The pandemic is either about the right time to start a business, or thinking about what your purchasing power can do to save the local economy from collapse when you buy local. Either you shop at your local farmers’ market or help small entrepreneurs solve the simplest yet most pressing social problems that come at the heels of any crisis.
Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) nationwide media campaign, “Buy Local, Go Lokal,” inspires supporting Philippine small and medium enterprises (MSME) by promoting the purchase and consumption of Philippine fresh produce, manufactured goods and local services.
“We want Philippine consumers to recognize their important role in economic revival and growth — that the simple act of buying local products has tremendous impact on the livelihood of many micro and small business entrepreneurs,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said. “Hopefully the campaign will instill in all Filipinos some degree of responsibility in reviving the economy.”
Buying from local entrepreneurs, whom you are familiar with, will not only give you more personalized service, help and support them to stay in business, but will also assure you of savings because these products are produced locally and do not need to be transported from distant places. Moreover, when you shop local, your money stays local. This means more revenues for local governments that will be used for the betterment of your localities.
“The lockdowns, intended as a preventive measure against COVID-19, resulted in a severe economic slowdown, with over 70 percent of stores still closed or only partially operational,” Lopez said.
“Stores sales have also been weak as consumer spending remain to be weak, since foot traffic in commercial places like the malls and commercial places continues to be below 30 percent.”
DTI also encourages traveling local to promote domestic tourism once the circumstances allow.
Supporting the Buy Local, Go Lokal campaign is the Filipino Hand series of Go Lokal!, a stamp which emphasizes and highlights local products designed and manufactured by Philippine MSME, and weans you away as much as possible from imported brands.
The DTI’s Go Lokal program, launched in 2017 to promote the world-class products made by Filipino MSME, became the perfect communication platform for these messages. Its partnership with Shopinas makes these Philippine products available online for ease of buying during this period.
“We believe that there is a strong need to revive consumer confidence and encourage local purchases,” Lopez said. “Apart from the various stimulus programs to save many businesses and jobs, we need to encourage consumers to buy local, shop, eat and travel local to patronize locally made products or services, thereby creating local jobs, as compared to buying imported goods, which means supporting foreign producers and workers.”