in photo: Mr. Zosimo Legaspi Taganas, in his Sari-Sari store.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of your neighborhood, the spine of your local economy, and spirit of your town.” —Anonymous

In the Philippines, small neighborhood convenience shops called Sari-Sari stores are far more common than supermarkets and large retailers across the country. They are usually operated from home by a family as a source of livelihood and offer everyday necessities to the local community.

Mr. Zosimo Legaspi Taganas, fifty-eight (58) years old, is the owner of the Zoseng Store located in Barangay Kayquit III, Indang, Cavite. He is married and has one daughter.

Mr. Taganas started his small business when he was laid off from his electronics work in Laguna due to the global financial crisis in 2008. Turning challenges into opportunities, he persisted in his entrepreneurial pursuits. He used his retirement pay to start their small sari-sari store in 2009 with the help of his wife, Darren. Their store was just made out of bamboo. Despite the store being their primary source of income, they found it increasingly challenging to make a decent profit because of fierce competition and limited capital to invest in inventory and store improvements.

By March 2020, the country had undergone strict lockdowns due to COVID-19. Mr. Taganas was one of those small business owners who was heavily affected by the pandemic. The fast spread of the virus in the country caused everyone to stay at home, limiting their income. Mr. Taganas was worried that they might be heavily affected if the pandemic lasted too long. He really relies on his store to help fund the education of his daughter, Patricia, who was a college student at the time.

As the year passed and the impact of the pandemic continued to linger, livelihood programs were initiated to support businesses severely affected. One of these is the Department of Trade and Industry’s Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB), which aims to provide financial assistance, resources, and guidance to help those businesses recover and rebuild during these challenging times. From this, he received a sari-sari store package worth Php8,000.00 on July 15, 2021.

Since Mr. Taganas received assistance from DTI Negosyo Center, his store has become fully operational, providing a good source of income for their family. According to him, his store has expanded the selection of products that he sells to his neighbors. Although there is competition because of the presence of several stores near their area, he still thinks that their sari-sari store will remain pertinent as long as they have products to offer to target consumers.

With the increased income generated from their growing business, they made strategic investments. They purchased an electronic bike and bukyo, which are registered with the Kayquit Indang Tricycle Drivers Association (KITODA), enhancing their service and expanding their reach within the community. They also turned their attention to home improvement, renovating their residence to provide a better living environment for their family. Most importantly, their daughter finished her college degree and is now a Certified Public Accountant.

Today, ZOSENG STORE stands as a testament to the success of the LSP-NSB Program of the Department of Trade and Industry, showcasing the transformative power of the government combined with the strong spirit of Filipino entrepreneurs.

With 14 years of operation, Mr. Taganas is a reflection of a resilient and passionate entrepreneur, and the continuing success of his business serves as a motivation for DTI Negosyo Center Indang to continue its vision towards MSME development. ♦

Date of Release: 4 December 2023