THE country’s largest mall chain, SM City Malls, will open its first Go Lokal! store today at SM Makati in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“This launching is another milestone for DTI’s initiatives to provide greater market access for our micro entrepreneurs that are part of Go Lokal!” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
In March, the SM Group signed an agreement with DTI which allowed SM’s Kultura Filipino to operate and manage Go Lokal! It will display and sell world-class products sourced from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) all over the Philippines.
“Most of our small businesses are unable to pay high rental fees in consumer-frequented areas. Through Go Lokal! DTI with its partners aim to provide support services by providing free-spaces for their products for a certain period of time,” Lopez said.
DTI sees Go Lokal! as an opportunity for the country’s MSMEs to go mainstream and test the marketability of their products without incurring the high costs of operating a retail outlet.
SM Group, the largest mail operator in the country, vowed to help DTI achieve its goal of helping small businesses by partnering with the government. The DTI and SM Group partnership aims to ensure a strong and nationwide presence of Go Lokal! stores in prime locations.
At present, Go Lokal! stores operate in the Enchanted Kingdom’s Pugad souvenir shop and at Robinson’s Ermita. The DTI also signed partnership deal with Double Dragon’s CityMall.
The DTI said the store seeks to promote inclusive growth by driving MSME development, generating jobs and promoting meaningful livelihood. It provides market access to hundreds of MSME’s, as well as contributes to the upliftment of communities and other vulnerable sectors of society by apportioning part of store sales to community-based projects including drug rehabilitation.