Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) and the Sha Tin Rural Committee have joined hands to set up a Discount Food Store in a bid to help the community fight against inflation and to care for the disadvantaged. The jointly operated community care project hopes to achieve the foregoing objectives by providing affordable food and daily home appliances for sale to the needy. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So Kam-leung, who had spoken highly of the business-public joint venture, visited the Discount Food Store today (August 26).
Mr Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, BPA Vice Chairman, together with Mr Mok Kam-kwai, BPA Sha Tin District Council member and Sha Tin Rural Committee Chairman, Mr Lee Tak-wah, BPA Sha Tin community affairs executive, and other BPA representatives were on hand to welcome and give Mr So a tour of the premises. Mr Lam said that the BPA had capitalized on its business network to source products at cost or below cost for sale at considerable savings to shoppers. The BPA plans to expand such an undertaking as and when demand increases.
Mr Mok said the store was more than just a place for members to shop; it is also an ideal meeting place for them to catch up with each other. For many of the members, they make it a habit of visiting the store to shop for groceries after attending dance lessons. Mr Lee hoped the government would support the Discount Food Store as it was difficult for small businesses to compete with supermarkets both on volume and variety.
In recent years, a large number of social enterprises have been forced to close down because of soaring rents. The BPA Discount Food Store is the only social enterprise of its kind that provides affordable goods for sale. Apart from Sha Tin, the BPA also operates a similar food discount project in Cheung Chau.
Mr Lam said the shop will uphold the principle of “Any profits made from the project will be channeled back into the community”, and called on the government to provide more support to SMEs based on the BPA model, which is based on a tripartite partnership of government, business and general public to help the needy and disadvantaged fight inflation.