SINGAPORE (The Straits Times / Asia News Network): Small businesses may be hit hard by the pandemic, but they are strengthening their “defenses” with electronic payment methods and e-commerce solutions.
By mid-November, more than 13,000 merchants in the heart of the region had adopted electronic payment platforms, while more than 7,500 had adopted digital commerce solutions, since efforts were launched last year to help them keep pace with digitization.
The figures were shared by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, who was speaking at the seventh annual Heartland Enterprise Star Award ceremony, held at Chui Huay Lim Club Monday December 20.
As part of the Heartlands Go Digital program which was launched in October last year, solutions operated by these companies include the development of e-commerce platforms; using websites or social media to promote their offers and engage customers; and the diversification of their sources of income through online channels.
The program is led by the Heartland Digitization and Revitalization Committee, which Low co-chairs, and Enterprise Singapore.
âLabor flows and supply chains have been disrupted due to border closures and restrictions resulting from secure management measures. These changes have affected both large and small businesses, but small businesses in the center have been particularly affected, âshe noted.
Low added that it is encouraging to see the Federation of Traders Associations of Singapore (FMAS) and the Heartland Enterprise Center Singapore (HECS) take the lead in helping businesses of the heart innovate and adapt their business models. operation.
âThey have spearheaded efforts to encourage core merchants to adopt digital commerce solutions better suited to the ever-growing needs and demands of consumers, especially the younger generation,â she added.
Organized by FMAS, the awards ceremony rewards the achievements of companies of the heart, with 40 nominations vying for the honors.
âInitially, we were only hoping to receive around 30 participating traders, but we did not expect such an enthusiastic response,â said FMAS President Yeo Hiang Meng.
Prizes for promising companies were awarded in five categories, namely best visual merchandising; better customer service; most franchisable company; most innovative company; and better marketer.
Hall of Fame, Heritage and Lighting Company awards were also presented.
Among the winners is Chang Cheng Group, a 27-year-old company that operates more than 230 traditional mixed rice stalls and has embraced digital payment channels since 2017.
Through a 30,000 square foot central kitchen, she has developed a structured system to optimize work processes, replace obsolete ones and automate manual procedures, in order to improve supply chain operations.
Said Low: âDigitization and business transformation is a journey, and the government is committed to helping our core traders explore new ways to grow their businesses.
âFor companies that are not yet familiar with digital tools and other know-how, they can always turn to FMAS and HECS to understand what help they can receive. “