Bangkok, 5 May, 2020: Central Group have welcomed government policy after receiving a letter from Prime Minister Prayud Chan-o-cha. All business units of Central Group are delighted to give further assistance . The company supports the sustainable recovery of both society and the economy by responding to core needs in three aspects: Creating supplementary occupations, reducing the cost of living and boosting health to drive the Thai economy, especially at the grass roots, for all to survive this crisis together. In this, Central Group would like to give the greatest praise to the sacrifice of medical personnel and all other officers, the government, which has been tireless in its efforts, and every member of the Thai nation collectively, who have given good cooperation to contain the spread of infection.
Tos Chirathivat, Executive Chairman and CEO of Central Group commented that the COVID-19 pandemic had made a large impact and was a truly global crisis. The Chirathivat family and Central Group were fully aware of their crucial role in taking responsibility and participating in efforts to address the crisis. The company has adapted its response to be part of its Social Responsibility Plan, while also integrating sustainability. This starts with measures to assist 74,000 members of staff at various business units of Central Group to maintain their employment status, and give COVID-19 insurance to each person. On top of this the company has started new projects in 2020, in a process governed by basic needs in three parts as follows:
- Measures to create occupations and supplementary incomes: With the determination to create occupations and sustainable incomes for Thais at all levels, Central Group is dedicated to creating incomes to develop local economies, increase competitiveness and drive the economy in a concrete fashion in every context through various operations as follows:
- Stimulating local economies and generating income by giving 90,000 Square metre of free space in 100 shopping malls in 44 provinces, as well as online channels, worth a total of 550 million baht. Business units in Central Group including Central Plaza, Robinson Plaza, Tops Plaza and Thai Wasadu have given free space to support over 16,000 communities, growers and small enterprises in 44 directly-affected provinces to sell their products on free space for a period of 3-6 months, circulating income of over 3.5 billion baht to growers and small traders in 2020. The company has also provided online sales channels through the websites of Tops online, JD Central, Central Online and Robinson Online, giving greater access to customers, while also providing publicity to stimulate sales.
- Approval of budgets totalling 1.5 billion baht to buy products directly from growers and community enterprises, including farm produce, OTOP and SME products, for sale in shopping malls and supermarkets nationwide, supporting 25,000 farmers households in 42 provinces.
- Creating sustainable occupations in communities through product development and promoting local tourism, and giving occupations to the disabled, with budgets of 150 million baht through the Central Tham program. This is Central Group’s corporate social responsibility project which has been in continuous operation. This is being rapidly expanded to create occupations, such as giving knowledge on agriculture and product development, reducing social inequality by supporting the creation of occupations for the disabled, and developing communities as tourist attractions. This is to distribute income to local areas, and other support for growers, communities, the disabled and students, totalling 30,000 households in 50 provinces.
- Creating the “Crowdfunding Platform” for entrepreneurs starting a new business but lacking capital, as well as supporting students, schools, hospitals and research work, with the target of raising over 100 million baht.
- Measures to reduce the cost of living
- Reducing and pegging the price of over 3,000 essential consumer product lines to lower the cost of living for the general public. Supermarkets in Central Group have joined the Department of Internal Trade of the Ministry of Commerce and product manufacturers to give discounts of 5-68% in all Tops Supermarkets around Thailand throughout 2020. Another 23,000 product lines have had their price pegged for 90 days since 15 March, 2020.
- Reducing food prices by 20% in 87 food courts in 43 provinces, with prices starting at 19 baht, comprising 33 Central Food Courts, 24 Robinson Food Courts and 30 Tops Food Courts.
- Measures to boost health
- Creating new standards as a master plan for safe business to prevent the spread of infection. This employs measures of hygiene and safety in every square metre of shopping malls and mall tenants’ stores. Central Group has prepared aggressive measures to create hygiene standards in 5 aspects and 75 distinct safety measures which must be practiced at every business in the mall to prevent the spread of viral infection.
- Budget support of over 40 million baht on medical equipment for medical staff fighting Covid-19, delivered to 30 hospitals nationwide through the Thai Medical Association. Further budgets of 15 million baht have been allotted to making sterile rooms for hospitals and giving survival bags to members of the public who have been unduly affected.
All of these measures have been put in place with the dedication and expertise of Central Group. All executives and staff are committed giving their full physical and mental strength, working together for all Thai people to make progress in the future. We are confident that all of these measures can help spread the government’s burdens and help to revive the Thai economy. We are ready to cooperate with every sector for Thailand’s best interests.