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Coronavirus: Google announces $800m to support SMBs across the world

Google announced on Friday that it is committing more than $800 million in grants to support small and medium businesses (SMBs) across the world, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The aid will be extended to various health organisations, governments, and also health workers.

The CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, took to Twitter to make the announcement, saying the company is allocating $250 million in ad grants for World Health Organisation (WHO) and more than 100 government organisations globally. The goal is to help these organisations provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities.

Sundar said, “This is an increase from our initial $25 million announced last month. In addition, we’re providing $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs specifically to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.”

A $200 million investment fund will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital. For example, Google is working with the Opportunity Finance Network in the United States to help fill gaps in financing for people and communities under-served by mainstream financial institutions.

coronavirus: google announces $800m to support smbs across the world

This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs.

SMBs across the world that have had active Google Ads accounts over the last one year will get $340 million in credits. The credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts which can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across its advertising platforms. “We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” Sundar said.

As for academic institutions and researchers, to leverage Google’s computing capabilities and infrastructure, a pool of $20 million will be allocated for Google cloud credits. This is to help the concerned parties better study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.

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“In addition to these commitments, we also increased the gift match Google offers every employee annually to $10,000 from $7,500. That means our employees can now give $20,000 to organisations in their communities, in addition to the $50 million Google has already donated. Together, we’ll continue to help our communities, including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits, to navigate the challenges ahead,” the CEO said.

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