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New digital initiatives and SME Centre for Chinatown businesses

New digital initiatives were announced and an SME Centre launched today in the Chinatown district to help Small and Medium Enterprises grow their business by attracting more visitors, with dedicated efforts to target the younger and digitally-savvy crowd.

COVID-19 has impacted Singapore’s tourism businesses and precincts, following a significant drop in visitors in 2020 compared to previous years.

As the majority of businesses in Chinatown traditionally rely on walk-in customers, the Chinatown Digitalisation Committee, led by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and supported by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), and Chinatown Business Association (CBA), was set up in July 2020 to help businesses find new ways to increase revenue.

“Businesses in Chinatown have shown great resilience despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, adapting their business models and encouraging locals to rediscover their vibrant precinct. Through these new digital initiatives, we hope Chinatown businesses will continue to innovate and develop new offerings that appeal to local audiences and future visitors from around the world,” said Ms Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board

The Committee’s priorities include helping businesses adopt an online-to-offline strategy, building their digital presence to engage new customers, and using technology to optimise their physical stores.

Mr Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive, IMDA, said:“We are excited to launch new digital initiatives with our partners to enable Chinatown businesses to leverage digital capabilities and seize new opportunities. I encourage all businesses in Chinatown to capitalise on the support available to boost your business growth and deliver new experiences in Chinatown for your customers.”

Technology Partners – Chope and Qoo10 to develop digital initiatives to help Chinatown business

As a start, the Committee has appointed Chope and Qoo10 to develop digital initiatives that are focused on Chinatown as a precinct. They will educate businesses on the benefits of e-commerce and collaborate closely to win new customers, both online and offline. The two companies will provide dedicated support for digital marketing, outreach, onboarding and training, to interested businesses.

Chope will help feature and onboard businesses on ChopeDeals to help the food and beverage sector in Chinatown, curating a collection of the best F&B dining deals. These deals aim to increase awareness of the F&B businesses and attract local customers to visit Chinatown and dine at their physical establishments. For the hospitality sector, Chope will also be extending their Dine & Stay bundled staycation deals for Chinatown hotel businesses.

Qoo10 will also raise greater awareness of the precinct’s offerings and generate business opportunities for retail businesses by incentivising visitors to collect location-based vouchers on the Qoo10 platform that can be redeemed at selected Qoo10 stores in Chinatown.

New SME Centre@Chinatown to support businesses’ transformation efforts

Enterprise Singapore has collaborated with SCCCI to set up SME Centre@Chinatown at Chinatown Point to complement the Chinatown Digitalisation Initiatives and better support businesses in their transformation efforts,

Building on SCCCI’s past efforts in helping the business community, the SME Centre@Chinatown will not only assist businesses in digitalisation but also provide dedicated business advice in areas such as productivity, innovation and internationalisation.

Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, said: “Chinatown is home to many long-established businesses and familiar brands. However, these traditional and brick-and-mortar businesses will need to adapt and go digital to meet the ever-changing customers’ needs.”

“The new SME Centre@Chinatown is conveniently located and will enable businesses within the precinct to easily access business advisory, solutions and initiatives to spark their transformation journey and rejuvenate the precinct. I am confident that the experience SCCCI has built up over the years through running two other SME Centres and other enterprise development initiatives can be readily adapted to suit the needs of the businesses in this area.”

SME Centre@Chinatown is a satellite centre of SME Centre@SCCCI and is a joint collaboration between SCCCI and ESG. This is the third centre by SME Centre@SCCCI. The other two SME Centres are located at the Trade Association Hub and HDB Hub.

SME Centre@Chinatown will support Chinatown businesses through:
1. One-on-one business advisory – to provide customised advice to businesses. Once the businesses’ needs have been identified, Business Advisors will also support the businesses in their transformation journey.

2. Capability development through workshops & events – to equip businesses with knowledge in areas such as digitalisation, capability building and financial resilience.

Specific to the Chinatown Digitalisation Initiatives, SME Centre@Chinatown will connect interested Chinatown businesses with the two technology partners (Chope and Qoo10) for onboarding and training or advise on other digitalisation options as well as business-related schemes and support.


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