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Thriving in the new normal… Valenzuela Supports Local SMMEs in the Digital Marketplace
Photo by: Kevin Gatchalian
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Big or small, the City Government of Valenzuela never forgets its local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in shifting into the new normal of online selling – as digital marketplaces become a norm in the post-COVID-19 world.

Signing the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the administrators of Valenzuela Online Palengke and Valenzuela Online Tiangge today, Valenzuela City is seeing a bright future for its local SMMEs and online sellers as the local government prepares for boosting, promoting and advertising their products and services in the biggest social media platform today.

This is another first for Valenzuela City as the only LGU to initiate a public-private partnership with a Facebook Page/Group curator specifically to support online SMMEs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has nearly paralyzed economic activities with SMMEs being greatly affected in the business arena. With nearly 19,000 local SMMEs in Valenzuela City, some small businesses have resorted to online selling through Facebook to be able to survive while physical store operations and transportation are restricted.

Ms. Donna Aguirre, the administrator of the Facebook Group and Page -- Valenzuela Online Palengke, created the group to curate online sellers in Valenzuela City two (2) weeks after the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila last March. Initially created for personal online browsing and purchasing of necessities without the need to go out, the said Facebook group now has a huge following and has since been considered as the go-to online store for Valenzuelanos.

Valenzuela Online Palengke now has more than 25,000 members and counting, and a counterpart for non-food items was created named as Valenzuela Online Tiangge right after.

“I am very grateful because the group is supported by the City Government of Valenzuela. I am also very thankful for this project because it will help our online sellers who have been displaced by this pandemic. At least nakikita natin ‘yung [we can see the] support [by the City Government] for small businesses… Hindi lang ung malalaking businesses ‘yung sinu-support, pati yung mga maliliit na businesses din [Not only are the huge businesses supported, but small businesses are not left out as well],” Ms. Aguirre gladly shared.

The City Government of Valenzuela shall boost the Facebook posts of the local SMMEs and online sellers so that it will have a wider range of audience aside from people who are following the page – even outside Valenzuela City.

Valenzuela City residents are only allowed to post their goods, products, and services on the Facebook group/page. Moreover, a Market Place Directory will also be maintained for buyers to check the legitimacy of the sellers on the platform.

This endeavor also goes with the national government’s initiative to provide assistance to affected businesses and communities during the pandemic by expressing its support through the grant of financial assistance by the means of social media advertisements and as passed by the City Council in its Resolution No. 1802, Series of 2020, last September 14.  

“We tapped into existing capacities out there, through this partnership, we want to make sure that there is space for SMMEs to be able to sell and get their products out there. The local government unit will be in charge of advertising, boosting and placing banner ads for these existing Facebook pages,” Mayor REX Gatchalian said.

“We all know that the new normal is actually the normal… and the normal dictates that everybody sells online,” Mayor REX concluded.

2020-10-01 | By: Angelica R. Porciuncula / Public Information Office

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