Gov’t promotes ‘Characteristic Stores’ as small businesses struggle

The Macau government promoted the “Macau Characteristic Stores” scheme last Friday, with an additional aim this year to support the city’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“The Macau government has successfully rolled out a series of economic revitalization schemes targeting SMEs, and we will continue to help SMEs to gradually ride out the storm,” said Tai Kin Ip, Director of the Macao Economic Bureau.
A total of 41 enterprises, including 24 from the catering industry and 17 from retail, have been certified during the first phase of the scheme. Currently, most of them are located near Rua de Cinco de Outubro.
About 90% of all Macau businesses are small or micro enterprises. Many of them have experienced a significant loss of business since the Covid-19 pandemic, with some suspending their activities.
“There has been almost no business [during the pandemic], we only rely on frequent visitors,” said a retailer surnamed Sam, who represented the Si Heung Nuts & Confectionery brand. This store is one of the participants of the “Macau Characteristic Stores” scheme.
“It is almost impossible for us [small enterprises] to advertise our products. Usually, it is the government that helps us do promotions,” Sam said. By participating in this scheme, Sam hopes to attract more attention and more people to visit his store.
A participant surnamed Lei, a representative of Takaya Japonês, expressed a similar opinion, saying, “I hope there will be more enterprises participating in the program and forming a connection between other characteristic stores.”
The Macau government has rolled out a two-stage consumer subsidy plan to help boost spending and support small businesses. In the first phase of the plan, each registered Macau resident received a MOP3,000 voucher to be spent on or before July 31.
According to a mid-term report on the scheme, around 63% of spending went to SMEs. Staff reporter

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