Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry’s Phoenix program helps open Tainan infant spa

By Wan Yu-chan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tainan resident Chen Kuan-chin (陳冠瑾), 35, credits a loan program from the Ministry of Labor for allowing the creation of her spa for infants in the city’s Yongkang District (永康).

“Starting a business takes courage and preparation,” she said. “My advice is to make use of public resources to get through the initial start-up period of a business, which is the hardest part.”

The funds that she needed to establish her spa were furnished by the ministry’s Phoenix Small Business Start-Up Project, which issues loans to women, as well as people who are middle-aged or older.

Her former career as a social worker for the Hsinchu County Government was stable, but the punishing work schedule of being on call for 24 hours a day, seven days a week left her with no time for friends or family, Chen said.

By happenstance, she became aware of a training course for infant massage and decided to enroll in the class, quit her job and start a new career, she said.

Obtaining the government loans, she enrolled in the professional training course, paid the fees out-of-pocket and eventually obtained an international certificate permitting her to lecture on massaging infants, she said.

Massage is beneficial for infants and her spa offers 50-minute sessions of massage, swimming, bathing and skincare that help babies to exercise their limbs, improve cardiopulmonary health, sleep better and cry less, she said.

Infant spas are a rapidly expanding industry that offers opportunities as well as competition, she said, adding that the number of such spas in Yongkang has increased over the past two years from one to half a dozen.

“Growth has been stable and there is little sign that the low birth rate is having any effect,” she said.

Ko Cheng-fang (柯呈枋), head of the Work Force Development Agency’s Yulin, Chiayi and Tainan Office, said the program offers up to NT$1 million (US$34,308) in interest-free loans for two years.

Eligible people are welcome to apply, he said, adding that information is on the agency’s Web site (http://beboss.wda.gov.tw/cht/index.php?code=list&ids=75).

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