MSMEs log P7 million sales from virtual trade fair

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) generated over P7 million in sales from the first virtual national trade fair organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held earlier this year.

Data from the DTI showed 111 MSME exhibitors registered P7.7 million sales from the trade fair held through an online platform which drew 5,580 visitors.

The DTI organized the virtual national trade fair to help MSMEs showcase their products and services and to connect with old and potential buyers using digital tools.

As the pandemic has forced many to stay indoors and shop online, the DTI has been helping MSMEs pivot to selling products through various e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee and UnionBank GlobalLinker.

The DTI has assisted 852 MSME sellers to get on board digital malls, as well as 496 MSMEs to various marketplaces.

As a result, a total of 3,716 MSME products have been uploaded on digital malls.

The DTI is providing support to MSMEs as they account for bulk of the country’s total registered businesses.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said earlier 10 percent of MSMEs remain closed as of June due to the pandemic, based on the agency’s latest survey covering 33,145 respondents.

He said 53.8 percent of MSMEs saw their sales decline in June.

Apart from helping MSMEs transition online, the DTI is also extending loans to the sector through the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program administered by the Small Business Corp.

Total approved loans under the CARES program reached P4.79 billion as of July 6.

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