Panic surrounding the Coronavirus has affected more people in ways than we expected. It has also distracted us (me) from the primary presidential election and from the Census 2020 (which is due by April 1). This virus is causing many to lose their jobs and become worse off than they already were. Although things have turned to crap over the last 30 days, I want to focus on those companies that have stepped up. It’s important to see how these large corporations, that we keep thriving, are reacting to recent events. The following are some of the many companies that are dedicated to bringing something positive to this situation:
1. UberEats and DoorDash have not waived commission fees for independent restaurant partners, while Postmates has launched a pilot program for small businesses that temporarily waives commission fees for businesses in the SF Bay Area.
2. Walmart has deployed an Emergency Leave Program, which provides time-off for employees depending on various coronavirus threat levels.
3. Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Google, T-Mobile and Sprint have signed a pledge to keep Americans internet-connected for the next 60 days, even if people cannot afford to pay.
4. Amazon created a $25M fund to help its delivery drivers and seasonal workers cope with coronavirus, and a $5M dollar fund to help affected small businesses in Seattle.
5. Hilton is waiving cancellation fees to their hotels for people in coronavirus infected countries.
6. VF Corp is closing all of their stores until April 5th. All of their employees will continue to get paid through the closure.
7. U-Haul has announced 30 days of free self-storage to all college students who have been impacted by schedule changes at their universities.
8. McDonald’s has stated that it will cover sick leave for any employees at corporate-owned locations who are asked to quarantine for two weeks.
9. Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, others) has announced paid sick leave for all of its hourly workers not currently covered by a corporate policy.
10. Marriott is beginning to furlough tens of thousands of employees as hotel closures mount worldwide.