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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Metro Retail Stores supports local entrepreneurs beyond pandemic, launches Bayanihang Metro Caravan

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Metro Retail Stores did not leave anyone behind during the time of the pandemic. As we now deal with the endemic COVID-19 virus, the company continues its mission and commitment to face the evolving role of businesses in their communities.

As a staunch advocate for local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) distinguishes itself by its unique value proposition and its advocacy program of Bayanihang Metro Caravan, it is not just a testament to its dedication to forging lasting partnerships that create tangible benefits for local businesses and communities, it also gives them a fulfilment of making their mission as part of their business and not just a side show.

The Bayanihang Metro Caravan, in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), offers a platform for local MSMEs to showcase their products and talents. Launched in April 2023 at the Super Metro Lapu-Lapu store, the program coincided with the Kadaugan sa Mactan festivities in Cebu.

Throughout its journey, the Bayanihang Metro Caravan also coincided with the vibrant celebrations of Mantawi Festival, Pasayahan sa Lucena, Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival, Pasig City Day, Ibalong Festival, Karansa Festival, Peñafrancia Fiesta, MassKara Festival, Binaybayon Festival, and Sinulog Festival. 

According to the sellers that participated in the program, for small enterprises with limited resources, this opportunity offers more visibility and a lifeline for both entrepreneurs and the farmers who supply these businesses. 

Madonna Elizaga, Chief Marketing Officer of LemonCito, a local brand of all-natural calamansi concentrate, stated that her acceptance of the invitation to join the campaign led to her company supplying seven Metro branches in Cebu.”  

LemonCito highlights all-natural calamansi concentrate at the Bayanihang Metro Caravan, contributing to local product diversity.

“The free space provided by the Bayanihan Metro Caravan to a small business like us is what we all need,” she said. “Since we have very limited resources, this kind of opportunity to promote our products for a considerable time indeed gives us great exposure with less expense on our part. And that is a huge help.”

Another participant, represented by Rommel Forbes, owner of Em-Ar Handicraft, specializes in woven goods crafted by local artisans. “Discovering the Bayanihang Metro Caravan program on Facebook presented a great opportunity for my business. The chance to showcase and promote my business to a wider audience was a strong motivator. Furthermore, the program offered valuable resources and support for business growth, including marketing and mentorship,” Forbes said.

Em-Ar Handicrafts presents locally woven goods at the Bayanihang Metro Caravan, showcasing artisanal craftsmanship.

The Bayanihang Metro Caravan has left a lasting impact, transcending mere business transactions. It became a journey that encompassed various Metro store locations during significant local festivals, fostering community engagement, contributing to the sustainable growth of local economies, and raising Filipino pride in locally made products.

“By choosing local, you’re investing in your community and country. Supporting local businesses goes beyond making a purchase; it’s contributing to job creation, economic growth, and the preservation of culture and craftsmanship,” Forbes explained.

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