It’s widely acknowledged that the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic will disproportionately affect small businesses. It’s important not to bury our heads in the sand, there are tough times ahead. However, there are also incredible examples of large businesses, small businesses, community groups and individuals supporting those more in need. 

A Cynical Cynthia might focus on the fact that helping out isn’t completely altruistic. Large businesses need small businesses to survive the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant economic crisis – it makes good business sense for them to bolster the small businesses that stock their products. Businesses of all sizes who are seen to help out during the pandemic will also likely benefit from a boost in public image. 

Call me optimistic, but speaking as a business owner myself, I truly believe that genuine goodwill is what is primarily driving these business decisions. We are all affected (directly or indirectly) by the pandemic, and most of us feel helpless as we watch frontline workers put their health at risk to battle the virus and keep society moving. All that’s in our power is to do whatever we can, given our resources. Not every decision to help out is a PR stunt, humanity has a big and beautiful part to play. That’s my two cents, anyway. 

Here is a rundown of just a few examples of businesses showing generosity:

Goodwill from large and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Patron
    Tequila brand Patrón has donated $1 million to the restaurant industry and its workers. 
  2. Loom
    Loom, a video recording a sharing service, is offering their pro service free of charge to all verified teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, and educational institutions. For all other users, they are also offering a 50% discount to Loom Pro, they have more than doubled the length of their free trial, and have extended the recording time in their free version until July 1st.
  3. Sweetgreen 
    Sweetgreen have set up their Outpost operations and teams to deliver free nourishing food to hospital workers in the cities they serve.
  4. Mark Cuban
    The Dallas Mavericks owner is encouraging has promised to reimburse his employees on all purchases from local, independent small businesses
  5. Third-party delivery apps
    Third-party delivery apps are creating offers to help new and existing partners. UberEats is waiving delivery fees for all orders from independent restaurants on the app. DoorDash and Postmates are offering free signup and “contactless” delivery options through their app.
  6. Alcohol brands
    Worldwide, alcohol brands, large and small, have temporarily repurposed some of their distilleries to make hand sanitizer to support communities in short supply.

    • Large brands include:
      • Bacardi Ltd, Pernod Ricard (who produce Absolut Vodka, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Malibu and more)
      • Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) 
      • Brewdog
    • Smaller distilleries nationwide are also doing their bit, among them are:
      • KOVAL in Chicago, 
      • Black Button Distilling in Rochester, New York
      • Finger Lakes Distilling in Burdett, New York
      • Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. in Lexington, Kentucky

Everyone’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers used to say that you should “look for the helpers” in a disaster. Well, thankfully, during the coronavirus pandemic you don’t have to look far. These days it’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge the large and small businesses giving a helping hand in our hour of need. I’m raising my Absolut Vodka and cranberry to them!