Negros micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) producers havepivoted online to support their onsite store at the newly-opened hub,as more consumers resort to online shopping amid pandemic.
The Negros Trade Fair (NTF) goes online from May 29 to June 30 this year while the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) inaugurated the hub as a permanent home of its showroom along the South Capitol Road in Bacolod City.
“Here we are opening our very own building, our ANP hub, and launching our 35th Negros Trade Fair not just physically but also virtually.
Yes, there is a new beginning,, ANP is also reaching into the digital space,” ANP president Arlene Infante said.
Infante said while the pandemic resulted in the closure of its showroom at Robinsons Place Bacolod and the indefinite postponement of the NTF, it was also the same reason for having their long-time dream of owning a building and showroom.
“(Now) we don’t bother with rent and all our energy, resources are spent on advancing our core entrepreneurial advocacies,” she said, adding the ANP provides livelihood to many Negrenses and families.
The country’s longest running provincial trade fair promoting the best of Negrense culture, craft, art, and trade was happening every year in Metro Manila pre-pandemic. The fair is organized by the ANP in collaboration with the provincial government of Negros Occidental and agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson cited the initiatives of the ANP.
“Even in the midst of a pandemic, let us show the world that Negros is more than just sugar, that Negros is the place where you can succeed if you try, where a healthy economy can advance by what we make and innovate,” he said.
Lacson also thanked the organization for “keeping Negros in the Philippine map at least every year.”
The ANP hub is part of the Negros Occidental cultural hub circuit, along with Provincial Capitol and Park, Provincial Tourism Office, Mambukal Resort Bacolod Office, “Cafetolyo”, Talarak Foundation-Negros Forest Park, The Negros Museum, Ayala Fiesta Market, and Pala-Pala Food Terminal Market.
Lacson said with the culture hub, the province is opening another avenue to introduce Negrense products.
“It is really ANP who made this possible. The provincial government or any other local government, all we did was provide you a lot, we provided you a subsidy to build this permanent building but everything else is yours,” he added.
Meanwhile, consumers can enjoy offerings of Negros while staying safe at home through NTF’s website, https://shopnegrostradefair.com.