How large companies are helping small businesses, workers and customers
From covering wages to expanding access and temporarily eliminating service shutoffs, COVID-19 has changed life for just about everyone.
While the coronavirus pandemic is still relatively in its early stages, small business owners and workers have already started feeling its effects.
As a result, various large companies locally and nationally, are helping mitigate some of the negative ones.
Here are five examples of large corporations who are playing a role in ensuring its workers and customers are able to effectively navigate this global crisis.
On March 17, Facebook announced that it is creating a $100 million grant program and offering ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. The program aims to help by keeping the workforce strong, helping with rent costs, connecting with more customers and covering operational costs.
Facebook is also making its Facebook Hub, a resource formerly for Facebook employees and health experts, available for everyone. In addition, the social media giant is also creating new virtual trainings to support businesses operating during this situation.
On March 13, PECO announced an expansion to its various assistance programs to support all customers.
Existing programs include Customer Assistance Program (CAP), Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAP), Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP), and Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES).
In addition, PECO is also suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020.
On March 12, Comcast announced two program enhancements to help customers in low-income households deal with the pandemic.
Comcast Increases Access to and Speeds of Internet Essentials to Support Americans Through Coronavirus Pandemic. https://t.co/QeMIujmgkZ
— Comcast (@comcast) March 12, 2020
The first enhancement will provide an easier pathway for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign up with Comcast by offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essential service. Normally, that service is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95 a month. Secondly, Comcast is increasing Internet speeds for all new and existing customers.
Other initiatives include free Xfinity WiFi hotspots, paused data plans and no disconnections or late fees.
On March 10, Google announced that it has created a COVID-19 fund to enable all its contract and temporary workers globally to take paid sick leave if they have potential COVID-19 symptoms or are in quarantine.
Since then, Google has expanded its coronavirus response by providing more information, including tips on working from home, how students and teachers can communicate remotely, resources for small businesses and more.
On March 9, Microsoft announced that they will continue paying the hourly workers who support their campus.
In addition, Microsoft donated $1 million to the Puget Sound’s COVID-19 Response Fund, a coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners joined together to help rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in the Puget Sound region.
This is a time for communities to come together.
We're proud to be a part of the new regional COVID-19 Response Fund (CRF) to address emerging community needs related to COVID-19: https://t.co/6qVwAmj4C9
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) March 13, 2020
As the pandemic has grown, more companies have taken steps towards helping ease some of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought worldwide.