The market of small businesses in Seoul has become saturated and the competition between the small businesses that provide service and goods for people’s life is as fierce as ever. One out of four small business owners close their store for good within five years and the augmentation of the managing cost, including credit card bills and rentals, worsens their harsh conditions.
On June 4, 2019, Seoul Metropolitan Government opens the Small Business Policy Institute, the nation’s first institution dedicated to the research and support for small businesses, where they conduct professional and systematic studies on small businesses, the pillar of the Korean economy, and develop the supporting policy befitting their on-site conditions. The Institute will not only help people succeed in starting small businesses but support their development in the volatile environment by assessing their problems on-site and formulating actionable solutions.
What differentiates the Small Business Policy Institute is that it conceives and develops the policies with an emphasis on consumers based on their practical needs and actively responds to their requests. The Institute will help nurture a healthy and sustainable ecosystem where small business owners run their business without concerns and support them in improving their capability to become a success case study.
The main tasks taken on by the Institute will be the deriving of the effective policies for supporting small businesses and the implementation of the district-oriented projects. The phased support for beginning, developing, and declining small businesses will be revised to be more practically helpful for beneficiaries, and the district-oriented projects will be systematically extended to improve the businesses’ independence and competitiveness. The Institute will also carry out a closer analysis of the local commercial zone to produce an updated saturation model of small businesses in order to prevent indiscreet business start-ups and disproportion among types of business.
The condition analysis will be performed for effective policy development and implementation. First, the actual condition survey and situation analysis will regularly be carried out by targeting local small business owners categorized according to their state of business, type of business, and the commercial zone they belong to. Plus, the information that is actually helpful for small businesses, such as the information about promising business categories and small business trends, is analyzed and offered.
The Institute will propose measures for strengthening the social safety net for small businesses and the strategies for them to actively respond to the fourth industrial revolution. It will also analyze the success factors of excellent businesses that can be benchmarked by other small businesses. The detailed research subjects will be determined after launching the steering committee, of which the related specialists will become the members, following the opening of the Institute.
Established inside the Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation, the affiliated organization of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Small Business Policy Institute can use the data on small businesses in Seoul that have been accumulated over the last 20+ years, expected to be able to generate effective study results that can be immediately associated with the demand for policies.
The Small Business Policy Institute will consist of two teams: the Policy Research Team, which perform the condition analysis on the business start-up and management environment of small businesses, and the Commercial Zone Analysis Team, which analyzes the local commercial zones and studies ways to vitalize them. Considering the research results and demand, the Institute will gradually increase its researchers.