail chain SPAR is expanding its operations in Latvia and will open 24 more outlets in the coming months, it announced January 24. 
Entrepreneurs ask that 'inflation bonuses' be untaxed in Latvia
Some of the big companies have started paying extras to their employees this month to compensate for high utility prices and inflation. The Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) calls on the government not to impose labor tax benefits so that employers can support a wider range of workers this month, Latvian Radio reported on January 23.
Rīga's capital companies upped their turnover 20% last year
Last year, Rīga's capital companies saw a turnover up nearly €120 million or 20% higher than the year before. Investments also rose by nearly 20%. Last year, Rīga capital companies contributed more than €6 million to the capital's budget. The benefits of this should also be felt by residents and city guests, Latvian Radio reported on January 20.
2023 event calendar for Latvian startups
With the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic hopefully receding ever-further into the rear view mirror, in-person gatherings are starting to resemble normality again. That includes the buzzing startup and business conference sector. With that in mind, Labs of Latvia has published this handy guide to what to expect in 2023.
Latvia develops polymer granule exports
Investing €2.8 million, the plastic packaging recycling plant Nordic Plast has opened an automated recycling line. It produces polymer granules for export. As a result, recycling capacity in Latvia could grow by 30%, Latvian Radio reported on January 20.
Applications open for TechChill 'Fifty Founders' pitching battle
Applications for the annual TechChill Fifty Founders Battle are now open, with early-stage startup winners set to win a community prize pot of a minimum of 10,000 EUR, no strings attached, and a chance for potential future investment of up to 150,000 EUR.
Hotels continue slow post-pandemic recovery
According to the data published by the Central Statistical Bureau January 16, in November 2022 the number of foreign and resident visitors to Latvia comprised 136.2 thousand, which is 2.1 times more than in November 2021.
Investment agency says it helped create more than 2,000 jobs last year
In 2022, a total of 40 investment projects were launched with the support of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), with a total planned investment volume of EUR 473 million. These investment projects are expected to create 2,308 new jobs according to a LIAA summary of its activities.
Business sentiment up slightly in December
Data from the business tendency surveys carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and published January 9 show that, compared to November, in December 2022 indicators in the manufacturing, retail trade and services sectors have improved, but in construction the business environment has worsened.
Revenue Service reminds: Santa Claus must pay taxes too
For all those who offer entertainment services dressed up as Santa Claus and other holiday-esque creatures, this year will be better after two pandemic winners. State Revenue Service (VID) reminded all holiday-spirit-makers that any economic activity must be registered, Zemgale Regional Television reported December 8.
Old Rīga turns into a ghost town, says restaurant association
Old Rīga looks half-empty and abandoned, with many street-level windows, with cafes, restaurants, and small souvenir shops closed. The Hotel and Restaurant Association says that the Old Town is slowly becoming a ghost town, since these businesses were hit by the pandemic the hardest, Latvian Radio reported December 6.
Pea protein plant planned in Jelgava
The decision on the construction of a pea-protein plant in Jelgava was taken at the end of 2021, but the plans were altered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and price increases. Currently, the company 'ASNS Ingredient' has bought land for factory construction in Jelgava, will continue its design work, and find a strategic partner in Germany, Latvian Radio reported on December 5.
Business mood improved in November in Latvia
Data of business tendency surveys published November 30 by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) shows that, compared to October, in November 2022 indicators in construction, retail trade and services sector have improved, but in manufacturing business environment continues to worsen.
Latvia hopes to develop semiconductor capability
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed at the 5G Techritory event in Rīga that is descibed by signatories as "a commitment among 12 partners to develop semiconductor manufacturing capabilities in Latvia, thus increasing EU independence from other global chip manufacturers."
Latvia's restaurants still not recovered after pandemic
In a couple of months, visitors to restaurants and cafes will notice that the market has become smaller. Many catering businesses failed to recover from the Covid pandemic, and the rapid rise in prices leaves them concerned about the future, Latvian Radio reported November 29.
New metalworking plant unveiled in Rīga
The woodworking company Kronus has opened a new metalworking plant in Riga. The project was implemented over a half-year period and the company plans to deliver the first orders to customers by the end of 2022, the company said November 23.
Businesses invited to explore new markets at Foreign Ministry
On November 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be hosting an event, “Market Access Day in Latvia 2022 – new markets, new opportunities”,  organized in association with the European Commission and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
Gambling companies find loopholes to save business: LTV's De Facto
In Rīga, a transitional period comes to a close, during which gambling companies had to close their halls at the historic center of Rīga. For a large part the authorization has already expired, some may still work for a few months. However, in four and five-star hotels, gambling may still be organized, and businesses are attempting to convert the gambling hall into a hotel, Latvian Television's broadcast De Facto reported on November 13.
Poland will likely light the way this winter
Ever wondered which EU country makes the most candles? Us neither. But with candle-lighting season very much imminent in Latvia (November 11 and 18 are both big wax and wick days), Eurostat is here to tell you anyway.
Latvia goes to arbitration over energy disagreement
A company registered in Switzerland, RSE Holding AG, has initiated an international arbitration proceeding against Latvia claiming that certain changes effected to the regulatory framework applicable to electricity produced in high-efficiency cogeneration are in breach of European rules.
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