Gov’t gives tech support to small stores, markets

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Gov’t gives tech support to small stores, markets

The government is set to provide mom-and-pop stores and traditional markets with big data and a local food system that streamlines distribution of agricultural and fish products.

The Small and Medium Business Administration announced “enhancing the viability of traditional markets and small merchants” on Tuesday at the Small and Medium Business Corporation in Yeouido, northwestern Seoul.

It will improve small merchants’ access to information and communication technology. The administration also plans to provide self-employed merchants and mom-and-pop store owners a database that contains 600 million credit card transactions and other information, such as real estate prices.

Also, it will establish the so-called One Stop System, which searches for goods through smartphones and delivers them directly to 130 traditional markets in cooperation with private companies like SK Telecom and KT.

In these markets, the administration plans to build Internet cafes that are equipped with tablet PCs and other mobile devices.

In addition, it decided to establish a local food system that allows shipping and consumption on the same day through direct transactions between producers and supermarkets and traditional markets.

In the case of small supermarkets, it will test the system in 200 stores under two to three local governments next year.

For traditional markets, it plans to select a market with a wholesale infrastructure to test the local food store in December and expand it to five traditional markets nationwide next year.

“Since the last government expanded support for small merchants, mom-and-pop stores and traditional markets, their viability is still insufficient,” said Han Jeong-hwa, chair of the SMBA.

“We came up with the measure to create an environment where small businesses can be self-sustaining.”



BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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