In another welcome example of the big tech companies doing their bit in the medical and economic fight against the COVID-19 pandemic (following Facebook's recent announcement it is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for small businesses), Google has committed over $800 million to help small businesses and crisis responders.
In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said:
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.
What is Google Pledging in the Fight Against Coronavirus?
Ad Credits for Businesses
The bulk of Google's relief package will be in the form of ad credits for small and medium size businesses: $340 million's worth, to help them survive this time of crisis. This money will be credited into Google Ads accounts that have been active in the last year, and can be redeemed until the end of 2020.
Ad Grants for the WHO and Other Agencies
$250 million will be granted to the World Health Organisation and other bodies who are responsible for disseminating factually correct public information to help them get their messages out to as many people as possible.
A $200 million investment fund is being created to help financial institutions provide small businesses with money.
$20 million is being poured into Google Cloud credits for researchers.
Not Just Cash and Credits
Google is also providing practical support by working with one of its partners to produce between 2 and 3 million face masks for health workers.
While our global society grapples with the continuing pandemic, it is both heartening, and right, that the world's biggest companies should be doing what they can to be part of the solution. As well as Google's and Facebook's efforts, Apple also launched a COVID-19 website and app last week. All of these actions combined help prevent the spread of misinformation, support businesses in these testing times, and most importantly, minimise the loss of life.