SM puts the spotlight on its thousands of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME)-partners through its campaign “Kasama ng SM,” a collective effort across the company to provide immediate and long-term solutions to help businesses bounce back better.
“The Covid-19 pandemic impacted businesses, especially our MSME partners and the livelihood of many people throughout our network of services,” said Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls. “Indeed, these extraordinary circumstances need practical solutions to ensure business continuity for everyone.”
SM Supermalls kicked off “Kasama ng SM” with Farmers Produce, which helps farmers sell directly to SM customers, local food producers and to the 180 restaurant members of RestoPH.
“Because of the pandemic, the livelihood of farmers has been affected,” explained Agriculture Secretary William Dar. “This will help farmers sell their produce to the consuming public and give shoppers the chance to buy fresh, nutritious items at a lower cost.”
Desiree Macaraeg, one of the farmer entrepreneurs said, “I’m very happy, several restaurant owners came by. SM Hypermarket also informed us to submit the requirements so we can sell some of our products in their groceries.” She is excited and grateful for the opportunity to bounce back.
Farmers Produce started its caravan last July 3 at SM Aura and will continue to go around SM Malls in Metro Manila until December 2020.
SM Supermalls also launched Wheels-On-The-Go and SM RIders Program, a program with the LGUs that taps job-seeking construction workers, repatricated Overseas Filipinos, tricycle and jeepney drivers as partner personal shoppers and delivery riders. Now throughout Luzon, about 1,000 riders have enlisted for Wheels-On-The-Go and as SM Riders.
Daniel Lavendia, a construction worker with 2 young children, rented a bicycle from a neighbor for P30 a day so he could join the SM Riders Program. When his story went viral, the communities he served donated a bike to him, which he now uses for his livelihood.
SM Supermalls also opened its doors to launch “BUYanihan,” a rallying campaign in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Association of the Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI) to encourage everyone to buy local,
“BUYanihan is very much aligned to SM’s mission to support and promote MSMEs,” Tan said. “SM traces its humble beginnings as a small shoe store and has grown in partnership with MSMEs for over 60 years now. As SM grew so did many of its MSME partners, providing jobs and livelihood to many Filipinos across the country.” To date, SM has over 89,000 direct MSME partners.
SM Supermalls also helps MSMEs bounce back after any disaster by helping build their resilience through its efforts as a lead convenor of ARISE Philippines (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies). SM also has a Resilience Center which serves as data storage and back-up facility for MSMEs and mall tenants.
From their years of partnership, SM and MSMEs once again stand together hand in hand to build back stronger and better.
“Lahat tayo – our MSMEs, our customers, our employees – “Kasama ng SM” in our journey to bounce back stronger and bigger,” Tan said. “We can all do our share. Let’s begin to build back together.”