In It Together: Protecting Small Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis

There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, employing 58.9 million individuals, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. However, a 2016 study by JP Morgan Chase cites that half of all small businesses only have enough cash on hand to survive for 27 days without new money coming in the door. With “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders increasing across the U.S. due to the continued spread of coronavirus, small businesses and their employees are particularly vulnerable today. Now, we’re seeing major brands step up to help smaller businesses get by, because after all, we’re all in this together.

  • This week, Unilever announced it will help its customers and suppliers by offering $540 million in cash-flow relief to suppliers and retail customers. According to a post on LinkedIn from CEO Alan Jope, it will do this by “extending credit to selected small-scale retail customers to help small businesses manage and protect jobs and offering early payment for our most vulnerable small and medium-sized suppliers.”
  • Facebook announced it will be giving out $100 million in cash grants to small businesses last week, a move that is projected to support 30,000 eligible small businesses. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explained the impetus for the program in an interview with CBS This Morning, saying that 140 million small business use its platform therefore “supporting those small businesses supports the health of the entire business ecosystem.”
  • Intuit Quickbooks has pressed pause on its current ad campaign to quickly divert resources to supporting small businesses affected by coronavirus. The company has partnered with GoFundMe to launch the Small Business Relief Initiative, designed to get money in the hands of small businesses struggling to pay employees and business expenses due to coronavirus. Part of the initiative will include the Small Business Relief Fund where individuals can donate to support the overall initiative as well as a small business resources site powered by Intuit Quickbooks. A new 30-second spot will salute small businesses and urge individuals to donate to the fund.

A time of crisis like we are experiencing today only highlights the interconnectivity of our business ecosystem – and how critical it is to support the livelihood of small businesses as customers, suppliers and vital members of our communities. While certainly each business is experiencing its own challenges at this time, it is essential to open the aperture and determine how to best support the organizations we work with and depend on.

Thanks for CSR Wire News, April 3, 2020 for this blog.

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