42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
Market reforms in Russia have led to considerable structural and institutional transformations in the agro-food sector related to intensive development of the small and middle businesses in the regional economy. The paper presents the regularities of evolution of the small and middle business undertakings and shows their role in the development of the competitive environment in the region as well as in the creation of new jobs and saturation of the food market. The authors research the macroeconomic and institutional conditions and factors that determine the specific features of development of small business in the food industry of a region and reveal its competitive advantages in a regional economic system. Furthermore, the paper presents the results of examination of the 'shadow' model of behavior of small and middle businesses in the transitional economy. The authors have worked out a concept of development of small and middle enterprises operating in the food industry of the regional agrofood systems which is based on the processes of formation of clusters of the interconnected sectors of the regional economy and on the new relations between large and small enterprises. The paper sets out the directions of improvement of the regional policies of development of small and middle businesses that include the improvement of the legal framework, the selection of priorities of development of small business, the drawing up of regional target programs and utilization of the local budget resources to provide financial and investment support to the small and middle enter-prises of the food industry. Additionally, the authors show the directions of development of the small business infrastructure. Proposed in the paper are also the directions of coordination of the financial, credit and tax regulation of small and middle enterprises of the regional food industries aimed at ensuring the added value growth and increase in efficiency.