• The Great Cebu Sale 2020 aims to boost economic activities

    One of the ways that businesses can thrive in current times is to hasten the transition to digital and The Great Cebu Sale 2020 can provide the impetus for companies to make their products and services available in various channels, said Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) Cebu Chapter President Chester Lim.

    The PRA Cebu Chapter, which is the lead organizer of the industry-wide, virtual sale event from September 15 to October 31, can assist enterprises reach out to more consumers through the sale activity and take advantage of digital tools and channels for doing business.

    He added during the The Great Cebu Sale 2020 virtual launch and press conference on Monday, August 31, that among its objectives is to bring back consumer confidence to spur business activities. PRA Cebu is organizing the event in collaboration with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRACI), Cebu Business Club, Cebu Alliance of Tour Operation Specialists, Inc. (CATOS), Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CFCCC), Hardwares Consolidated, Inc. (HCI), and Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers (MEPZCEM).

    Sale participants

    About 170 brands have signed up to join, according to The Great Cebu Sale 2020 Chair Camille Villareal-Aldeguer. Consumers can expect up to 50 percent discounts from partner merchants, which include SM Supermalls and Ayala Malls, top hotels and restaurants, electronics and gadgets stores, lifestyle and wellness establishments, and hardware and furniture shops, among many others.

    She added that The Great Cebu Sale 2020 will serve to promote new ways of doing business as well as stimulate consumer spending. One way of helping companies will be to encourage people to “support local, buy local.”

    PRA Cebu Co-Chair Raki Urbina said business institutions collaborated to find ways by which they can support one another. The Great Cebu Sale 2020 is a result of such collaboration.

    Carlo Suarez, HRRAC President, said this is the first time in Cebu for such wide cooperation among business groups and sectors, adding that their group is looking forward to the event and will be offering from 30 to 50 percent off on regular rates.

    Tourism, one of the most severely impacted sectors by the pandemic, will make use of The Great Cebu Sale 2020 to drum up interest in travel activities, said Alice Queblatin, CATOS President. The island of Cebu is big enough to support domestic tourism but a lot has to be done to encourage people to travel again. She added that her group will likely offer tour vouchers with long validity since these are still uncertain times.

    Better normal for business

    As economic activities start to pick up in Cebu, Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Aster Caberte said among her agency’s roles is to enforce the stringent guidelines required in workplaces and establishments together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). She stressed that this is to prepare businesses for the “better normal,” adding that the virtual sale is a step in the right direction.

    Representatives of business groups present during the virtual launch and MOA signing said they fully support the PRA Cebu initiative. Steven Yu, MCCI President, stressed it was also time to give businesses the confidence to reopen and encourage them to go all-out in embracing digital technology. Revving up consumer spending is also equally important in reversing the economic slowdown, he pointed out.

    The future of business shouldn’t be left to chance and it is within the ability of the business community to create opportunity out of difficulty, added Cebu Business Club President Dondi Joseph.

    Robert Go, PRA Cebu Past President, said he is confident that the business community is on its way to recovery. According to him, as people learn to live with the virus and companies increase operations, Cebu could very well be on positive growth by the last quarter of 2020.
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