Macao’s largest tourism operators are taking a front-line role in helping the local community cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such effort includes initiatives ranging from financial donations, to special programmes targeting local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Most of the integrated resort operators have also donated epidemic-prevention materials – including protective face masks and hand-sanitiser gel – to help meet the community’s need for such supplies.
The majority of the city’s integrated resorts has made financial donations to provide economic assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 episode. In addition, several integrated resort operators have announced special rent-free periods for retail tenants at their venues, to help those retailers cope with challenges brought about by the current business environment.
Some operators of integrated resorts have devised out-of-the-box solutions to assist the business community. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd announced its subscription to HKD100 million worth of COVID-19 Impact Alleviation Social Bonds issued by the Macao branch of Bank of China. The proceeds of the social bond issue will be used to make special loans to Macao SMEs that serve the healthcare industry, and to reduce their financing costs.
Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd is funding a special aid fund for workers in need. It aims to provide financial support to people engaged in jobs with variable income, working in sectors particularly affected by the disease-related economic slowdown. Such workers include taxi drivers, coach drivers, and tour guides.
MGM China Holdings Ltd has engaged a Macao cleaning company for two months to clean the premises and other assets of 120 Macao SMEs so the enterprises can make a fresh start, free of fear of infection. The cleaning company set about cleaning and sterilising shops, offices, warehouses and even motor vehicles, and distributing hand sanitisers and wipes for the employees of the businesses.
Sands China Ltd is offering to pay in advance half the value of its orders from the SMEs among its suppliers, with a view to easing cash flow woes. Sands China has speeded up its construction of new facilities and its renovation of older ones, in order to pump money into the economy in general and SMEs in particular.
Wynn Macau Ltd has ordered over MOP2 million worth of hand sanitiser products from local suppliers, to distribute among Macao enterprises in need, in order to help build a safe business environment that is beneficial to employers, employees and customers. With support from the Macao Chamber of Commerce, these supplies are expected to reach more than 13,000 SMEs. The purchase of those supplies will also support local production of anti-epidemic products.
SJM Holdings Ltd has bought MOP1.5 million in relief goods for charities or other organisations to distribute to the needy in Macao. Each of the 3,000 bags of goods bought by SJM Holdings contained rice, noodles, oatmeal, canned food, toilet paper, masks, hand sanitizer and other day-to-day necessities – and all of the contents were supplied by local companies.