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Media Coverage

Home-based F&B businesses look beyond circuit breaker period, some rally to help those affected

Source: Channel News Asia

Online marketplace B. Halal, which was launched following the cancellation of all Ramadan bazaars this year due to COVID-19, said a number of vendors pulled out after news of the tighter rules.

Its chief executive and founder Muhammad Alkhatib said that the company wants to continue supporting the “little guys”, adding it aims to work within the boundaries with its existing vendors.

And setting aside the challenges of the current situation, Mr Muhammad said he is optimistic about B. Halal’s long-term operations beyond the circuit breaker period.

Read full coverage here.

Coronavirus: from coffee in Hong Kong to burgers in Malaysia and Ramadan in Singapore – here’s how Asia’s small businesses cope with Covid-19

Source: South China Morning Post

As the coronavirus continues its spread across the globe, economists are warning that small and medium-sized businesses are shaping up to be its greatest economic casualty.

That is particularly worrying in Asia, where such firms account for more than 90 per cent of businesses and employ half of all workers.

Luckily, the region’s entrepreneurs are a hardy bunch, not easily dissuaded from their dreams even when faced with what some people are touting as the greatest economic upset since the Great Depression.

Here are five case studies, taken from across the region, of how SMEs are adapting to the challenges posed by Covid-19 – and proving that even the smallest of businesses can have the biggest of hearts.

Read full coverage here.

Fatpapas founder Sheikh Haikel on creating an online variety show for a bazaar platform

Source: Yahoo! Lifestyle

Ramadan is here, and this year, while we may not be able to enjoy the many offerings from the Geylang Serai bazaar due to the pandemic, Fatpapas founder Sheikh Haikel is lending his star power to online marketplace B. Halal, to help merchants sell their goods online.

B. Halal is an online marketplace created by web designer Muhammad Alkhatib and businessman Hamdan Razali for sellers to sell all things halal. When the news broke last month that all Ramadan bazaars will be cancelled due to the Circuit Breaker measures in place, the founders decided to work with Haikel and actor Aaron Aziz to host a live-streamed variety show.

In a Zoom interview yesterday (23 April), Haikel, together with his wife, Anna Belle Francis, shared with Yahoo Lifestyle SEA why bringing the spirit of a Ramadan bazaar online is so important to them and the sellers.

Read full coverage here.

Online platforms offer hope for displaced Ramadan vendors

Source: The New Paper

Bottles of cookies, packs of chips and other Hari Raya snacks she had planned to sell at a Ramadan bazaar are littered all over her three-room Housing Board flat, which feels like an obstacle course.

And with news last month that all bazaars would be cancelled, the quality assurance inspector at an engineering firm who is in her 50s was prepared to lose some of the $70,000 she had invested in the goods she had ordered.
But this might not be the case, thanks to new online bazaar platform B. Halal, one of several new platforms providing a channel for Muslim consumers to buy their Ramadan and Hari Raya goods.

To be launched today, the platform is an app-based listing of Hari Raya-centric businesses such as Ms Roselin’s.

It is started by Web designer Muhammad Alkhatib and businessman Hamdan Razali, who have partnered veteran bazaar operator En Niche Events and event management company S-Lite Group to organise a virtual marketplace in the wake of the cancelled bazaars.

Read full coverage here.

Star power for interactive variety show

Source: The Straits Times

Just like for many others, the Ramadan Bazaar in Geylang Serai holds a special place in the heart of celebrity Sheikh Haikel.

So the news that it had been cancelled this year was a big disappointment to the 44-year-old entertainer.

And, while it would be impossible to replicate the experience of the bazaar online, Sheikh, who manages several food ventures such as FatPapas Burgers and Shakes and Wakuwaku Yakiniku restaurants, told The Straits Times that having the interactive variety show from online commerce platform B. Halal would be the next best thing.

Saying that he grew up with the Geylang bazaar, he added: “It is and will always be a big part of my life. I know the bazaar is so important to so many people. Having just a static online site won’t do it justice.

“Through the B. Halal Bazaar Show, people can feel like they’re just at the bazaar, interacting with the merchants.”

Read full coverage here.

Coronavirus: Ramadan bazaar sellers turn to online platforms to clear stock and recoup losses

Source: The Straits Times

For the past few weeks, Ms Roselin Khatoon’s apartment has looked less like a home and more like a warehouse.

Stocks of bottles of cookies, packs of chips and other Hari Raya snacks she had planned to sell at a Ramadan bazaar are all over her three-room Housing Board flat, which now feels like an obstacle course.

And with news last month that all bazaars would be cancelled, the quality assurance inspector at an engineering firm who is in her 50s was prepared to lose some of the $70,000 she had invested in the goods she had ordered.

But this might not now be the case, thanks to new online bazaar platform B. Halal, one of several new platforms providing a channel for Muslim consumers to buy their Ramadan and Hari Raya goods.

To be launched on Monday (April 20), the platform is an app-based listing of Hari Raya-centric businesses such as Ms Roselin’s.

Read full coverage here.