Companies large and small have are finding creative ways to give back during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are 13 innovative ways brands that have stepped up to help during coronavirus.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, was founded in Seattle and maintains close ties to its home base. When coronavirus began impacting retailers, Amazon started a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to help Seattle small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The fund delivers cash grants to businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue.
Electronics giant Apple has a world-renowned supply chain and far reach in most countries around the world, so it should be no surprise the company was able to source protective medical masks when there are shortages. The company donated 10 million N95 masks to U.S. medical facilities. On top of the donations, Apple also developed its own COVID-19 screening tool and it is working with Google on a contact tracing solution to help track people’s exposure to the virus.
Online class company Coursera has launched the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, which provides free classes for newly unemployed workers at no cost. The company works with government agencies to offer 3,800 courses and 400 specializations for free to those looking for work and in need of new skills.
For a long time, Crocs have had a special place in the hearts of healthcare workers because their shoes are comfortable for long shifts and are easily washed. Now the company is giving back to frontline medical workers with its A Free Pair for Healthcare campaign, which gives away up to 10,000 pairs of Crocs a day.
Social media titan Facebook works with small businesses every day to deliver advertising and build communities. So it makes sense that it is giving back to small businesses hurt by coronavirus by offering up to $100 million in cash grants and ads to those impacted. The program will help up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries.
The extra-large U.S. pizza chain Little Caesars has responded to the coronavirus by donating 1 million pizzas to hospitals, police and fire departments and other frontline workers. Additionally, the chain has launched a new “Pie it Forward” option during the ordering process that lets customers buy a pizza for local hospitals, police and fire workers nearby.
Luxury retail brand Louis Vuitton might have many of its stores closed around the world, but the brand isn’t sitting still during coronavirus. The brand’s workshops around the world have begun converting themselves to produce protective wear such as gowns and masks, some of which will be donated to and distributed in the U.S. states most heavily impacted by COVID-19. Relatedly, the brand’s parent company LVHM said it would use perfume production lines to instead make hand sanitizer that could fill sanitary gel shortages in France.
Online class company Coursera has launched the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, which provides free classes for newly unemployed workers at no cost.
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During the coronavirus pandemic, major hotel brand Marriott created multiple “programs to aid in the urgent fight against the pandemic.” These include providing $10 million worth of hotel stays for healthcare professionals; significant discounts to community caregivers at about 2,500 properties; and the ability to donate your Marriott Bonvoy points to relief organizations working on COVID-19 aid. Of note, huge hotel brand Hilton also announced a program to donate up to 1 million hotel room nights to U.S. frontline medical professionals that are fighting COVID-19.
While department store retailer Nordstrom has closed its stores around the U.S. for the safety of customers and workers, the company continues to serve customers online and recently announced a unique way it could help medical workers battling COVID-19. Nordstrom says it is the “largest employer of tailors in North America,” so it has used this wide network to sew more than 100,000 masks, which will be distributed to Providence Health & Services.
Cloud software giant Salesforce has announced multiple ways it is helping businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. One of its most notable is a free COVID-19 care response solution for health workers and systems and free access to software for small businesses wanting to help customers remotely. The company also announced it would give small business grants of $10,000 per company to U.S. businesses impacted by COVID-19.
While U.S. salad chain Sweetgreen has had many of its locations impacted by COVID-19 closures, the operation has still found ways to give back to local medical workers. It started the Impact Outpost Fund, which enabled it to donate 100,000 meals to more than 130 hospitals. The company recently committed to upping its original goal and would serve 250,000 meals to hospitals around the U.S.
Vistaprint has been a lifeline to small businesses for years as one of the world’s largest producers of physical and digital marketing products. To give back to businesses, it has donated $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Save Small Business Fund, which is hoping to provide $5,000 grants. Vistaprint also converted machines that normally make banners and signs to produce 100,000 face shields for frontline medical workers in rural communities.
Popular online shoe retailer Zappos launched an innovative support line where people can call in about any problem they are facing during this unprecedented period. The company’s Customer Service for Anything hotline can be called between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. PST for any reason, including Netflix recommendations, vacation ideas, fun recipes, seeing what restaurants are open or even emotional support. In a particularly great example, the hotline recently helped the Mount Sinai Health System find some hard-to-locate medical equipment.
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Published April 28, 2020