By Justin Biel, trends editor
⏰ 4-minute read
The new coronavirus and disease it causes, COVID-19, have spurred a shift in the lives of people across the globe, especially in the past week since it was declared a pandemic. In response to the disease, governments, health organizations and private institutions are instituting city and country lockdowns and travel restrictions to curb its spread and igniting massive health initiatives that test and treat affected populations.
Businesses -- from big names to startups -- are pitching in to curtail the effects of the disease, too. Many companies are putting their resources and expertise to use creating solutions to the pandemic’s problems and finding ways to support communities in need.
Businesses -- from big names to startups -- are pitching in to curtail the effects of coronavirus.
Granted, not every business can afford to give back right now, neither in terms of time nor money. Many smaller businesses are forced to contemplate layoffs, wage cuts or closing up altogether as foot traffic and spending quiets down. Big business faces issues of its own.
If you think your startup could contribute to the global goal of curbing COVID-19’s effects, consider this your brainstorming fodder. Below, we’ve compiled a list of examples from corporations, small businesses and their leaders that have contributed to the cause. Allow their initiatives to inspire one of your own.
🙋♀️ We’ll continue updating this list throughout the coming weeks. Want to see a corporation or startup featured? Drop us a line.
Corporations standing up to COVID-19
- AT&T and Comcast waive late fees
March 13: Telecommunications leaders like AT&T and Comcast pledge to offer services to customers affected by coronavirus regardless of whether they’ve paid their bills, as well as waive late fees for 60 days. They also announce plans to keep public Wi-Fi hotspots buzzing and free of charge.
- Reddit co-founder buys billboards
March 13: To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian purchases billboards in New York’s Times Square urging citizens to stay home to curb further exposure and “flatten the curve” of the infection’s spread.
- Facebook, Apple and others make donations
March 13: Many companies are choosing to make direct donations and/or match donations of individuals toward relief efforts: Facebook has committed $20 million; Apple announced a $15 million donation; SC Johnson will contribute $1 million; Wells Fargo will give up to $6.25 million.
- LVMH manufactures hand sanitizer
March 15: Luxury brand conglomerate LVMH, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, announces it will put its cosmetics and perfume manufacturing lines to work creating hand sanitizers, which will be distributed to health authorities in France free of charge.
- Absolut Vodka maker switches to hand sanitizer
March 18: Reports confirm that Pernod Ricard, the company that makes Absolut Vodka, will use its U.S. facilities -- in Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas -- to manufacture hand sanitizer instead of spirits. Many of its outposts in Europe have similar plans.
Growing businesses doing their part
- Meal prep service offers free kits for kids
March 13: Raddish Kids, which creates subscription cooking kits geared toward the younger set, announces it’ll send 25,000 free kits to parents who are “suddenly homeschooling” as schools close nationwide.
- Alcohol distilleries start making hand sanitizer
March 14: CBS News reports that distilleries across the U.S., like Atlanta’s Old Fourth Distillery and Shine Distillery in Portland, are using their equipment to make hand sanitizer and give it out to local residents for free.
March 15: When Roots catering found itself with extra Korean BBQ tacos and fries after the cancellation of a local wine tasting event in Lehigh Valley, Pa., the co-owners set up shop at a local homeless shelter instead.
- 3-D printer gives away design for hands-free door openers
March 16: Materialise, a 3-D printing company, announces it’s giving away the design file for hands-free door openers to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Snack brand sends healthy treats to people in need
March 16: Fit Snack, a subscription service for healthy foods, is offering its monthly subscription plan for only the cost of shipping, as a “gift to those in need” while supplies last.
- Art studio offers free classes to seniors
March 18: Local news reports that The Paint Box, an art studio in Northern New Jersey, is offering free online classes to seniors along with boxes of painting supplies funded by customer donations.
🌱 The bottom line
By working together, we as the business community have an opportunity to lessen the impact, both physically and financially, of this global pandemic.
As you procrastinate while working from home, don’t hesitate to spend time imagining how your business can help. Even if the contribution you make is relatively small, it matters.