Buenos Aires agencies continue their fight to be recognised as SMEs

CAOLBA has reiterated its request for agencies of the City of Buenos Aires to be considered as small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
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The Chamber of Official Lottery Agencies of the City of Buenos Aires (CAOLBA) has reiterated its request for agencies of the City to be considered as small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), classified under the category of MIPymes, or micro-enterprises.

Diego D’Agostino, President of CAOLBA, has made different requests over the past year for the SMEs Secretary of the Ministry of Productive Development to recategorise the agencies, although they haven’t received an official answer.

D’Agostino questioned the National Productive Development portfolio of Minister Matías Kulfas, saying: “for not submitting an answer in eight months to the request that agencies throughout the country be re-categorized as MIPyMES.”

According to the President, back in August 2020, Kulfas representatives acknowledged in a Zoom call that the agencies wish to be considered “Independent Merchants,” adding: “It’s what we are, but Decree 340/2017 unfairly qualifies us as gambling operators.”

Despite receiving “good intention” messages from the authorities of the SMEs Secretariat, they were unable to receive an official answer. Thus, “this silence, which we interpret as laziness, generates more uncertainty,” said D’Agostino.

“They keep classifying like big casinos and bingos when we are mostly family SMEs. Despite several meetings to formally request the change, today we are [under the same category] that we were a year ago, and we feel abandoned by the Ministry since none of our claims was acknowledged.”

“This abandonment happens in a context of big restrictions that only aggravate our situation, which has already been critical, where the agencies are not generating profitability and we are denied the assistance that corresponds to us due to our size and condition of job generators,” he added.

In an exclusive interview with Lottery Daily back in July 2020, the President of the Chamber said: “We want to consider all possible actions in pursuit of this goal because we are wrongly categorised.

“It’s unfair, we’re not gambling operators. At AFIP (national taxing agency), we’re under a code that doesn’t represent us. Being in the SMEs category has a lot of benefits, not only credits, and we cannot access any of them.”