THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 continues to strengthen its “Go Lokal, Buy Lokal!” initiative to help struggling local businesses recover from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.
Jojisilia Villamor, DTI 7 information officer, told SunStar Cebu, the agency has been hands on in capacitating micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to tap existing business tools so they could reach their markets despite the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have highlighted local products in trade fairs such as Pasinaya, One Town One Product Expo National Trade Fair and Gawang Pinay,” she said.
Villamor said they will continue to promote local products in the National Trade Fairs (NTF) slated in November and December 2020. The NTFs are a prelude to a bigger trade fair called a digi-mall where there are more local MSME participants.
For the Yuletide months, Villamor said they are also working on mounting a DTI Christmas special activity starting in November called “Pasa-love.”
“This is to encourage consumers to buy local products as Christmas gifts. These are short videos of known local video-bloggers promoting local products this holiday season,” she said.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, Provincial Board member Glenn Soco’s appeal for the public to support and patronize Cebuano products, resources and businesses was unanimously approved by the Provincial Board.
“A sincere appeal is made to all Cebuanos to rethink their consumption and purchase behavior, and consider to patronize Cebu-made and produced products, resources, and Cebu-based businesses, instead of (patronizing) name brands which they are used to. Instead of going to one’s old and reliable brand and store, why not try what the nearest neighbor can offer?” Soco said.
According to The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think tank based in London, local purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive. In a separate Retail Merchants Association’s study, it was found out that for every US$1 spent at a local market, $0.45 is reinvested locally, while only $0.15 stays when one buys from chain stores. In more recent multiple studies by The Institute of Self-Reliance, it is said that for every $1 spent on a locally owned business,
50 cents is reinvested into the local economy through wages, goods and services.
“Even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, buying local products and resources offers more benefits than patronizing national or international brands. Even so, such perception is illusive to the buying public and their contribution is almost always downplayed. Now, more than ever, thriving local businesses need the support and aid of the public, and conversely, the economy needs the local businesses to stay alive,” the resolution reads. “Buying, supporting and patronizing local products, resources and goods strengthen communities. Local purchases keep the wealth in the neighborhoods and increase prosperity in the community.”
Soco said while efforts have been made to help MSMEs recover from the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, programs like Sugbo Negosyo need the full support of the public to take off and become sustainable. Sugbo Negosyo is a micro-enterprise program which aims to promote sustainable upliftment and growth through a grant of available business opportunities to MSMEs and an avenue to reboot their business operations.
Inclusive economic growth
Cebu is known for its quality-made footwear and woodcrafts, export-quality food and delicacies, world-renowned and celebrated talents, home-grown skills, and even cutting-edge service and customer experience.
“Cebuanos must keep their money where their heart is. Money earned in Cebu must be spent in Cebu. Patronizing what the province has to offer gives value of keeping a steady flow of money coming from within. It creates a positive civic impact and an undeniable sense of community,” Soco stressed.
He also asked the local government units to encourage their constituents to help promote and purchase Cebu-based products to help the province attain inclusive economic growth amid this coronavirus pandemic. (JOB, KOC)