SEOUL, March 18 (Korea Bizwire) – While traditional markets are struggling to compete with large discount stores, young merchants are seeking to launch their future businesses there.
On March 17, a special audition was held in Incheon with the goal of selecting young merchants to breathe some new energy into the city’s traditional market.
A total of 14 teams were shortlisted prior to the audition. The contestants showed off their merchandise through fashion shows, or by presenting various dishes from their menu.
Those who pass the audition will go through a week of training on starting a new business. After a planning and preparation phase, the new businesses are scheduled to open in April.
Young vendors will have a chance to achieve their dreams by getting the support they need from the government, local officials and the market’s merchants’ association.
Since June 2015, the Small and Medium Business Administration has provided young merchants with subsidies for 60 percent of interior decoration costs, and one year’s rent. Business consulting from experts and website development are also supported.
While numerous traditional markets are trying to update their image by welcoming young merchants, and young merchants are trying to achieve their dream at traditional markets, there are still problems to be solved.
Sometimes young merchants get into conflicts with the other shop owners who have been in business for years.
Older merchants sometimes push the young to pay their respects and do some of the basic but necessary chores at the market. The young merchants spread their complaints through SNS, deepening conflicts.
Young merchants also face problems as they suffer after the government support finishes. Not many are ready to make it on their own after the period of subsidies ends.
Lee (37), a young merchant, says that each new business should have different levels of independence. “The government should change the period of support based on the characteristics of the business, as each is unique on its own.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)