SM Group pushes for disaster-resilient MSMEs

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The SM Group is pushing for disaster-resilient micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to achieve a sustainable value chain and business continuity.

Hans Sy, SM Prime Holdings Inc. chairman of the executive committee and SM Investments Corp. adviser, said at the United Nations Global Compact – Global Reporting Initiative regional sustainability summit it is important to build resilient MSMEs.

“We understand the journey and challenges faced by small and medium enterprises. We want to help them not only by providing a strong market, but also by building their resilience to overcome their risks and maximize their opportunities,” he said at the sustainability summit Tuesday.

At present, SM works with nearly 25,000 small and medium enterprises, both directly and indirectly, representing 27 percent of total SMEs in the Philippines today.

These are SM’s mall tenants, traders and suppliers mainly in retail.

Sy is the first Filipino representative to the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

As part of the SM Group’s sustainability efforts to help MSMEs, Sy said SM Prime has built an SM Reliance Center in SM Clark, Pampanga to serve as the data storage and capacity building facilities for SME partners.

SM Prime has also provided free storage data to serve as the repository for documents essential to early recovery and business continuity. To date, there are over 1,500 SMEs which have availed of this service.

It also partnered with the National Resilience Council among other disaster risk reduction organizations to provide capacity building and technical assistance on the center’s operations.

Sy highlighted some of SM’s sustainability initiatives such as the additional elevation of the SM Mall of Asia complex as protection against storm surges and flooding; the use of stilts for SM City Marikina built after considering the 100-year-old flood cycle of the city; and 20 SM Malls built with rainwater catchments to help minimize flood water.

SM Prime manages malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers. It remains committed to being a catalyst for economic growth by delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities, thereby enriching the quality of life for millions of people.

The SM Group has investments in mall operations, banking, residential and hotels among others.

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