On 22 November, Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) and Small Business Corporation (SBC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement as partners in implementing the Sustaining Trade and Access to Primary Food and Link to Enterprises (STAPLES) program.
Under the STAPLES program, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under Alaska Milk food supply chain can have access to collateral and interest-free loans from SBCorp. to increase their working capital and to help make small businesses more robust especially in the face of the pandemic.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Regional Operations (ROG) and Acting Chairman for SBCorp, Ms. Blesila Lantayona attended the ceremonial signing virtually and shared her appreciation to AMC. “The Department of Trade and Industry would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Alaska Milk Corporation for opening its doors to SBCorporation’s project, STAPLES. This partnership could not have come in a better time and we are very positive that it will impact all the players in the food supply chain who have seen the worst during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Usec. Lantayona shared in her opening speech.
STAPLES aims to keep food suppliers afloat, and maintain food sufficiency and affordability in the country. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the food supply chain will also be able to retain or rehire their employees, and serve their communities when they are able to continue operating their businesses.
Mr. Tarang Gupta, AMC’s Managing Director also expressed his gratefulness as this will help food suppliers to be financially stable and MSMEs in the food supply chain will also be able to retain or rehire their employees, and serve their communities when they are able to continue operating their businesses. “We do know the micro, small or medium enterprises even large enterprises are facing challenges and specifically the biggest challenge is cash flow. In a pandemic like this, cash flow becomes paramount to drive the growth.” Mr. Gupta said.
“Alaska stands for nourishing so that we can help in nation-building. How can we do our small little part by nourishing the Filipinos and Filipino dream so that we can help in building a nation.” he added.
To partner with SBC, food manufacturers must be a large enterprises with nationwide network of at least 20 distributors and at least 100,000 sari-sari stores digitized into their salesforce automation system, and have at least P5 billion annual sales.
SBCorp is the program implementer of the Bayanihan CARES (COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises), which makes P8.08 billion available for MSMEs, tourism businesses, cooperatives, hospitals, and repatriated or displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by COVID-19 pandemic. To date, SBCorp has approved 32,600 loan applications. These correspond to a total loan amount of P4.98 billion.