Google Philippines recently introduced initiatives to support the country’s safe economic recovery by providing support for new as well as existing MSMEs.
In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, Google's MSME Caravan aims to train micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) how to grow their business efficiently through a wide array of digital tools such as Google My Business and Primer app, and access to experts. Though the program was planned to be in-person events when it was first announced earlier this year, it has since pivoted into a series of webinars to help small businesses acquire digital skills so they can continue serving their customers online. To date, the training program has reached more than 14,000 business owners for 2020 alone. The free workshop runs twice weekly until October 29 on Tuesdays at 11 am and Thursdays at 2 pm, and runs around 35-45 minutes. They were made specifically for small businesses in the Philippines, and even includes a special section on how to use Google tools to navigate the difficulties businesses are facing due to COVID-19 and social distancing. MSMEs interested to join the training can register through the campaign website: https://adsonair.withgoogle.com/events/msme-caravan.
As part of the MSME Caravan updates, Google Philippines produced a short video featuring successful MSMEs to inspire those who want to start their own businesses. The video features the owners of Dalareich Chocolate House from Bohol, White Beard Coffee from Siargao, and Kanami Supplies (woven face masks) from Quezon City who shared how they started and how the pandemic has challenged them to rise above difficulties.
The session entitled ‘MSME Caravan: Digitalizing & Supporting Local Businesses’ will be streamed live today, (October 22, 2020, Thursday) from 3 pm to 6 pm via Google Philippines’ YouTube channel and Facebook page. The webinar will feature the three businesses mentioned above and will be free and accessible to the public.
Google Philippines also announced that starting October 21, 2020, Filipino merchants can list their products on Google Shopping tab for free. For MSMEs, this change means free product exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, it means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings.
“Economic recovery is a critical moment for the Philippines and Google is committed to supporting the country through the best of our technology and programs like the MSME Caravan. We will continue to empower Filipinos and our partners with the right digital knowledge and tools so the benefits of technology can be harnessed for the safe rebuilding of our economy,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director of Google Philippines.
"Digitalization is one of the keys to help our MSMEs cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help small businesses reap the benefits of the growing digital economy, including reaching and engaging customers while prioritizing their well-being. We're glad our partnership with Google Philippines will enable us to conduct webinars and offer other resources to help small businesses digitalize at this important time,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.
In terms of supporting safe local tourism, Filipinos will soon be able to discover things to do and places to go in the Explore tab on Google Maps as recommended by the Department of Tourism. By following the Department of Tourism profile in Google Maps when this becomes available soon, people can get recommendations that range from restaurants and shopping malls to cultural attractions and other tourism activities across the country.
“The revival of local tourism plays a significant role in the recovery of our economy. The strategic use of technology will help us reopen our destinations while ensuring the health and safety of Filipinos. Thank you to Google Philippines! The DOT is excited with the possibilities ahead for Google Maps in helping our tourism establishments bounce back,” said Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of the Department of Tourism.