Coca-Cola, DTI launch 'Sari-Sari store,' 'Carinderia' assistance program

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2020 10:35 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2020 12:30 PM

Coca-Cola, DTI launch 'Sari-Sari store,' 'Carinderia' assistance program 1
A sari-sari store in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Coca-Cola Philippines said Friday it partnered with the Trade Department and micro-finance institutions to help struggling sari-sari stores and carinderia (eatery) retailers recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

At least 42 percent of sari-sari stores and 75 percent of carinderias were shut from March to April, when the lockdown was implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19, said Coca-Cola Philippines citing a study.

Sari-sari stores and eateries are community-based retailers offering sachet sizes or small units of goods and ready-to-eat meals to consumers.

Some P157 million in funds will be distributed to over 15,000 retailers under the Rebuilding Sari-Sari Stores Through Access to Resources and Trade program, Coca-Cola said in a statement.

The package is composed of 60 percent goods and 40 percent cash, with up to 4 loan cycles with up to 0.5 percent service fee, it said. COVID-19 prevention kits such as storefront plastic cover, face mask, face shield and counter trays will be provided.

Beneficiaries such as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) especially Sari-Sari stores and eateries, could avail of P10,000 loan packages for "much-needed capital" to sustain operations during the pandemic, the beverage firm said.

"Coca-Cola recognizes the significant role that micro-retailers play in helping sustain the Philippine economy and our business. For the past decade, we have been supporting partner sari-sari store owners through a holistic economic empowerment program; and we are determined to continue investing in them in the long run," said Coca-Cola Philippines president and general manager Winn Everhart.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the program could help the recovery of thousands of community-based retailers.

Fund managers ASA and Alalay sa Kaunlaran Microfinance Social Development, Inc are also part of the initiative, Coca-Cola said.

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