‘I urge businesses to create their mark and strengthen their presence online’ – Schembri

Last Updated on Thursday, 3 December, 2020 at 12:05 pm by Andre Camilleri

Local businesses embraced online innovation- Minister Schembri

“Black Friday was a great opportunity for businesses to unleash their digital plans which were drafted during the most challenging times of this year” stated Minister Schembri. Black Friday, or rather Black Week as it turned out being a week-long event, saw many people go online to shop amidst deals offered by various businesses around the islands. It was, generally speaking, a successful event financially. The Chamber of SMEs said: “Even though initial reactions vary; Black Friday was still exceptional when compared to the rest of the year and sometimes even comparable to last year’s Black Friday.”

Online shopping increased, even dramatically in some cases, the Chamber noted. “Apart from this, businesses also reported having additional staff on the shop floor specifically to help manage people and ensure the health guidelines are followed.”

As is to be expected, the home electronics sector did very well according to the Chamber of SMEs. Home-related businesses also did quite well. “Most of the businesses said that people are spending more time at home, and therefore, home investments have remained strong.”

 Speaking to the Malta Business Weekly, Minister Schembri added “Companies were able to mobilise themselves by introducing local deliveries and some even went as far as creating bespoke personalised gift lists which targeted all budgets. Thus, it was highly apparent that companies are embracing innovation and recognising the digital shift that needs to be done to move away from the status quo and maintain their relevance and presence in this new era.  Whilst shopping malls and shops were emptier due to the pandemic, traffic online was strong since several were those who did their shopping online”

Furthermore, Minister Schembri acknowledged “As a Government, we recognise that the situation is not the same for everyone hence we will ensure to aid those hard-hit by the pandemic; a case in point as announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela last Sunday closed bars which shall experience a rather blue Christmas this year, will be given the Covid-19 Wage Supplement backdated to November. Moreover, through the recent launch of the Re-Engineering Scheme through an allocation budget of €2.5 million, businesses will be provided with a report that offers suggestions for the improvement of their operations and their business model itself, in line with current trends and demands. It is an opportunity to be innovative, creative and better protect your businesses to keep up with your operations and the continuance of your activities”

“Undoubtedly, this Christmas is going to be different. Thus, I urge businesses to take this month as an opportunity to create their mark, strengthen their presence online and seek innovative digital means to build a close relationship with customers.”

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