The informal micro sector and small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) will soon get a ‘shot in the arm’ to boost their businesses through a combined initiative of Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and the programme initiator CH17 Loyalty in association with the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL).
For the first time, a coalition of four leading agencies, which play vital roles in the facilitation of commerce and retail trade services, have banded together to come up with a ‘unique programme’ to support the informal micro and structured SMEs.
An FCCISL-endorsed Privilege Card will be issued to all those belonging to these three sectors, which will entitle the cardholder an array of benefits and privileges, which could help boost their business. CH17 Loyalty, which has a strong base of merchants and retailers of consumer goods, durables and many essential products, give concessionary offers and attractive discounts, which will be passed on to the members through the SME Privilege Card. “For the first time a coalition of services and facilities essential to the SME and micro sectors have been integrated to a single loyalty platform. We want to serve in particular the informal micro sector, which needs the support and guidance the most,” said CH17 Loyalty CEO Jumar Preena. Key among them will be Commercial Bank, which will introduce a special MasterCard debit/credit card dedicated to the SME sector. In addition to the attractive services, offers and incentives given by the bank for their cardholders, this specially designed card will be integrated to CH17 Loyalty Merchant network, thus giving the micro SMEs the dual benefits of concessions.
“SLT has stepped in to provide products and business solutions at highly concessionary terms to the SME sector. Special SLT packages for businesses have been developed, which will be of great assistance to this community,” Preena disclosed.
“There are several advantages the micro and SMEs could enjoy by joining this programme.
*Recognition by the industry body – the FCCISL-endorsed SME Membership Card
*Benefits such as discounts and concessions on a number of essential commercial goods and personal commodities from listed merchants
*SME-branded Privilege debit/credit card from Commercial Bank
*Special telecommunication package from SLT
*Market access to identified consumer groups
*B2B engagement with CH17’s business network
*Knowledge sharing with the FCCISL’s business development programmes
The federation will levy a one-time registration fee of Rs.500 for small and medium business and Rs.300 for those classified as micro. A flat annual fee of Rs.200 will be levied thereafter.
The details of the membership programme can be obtained by writing to the FCCISL at No: 696/3/4 Havelock Road Colombo 6 (state ‘SME Privilege Programme’) or contacting the FCCISL and CH17 Loyalty.