It has been almost two years since the pandemic brought many livelihoods to a screeching halt. According to a 2020 Asian Development Bank study of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs, 70.6% were forced to temporarily close, with 66.2% reported to have temporary staff cuts during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bucking these statistics and the odds created by the changes in the landscape, the enterprising Filipino found many opportunities in online businesses, with the Department of Trade and Industry recording over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations at the end of 2020.
By taking advantage of the online space, MSME owners have become unsung heroes of the economy, all the while providing for their families and making their business dreams a reality.
In line with this, SM Supermalls understands the potential of each Filipino to be successful business owners because of its Chinoy founder, the late Mr. Henry Sy’s own inspiring story.
Henry, fondly called “Tatang” in SM, started as a small business owner with his first footwear shop ‘ShoeMart.’ It is said that because of this, it is in SM’s DNA to enable and inspire small businesses like the one it once was.
Last Oct. 15, not coincidentally Tatang’s birthday, SM launched The SM StartUp Package, which aims to provide small online businesses the valuable support they need so they can set up their shop in an SM mall. This is available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have a shop inside SM or any other physical store in general.
The package offers features such as start-up friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; marketing assistance to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls; financial assistance with BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.
“We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year. Very much true to the spirit of Henry Sy, who always said he worked harder during bad times, many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products—even from their own homes. So we want to give them a chance to grow their businesses and brands further and enable them to start their SM shops so that they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder once did,” said SM Supermalls President Steven Tan.
The StartUp Markets, as they will be called, will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.
The late founder ‘Tatang’ is also proof of an entrepreneur’s resilience and hard work. After arriving in the Philippines at just 12 years old from China, he helped sell products in his father’s retail store. Then, when he saved enough money, he was able to open his first business in 1958: a footwear shop called ShoeMart, which would later become the foundation for today’s 77 SM Supermalls.
Are you a small business owner? Then the SM StartUp package might be your calling! Follow CHiNOYTV on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for more content like this article.