MAKATI — Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is calling all  fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, specifically those involved in food manufacturing, supply, or distribution, to be an accredited partner with SBCorp on its new financing program.

Called STAPLES or Sustaining Trade Access to Primary Food and Link to Enterprises, the loan product 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.

“We invite large food manufacturers to work together with SBCorp in implementing this new program and help foster the restart, strengthening, and growth of the MSMEs in the food supply chain,” said Ma. Luna E. Cacanando, President and CEO of SBCorp.

To be an accredited partner, FMCG food manufacturers must (a) be large enterprises; (b) have a nationwide network of at least 20 distributors and at least 100.0 thousand sari-sari stores digitized into their salesforce automation system; and (c) have at least PhP5.0 billion annual sales. The accredited partner will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with SBCorp to include the marketing of the program to their channels of distribution and the sharing of information relative to the MSMEs in their supply chain.

Through STAPLES, MSMEs that are linked to the supply, production, distribution and retailing of a large FMCG company in food manufacturing can replenish their working capital and fund other business needs.

“We envision for our MSMEs to be free from the burden of scurrying for affordable, easy to access loans for the sustenance of their livelihood. The STAPLES program will allow them to access much needed funds and keep the retail food businesses running through the help of our accredited FMCG partners,” the SBCorp President and CEO said.

STAPLES is expected to be launched this August.

SBCorp is the program implementer of the Bayanihan CARES (COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises), which makes PhP8.08 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 PhP4.98 billion.