The Cultural Industry Fund (FCI) will launch a specific programme to provide grants to help local shops with ‘community characteristics’ to improve their branding, FIC Administration Council member Davina Chu Miu Lai said on Thursday.
Chu made the remarks at a press conference about the fund’s financial support over the last two years and announced the new programme at Macau Design Centre.
According to Chu, the programme aims to help shops with ‘community characteristics’ to integrate cultural creativity aspects into their shops, and to improve their branding and marketing.
According to the Macau Post Daily, The programme covers two groups, retail outlets or eateries, which have been established in Macau for at least eight years, and cultural creativity enterprises which have been operational for no less than three years. Businesses from the two groups will have to join hands when submitting their application.
The financial support will cover two kinds of expenditure: design costs with a fixed rate of 100,000 patacas, and 50 percent of development costs up to 200,000 patacas. The cash will be provided in the form of non-repayable grants.
The programme is set to benefit a maximum of 30 candidate groups while the application period will run between April 9 and September 28. Selected projects are required to be completed within six months.
According to information provided by the fund, the programme could, for instance, offer financial aid to improve a local shop’s image by various means ranging from the design of a logo or that of a menu, the packaging of a product, promoting the brand with music, and as well as to upgrade the exterior and the interior of the shop.
When asked by The Macau Post Daily how a shop with “community characteristics” was different from an old shop, Chu said, “There are many kinds of shops. If it is a shop in the trading sector, maybe it doesn’t [always] have a ‘story’. However, there are some shops in the food and beverage sector, which have their ‘stories’, even it is a tofu pudding shop or a noodle shop, their stories might be about the local ingredients used…or the origin of their brand names,” adding that everybody has got a different point of view on characteristics.
According to the press conference, the fund last year laid out about 145 million patacas in financial support, comprising loans and grants, compared to 32.7 million patacas in 2016, recording a fourfold increase. Chu noted that the amount has lead to creating about 1,200 jobs with 60 percent of the jobs in Macau.