WITH the latest launching of two Negosyo Centers in the province of Cebu, the Department of Trade and Industry is optimistic that more entrepreneurs will take advantage of its services especially its Business Name Registration.

The newly opened centers are located in the towns of Santa Fe and San Remigio, which were inaugurated on May 19, and 20, respectively. Aside from serving entrepreneurs in the respective towns, the centers will also cater to those across Northern Cebu. Local executives from these municipalities expressed their support for the establishment of Negosyo Centers.

“One way of alleviating poverty is to create businesses. More businesses means more jobs. However, some people have the plan yet don’t know how to start a business.

That is why DTI established a Negosyo Center here (San Remigio) to educate and address business related needs and issues,” Mayor Mariano Martinez said during his welcome remarks.

DTI Central Visayas Director Asteria Caberte said that Negosyo Centers “will connect the dots”. DTI might not have all the answers, but it will find solutions to address any business-related concerns, she said. The Negosyo Center will uphold DTI’s mission of “enabling business environment and reducing cost of doing business to facilitate trade and investments”.

Highlighted during the launching was the business name registration, one of the principal front-line services of the DTI. It aims to maintain a nationwide registry of business names mainly on sole proprietorship.

“Existing and would-be entrepreneurs from the northern part of Cebu like in Bogo, San Remigio, and even in Santa Fe don’t need to visit DTI Cebu Main Office just to register or renew their businesses. They can do it through the Negosyo Center located in their municipalites,” DTI Business Development Division Chief Elias Tecson said.

He added that the Business Name Registration System (BNRS) at the centers is fully functional and more practical and the agency has been taking various measures to further improve the ease of doing business in the province.

“Once they register at the Negosyo Center, they can now get their registration in just 15 mins or less,” Tecson added.

So far, 71 business names have been registered under the Negosyo Center City of Bogo since its formal operation earlier this year. However, DTI Cebu is positive that the numbers will increase, as many entrepreneurs are expected to avail and take advantage of this service.

“I don’t need to travel long hours, pay fares and spend for food. I have more time for my business and will be able to save more. Thanks to Negosyo Center of DTI, it offers better and more practical services to businessmen,” Ester Saludar-Cajes, a 39-year-old micro entrepreneur from San Remigio said during an interview with DTI staff.

Apart from providing timely BN approvals, including those for barangay micro-business enterprises (BMBE), the Negosyo Center also helps entrepreneurs with other concerns like business advisory and counselling related to access to finance, market access, promotion, and business information and advocacy.

Continuing the efforts, DTI Cebu is planning to establish seven more Negosyo Centers this year--one in each of the towns of Dalaguete, Daanbantayan, and Tuburan, and in the cities of Carcar, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Talisay, and at the University of the Philippines - Cebu.

According to DTI Cebu Director Maria Elena Arbon, on top of the Negosyo Centers, DTI plans to build an Innovation Hub at the UP Cebu. The Innovation Hub includes a digital fabrication laboratory (FabLab) and co-working space (CWS).

She added that FabLab is set up to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technology.

CWS, on the other hand, is an open space that the public can rent for a flexible period. Amenities in this common area include office fixtures, Internet connection, refreshments and other common office services. This can cater to business professionals, freelancers, associations, artists, researchers, telecommuters, existing MSME employees, and even students. (PR)