New digital initiatives and SME Centre for Chinatown businesses

Photo by Rigel

New precinct-level digital initiatives and an SME Centre have been launched to help Chinatown businesses grow their business by attracting more visitors, with dedicated efforts to target the younger and digitally-savvy crowd.

New Digital Initiatives

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.

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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.

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.

To support F&B businesses, Chope will help feature and onboard businesses on ChopeDeals, curating a collection of the best F&B dining deals in Chinatown. These include cash vouchers, 1-for-1 promotions, buffet and set meal bundles 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. These attractive and heavily discounted food and hotel packages will invite more local visitors to spend more time in the precinct, immersing themselves in Chinatown’s rich heritage and offerings.

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

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

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.

This is the 12th SME Centre in Singapore and the third SME Centre set up by SCCCI and ESG.

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.”

Ms Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “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.”