By Mike Baños
SM Supermalls in Cagayan de Oro are pitching in to help revive the local economy by supporting local start up businesses with a selling area within their malls through their Christmas Markets.
“SM has done this every Christmas as our support to local businesses,” said Engr. Bernadette May Flores, SM City CDO Uptown Mall Manager. “This time, it’s our way of helping the economy recover from the global pandemic.”
Engr. Flores said SM’s thrust to support local businesses can be perceived in the newly opened SM North Wing where almost all the tenants are local businesses.
In its current iteration, the SM City CDO Uptown Christmas Markets features ten tenants who pay very minimal rents and fees for prime spaces within the mall starting November 19, 2022 to January 8, 2023.
“Our Christmas Markets aim to help them grow and hopefully become our full-time tenants in the future,” she added. “Most of them are start-ups, and they are very happy to have been given this opportunity to sell in a high traffic area inside the mall.”
The Christmas Markets was organized in partnership with Doofies Concepts and Events headed by Mr. Kirby Pungtod, who also organized a similar enterprise at the 5th floor of SM City CDO Downtown Premier.
Although the Uptown Christmas Markets is limited to ten tenants at the moment, the mall still has unleased areas which can be tapped should demand so warrant for similar projects in the future.
The ten tenants in the Uptown Christmas Markets include Cami Candles, Kiddie Momma Ph, Rose Crochetry, Paper Plane Creation, RegChad Flowers, Tropiquantes, Caffeinaited Mobile Coffee Bar, Tomarong Pasalubong, Fren’s Kakanin, and Butter & Oven.
Engr. Flores said the positive response has been shared by their shoppers who were delighted to enjoy the festive and Christmas vibe of the Christmas Markets area, which perfectly complements the mall’s signature Christmas centerpiece exhibit.
“Our shoppers tell us it’s the most beautiful and attractive Christmas centerpiece ever for SM City CDO Uptown, which also delights us since we consider it part of our 20th Anniversary gift to them for shopping with us over the last two decades,” she noted.
She added that the program also reinforces the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc.’s (Oro Chamber) OROBEST Innovation Program to uplift Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Engr. Flores is Oro Chamber’s incumbent Trustee for the Trade and Commerce sector and Chairperson of the OROBEST Innovation Program, and was recently elected as Vice President in charge of the same sector for 2023.