While most of the large corporations are yet to come forward in the fight against the novel coronavirus, tech giant Google has committed over $800 Mn to address some of the challenges faced by businesses in these times.
In a blog, Google’s parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that the fund will support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organisations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic. Google said that it’ll invest $200 Mn to support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide SMBs with access to capital in these crucial times.
The company is already working on a US-based Opportunity Finance Network to help fill gaps in financing for people and communities underserved by mainstream financial institutions. For the same cause, Google.org is also providing $15 Mn is cash grants to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs.
The company will offer $340 Mn as Google Ads credits to SMBs which have an active account over the past year. Google will send notifications to these SMBs on their Google Ads dashboards. SMBs can use these credits until the end of 2020 across all the advertising platforms of Google. “We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” Pichai said.
Also, the company is providing direct financial support to SMBs manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices to help increase production. For this, the company is working with Magid Glove & Safety and has a goal of producing around 2 Mn to 3 Mn face masks in the upcoming weeks. These masks will be provided to the CDC Foundation.
Employees of Alphabet’s subsidiaries, including Google, Verily and X, will also bring their expertise in engineering, supply chain and healthcare to support the increased production of ventilators. They’ll work with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort.
Beating Covid-19 With Information
Google said that it’ll provide $250 Mn in advertisement grants to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and over 100 government agencies globally to ensure that critical information related to coronavirus prevention reaches to everyone around the world. It’ll also help these authorities to take other measures aimed to help local communities. Previously, Google had announced $25 Mn for this cause.
Additionally, Google is also providing $20 Mn in advertisement grants to community financial institutions and NGOs. This will help these organisations to specifically run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs. Moreover, Google has also increased the limit for its employees to get Google offers worth their donations to $10,000 from $7,500 annually.
To help academic institutions and researchers, Google is offering $20 Mn in Google Cloud credits which help them to leverage the computing capabilities and infrastructure of the tech giant. Using this, they can collaborate on potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat Covid-19.