Businesses Step Up Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


The coronavirus outbreak has brought out the worst in people. Panicky shoppers are shoving to get at the last case of water, and the slightest cough is setting off nasty barbs.
At the same time, though, another movement — one of kindness and generosity — is gaining momentum across the country. Let’s take a look at some of the goodwill the outbreak has spurred on a business level, and explore ways we, too, can exhibit kindness.

Businesses are stepping up to the plate

Dozens of large and small businesses are supporting their staff through this time and establishing relief funds and donating generously to individuals whose finances have been adversely impacted by the outbreak. Here are a few examples:

Amazon: The giant e-commerce company has established a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to Seattle-area small businesses in need of assistance due to COVID-19. The company is also subsidizing two months of rent for tenants in the buildings Amazon owns.

Uber: The ride-share giant is offering 14 days of financial assistance to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined.

Postmates: The delivery company is waiving restaurant commission fees for new merchants who’d like to use its service to accommodate customers who won’t visit restaurants for fear of contracting COVID-19.

Scholastic: The public educational company has set up a “Learn From Home” website to provide students who are stuck at home due to school closures with online courses.

Spectrum: The internet company is offering 60 days of free Wi-Fi for families whose kids are home from school, so they can join online classes.

You can help, too

You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire or a business owner to help make this challenging time a little easier for others. Here are some ways you can pay it forward:

Share your goods. If you have more goods than you actually need for now, consider sharing. Post a short note on the neighborhood WhatsApp group or Facebook page, asking if anyone needs milk, bread, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer. To avoid physical contact, drop the extras off at your neighbor’s doorstep rather than hand delivering.

Call the elderly. If you have a family member or a friend in a nursing home or an assisted living residence, they’re likely feeling vulnerable and lonely. Non-essential visits are out, but a friendly phone call is always welcome.

Help the homebound. If you know of people who are currently quarantined, give them a call to ask if there are errands you can run for them. (Follow CDC guidelines to avoid physical contact.) They are likely feeling isolated and helpless, but your small offer can go a long way toward lightening their burden.

Let’s take this unique opportunity to make the world a brighter place, one act of kindness at a time.

Your Turn: How have you spread kindness during this challenging time? Tell us about it in the comments.