The Commerce Ministry is presenting New Year's gifts to the public and entrepreneurs under its "4-Increase" initiative.
According to Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, the initiative encompasses increasing careers, skills, opportunities and happiness.
The plan targets creating new careers for more than 20,000 households and reducing small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) expenses by 1.65 billion baht, benefiting more than 6,000 SMEs.
The initiative is expected to ease the cost of living for people by 4 billion baht and offer economic stimulus of more than 12 billion baht, he said.
Regarding the career prong, Mr Phumtham said the ministry plans to reduce franchise fees by up to 30% for more than 30 franchisors such as restaurants, noodle shops, meatball shops, and milk tea.
Staff will assist in the process to ensure fairness, he said.
Mr Phumtham said free training courses in essential skills for SMEs will be offered over three months in response to the nationwide minimum wage hike, which necessitates upskilling to enhance the country’s competitiveness.
The courses comprise: comprehensive business management, budgeting, cost calculation, online trading skills, export development, knowledge about free trade agreements, economic seminars, and the impact and opportunities arising from international conflicts such as the ongoing wars.
The effort to increase opportunities will allow SMEs in the food and beverage, café, spa, hotel and resort businesses to use copyrighted songs from select service providers for free for three months, he said.
In addition, a discount of 50-55% will be provided for one year upon sales renewal, while various ministry services will also be extended, said Mr Phumtham.
In terms of the happiness initiative, the ministry is organising the “New Year Mega Sale 2024” at Impact Muang Thong Thani from Dec 20-24.
The ministry also collaborated with manufacturers and entrepreneurs nationwide to offer discounts of up to 82% from Dec 15 to Jan 15, with the public event offering essential consumer goods from both large and small-scale producers, totalling more than 390 businesses and 40,000 product items.