This Christmas season, our gifts take a meaningful turn when we not only make their recipients happy, but also support a worthwhile cause. What better way to do this than by gifting locally-made products by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs): whether sweet treats, artisanal goods, local apparel, home decorations, or other keepsakes. By doing this, we not only keep our heritage alive by promoting local craftsmanship and delicacies, we also help businesses bounce back.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, and SM Retail President Chito Manalo personally visited the MSME participants of the SM Christmas Markets at SM Megamall on Tuesday, November 17. During the short program, Sec. Lopez emphasized the importance of supporting local products to jumpstart the economy.
He also lauded The SM Group’s longstanding support for MSMEs through its partnerships and participation in government-led initiatives such as Go Lokal! and OTOP (One Town, One Product) hubs.
“We are thankful that SM partnered early on in Go Lokal!, establishing a market incubation concept where we can carry MSME products. SM also continues to work with us during this difficult time of the pandemic, giving waivers and rental adjustments to its partners. This really allowed MSMEs to bounce back,” Lopez said.
Community, marketplace, partner of MSMEs
SM Christmas Markets is just one of the avenues SM has been helping its MSME partners bounce back from the impact of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tan highlighted that since its humble beginnings, SM has always been a community, marketplace and partner of MSMEs.
Manalo meanwhile underscored the symbiotic relationship of SM and its MSME partners even in the face of challenges. While SM has served as a breeding ground for the growth of many MSMEs, he also acknowledged them as the backbone of SM’s business.
SM traces its roots from being a small shoe store in downtown Manila, so its affinity with MSMEs comes naturally. Some of its MSME partners started as homegrown businesses. As SM grew, a longstanding partnership has evolved beyond being a business transaction into an enabling community where MSMEs are nurtured in SM stores, malls, and other business ventures.