Helping small businesses during the pandemic
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno

Helping small businesses during the pandemic

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - December 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Many businesses have resumed operations but many are left vulnerable due to this pandemic’s impacts. Because of this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Citi Philippines, and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. have modified its annual Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) to respond to community needs resulting from this COVID-19 crisis.

Through a virtual launch held via Zoom, BSP governor Benjamin Diokno and Citi Philippines chief executive officer Aftab Ahmed revealed that the 18th CMA will have two components: the COVID-19 rehabilitation support package and the recognition of outstanding microentrepreneurs amid the crisis.

Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed

The first component focused on responding to the rehabilitation needs of previous CMA winners, with each getting a cash incentive of up to P50,000 each. Among the recipients of the COVID-19 rehabilitation support package are 2017 Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year Keith Gonzales Varias and 2018 CMA Regional Awardee for Visayas Rosario Amoroto.

The second component will highlight the important role of microentrepreneurs in rebuilding local economies. Three winners from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as well as two other awardees — the Youth Entrepreneurship award and the COVID-19 response champion — will be recognized.

Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. chairperson Eduardo Jimenez

All five awardees should have successfully rebuilt their enterprise to a level that is now contributing to local economies. The COVID-19 response champion should have supported, innovated, or led pandemic response initiatives to help others. From the five winners, a National Winner will be selected who will be receiving an additional P 100,000.

Through these efforts, the CMA will ultimately highlight role models for aspiring and hardworking entrepreneurs and generate greater awareness and appreciation of microfinance and microenterprise development as a tool for employment generation and poverty reduction.

2017 Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year Keith Varias
2018 CMA Regional Awardee for Visayas Rosario Amoroto

A gin for the roaring '20s

Anew gin inspired by the dancehall days of 1920s Manila and the legendary Santa Ana Cabaret was just launched.  Santa Ana gin is made by The Bleeding Heart Rum Company, makers of the world-famous Philippine rum, Don Papa.

The gin is distilled in the Charente region of France to extract four Philippine botanicals, namely ylang-ylang, alpinia, calamansi, and dalandan. Santa Ana’s combination of floral top notes and a tropical citrus palate complements the traditional botanicals (juniper, bitter orange, angelica and orris roots, and fennel) used in the gin.  The gin is now one of my favorites after having tasted it!

Santa Ana Gin

The legendary Santa Ana Cabaret was opened by US soldier John Canson to become the “largest cabaret in the world with the best dance music in the Orient.”  Santa Ana’s guests danced to the music of Vic Hernandez with a range of styles, from the Charleston to the tango and waltzes, blues and jazz.

Santa Ana Gin is presented in a beautiful Art Deco-inspired bottle, a love letter to 1920s Manila, and is now available online through Boozy.ph and retail through Bacchus and Elbert’s Delivers, and will soon be available through Ralph’s.

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Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.

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