SMEs pleased with outcome of Sands Shopping Carnival

Hundreds of local SMEs participated in the first Sands Shopping Carnival held over the weekend in the hopes of showcasing their products and services to the local market.
These SMEs have been affected by the economic downturn caused by Covid-19, with some losing up to 90% of their regular business.
From Friday to Sunday, nearly 260 local SMEs, micro-suppliers, Macau young entrepreneurs, and Made-in-Macau companies participated in the carnival, offering products from floral, services, cultural and creative, old Macau stores, to food and beverages.
Organized by Sands China, the SMEs participating in the event included both Sands China suppliers and other suppliers. The organizer said some of the participating entities had never before joined a trade fair. After a two-week online registration period for interested exhibitors, the gaming operator drew lots to determine the final selection of exhibitors.
The MOP6.5 million project is fully supported by Sands China Ltd and directly aims to assist SMEs.
According to Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd, by providing a free business platform, the gaming operator may be able to help SMEs to find more business as activity in the city begins returning to normal.
“Sands China is very pleased to present the Sands Shopping Carnival this weekend to help stimulate domestic consumption and boost the economy in support of the [government’s] Consume for the Economy initiative,” said the executive.
“With this three-day shopping carnival, we aim to provide a free business platform for local SMEs and Sands retailers to gain more business opportunities,” he added.
With the aim of stimulating domestic consumption and boosting the local community, the carnival was hosted just as the government’s consumption subsidy card, more commonly known as the e-voucher, has commenced its second round.
One of the exhibitors launched a new product at the carnival, a machine that helps to disinfect people.
“It’s an important opportunity for us to be participating in this platform as this is the first time we’re putting the product to the public,” said Calvin Cheung, managing director of the Macao Sunrise Environmental Protection Engineering Ltd.
Each disinfectant machine retails for 46,000 patacas. According to Cheung, it is high time for the company launch the product, as it is needed by different enterprises, especially premises that host gatherings of people amid the social distancing measures put in place by different entities.
“Although Macau’s Covid-19 [situation] is quite stable, we believe that it is important for enterprises to be safe,” he added.
Another small company, flower store “Serene Garden”, said it saw participation in the three-day carnival as an opportunity to slowly regain their business. The company has seen a 90% reduction in its sales amid the pandemic period.
According to company representative, Luis Silva, their operating costs are now 300% of pre-pandemic times on account of more complex logistical arrangements.
“We mostly have imported products. Flights are canceled, so our costs are 300% more,” he said. “Our Holland products used to come from the country to Taiwan to Macau but due to the lack of flights, it’s been transited a few more times. The losses are even more because our products are live products,” he added.
Commenting on the event, Silva remarked, “this is really a good opportunity not just for us but for Macau also. It’s also a call to help [each other].”
Another local firm, Pure New Zealand Product Shop, is also grabbing the chance to promote their company at the carnival.
“We just want to [generate] promotion and raise awareness of our products.
We see this as a way to boost the economy. We’re thankful for this event,” said Becky Leong, owner of the store.
Local non-governmental organizations were also invited to participate in the carnival, providing a platform for their members who are handicapped to serve the public.
Both Pou Choi Center of the Fu Hong Rehabilitation Association of Macau and the Macau Association for the Mentally Handicapped brought their members to the carnival, including those currently being trained in their Food and Beverage (F&B) program.
According to Ago Kou, manager at the Pou Choi Center of the Fu Hong Rehabilitation Association of Macau, it is their first time providing F&B training sessions to their members. The association is grateful to the gaming operator for allowing them to join the platform and help their members to gain experience.
Echoing the same sentiments, Grace Lao, manager of the Macau Association for the Mentally Handicapped, remarked, “we have been doing training [sessions] and this platform is a place for residents to know that our members can also join the workforce later on.”
Currently, the association is training 16 members. Each member receives two years of training and will undergo evaluation once done.
“This is a new opportunity for us, so we appreciate this platform. It’s the first time we’ve joined the platform,” she added.
The Sands Shopping Carnival is organized by Sands China Ltd. and co-organized by the Macao Chamber of Commerce.

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