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Free Tools, Resources, and Financial Help for Business Owners Hit by Covid-19 – Inc.


Note: This post was updated at 12:07 a.m. EDT on April 8 and will be continually updated as additional resources become available.

A growing number of companies are offering their online tools, classes, and resources at no cost in response to the impact on small-business owners from the coronavirus. Below is a list that Inc. is curating and continuously updating.

Ad credits and grants

  • Marketing company Thryv has launched a Small Business COVID-19 Grant Program through the company’s small business foundation. The program will award immediate grants to struggling small businesses, which apply via the company’s online application process at thryvfoundation.org

  • Google is donating more than $800 million to support small businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers impacted by Covid-19. The amount includes $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses with active accounts in the past year.

  • Telecom giant Verizon is donating $2.5 million to nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation for its Small Business Covid-19 Recovery Fund, which will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to struggling businesses.

  • Amazon launched a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to small businesses in and around the Seattle area that are impacted by Covid-19.
  • Facebook also created a Small Business Grants Program that will provide $100 million in cash and ad credits to 30,000 businesses in the 30 countries where Facebook operates.
  • To help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services.
  • GoFundMe, the social-fundraising platform, has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative, partnering with Yelp to provide small-business owners with grants and resources. GoFundMe and Yelp have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, and it is open for anyone to make a donation. There will also be $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
  • The James Beard Foundation, the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The organization will draw support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to offer micro-grants to restaurants, bars, and other independent businesses in the industry.

Legal and employment issues

  • Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a nonprofit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates in all 50 states, launched the Small Business Remote Legal Clinic to offer free consultations for small-business owners to help them answer legal questions and better understand the help that’s available. The pilot program starts with New York City businesses and will expand to other cities in the weeks ahead.
  • SixFifty, the tech subsidiary of law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, released free legal tools to help businesses manage employment issues related to the Covid-19 crisis, from automated policies developed by employment attorneys to questionnaires to gather employee information, manage tasks, and automate important communications. The firm is also hosting free webinars to guide businesses on how to use the tools.

Marketing

  • Business Warrior, the software platform for small businesses, is offering 12 months’ free access to its software and support, including personalized recommendations to drive new customers and improve profitability during this uncertain time.

Gift certificates, gift boxes, and more ways to support small businesses

  • Verizon launched Pay It Forward Live, a weekly charitable entertainment series, to support small businesses affected by Covid-19. Dave Matthews will be the first among other artists to perform concerts from their homes that will stream live on Verizon’s Twitter account and on Yahoo Entertainment and encourage viewers to support their favorite local businesses.

  • Keep Your City Smiling, born out of the Covid-19 crisis, sells gift boxes of products to benefit struggling local businesses. It is currently focused on Seattle small businesses, but it’s expected to expand to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon–with more cities to come.

  • Rally for Restaurants, a grass-roots movement to support restaurants through Covid-19, has made it easier than ever to buy gift cards to restaurants and encourage others to do the same. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can add your business to the list.
  • Presently, a group-gifting platform, is covering all credit-card fees for group gifts on its platform through April.
  • Kabbage has launched an online hub to help boost gift-certificate sales for small businesses impacted by Covid-19. While the service is free, there is a 2.5 percent payment processing charge per gift certificate that goes to the third party facilitating the service.

Supply Chain Solutions

  • Software company SAP is offering free access to SAP Ariba Discovery through June 30, for all suppliers. The platform serves as a business matchmaking service for buyers and suppliers. Buyers, who always had free access, can post their immediate sourcing needs–and now any supplier is free to respond to any of them at no charge for this limited period.

Social-media services

Search engine optimization

  • Moz, the SEO software company, is offering free access to more than a dozen of its Moz Academy SEO courses through May 31, covering everything from keyword research to backlink basics and more.

Presentations design

  • WeTransfer, the file transfer service, has opened its collaborative presentation tool Paste Pro for three months free to new teams who join the platform.

E-commerce

  • Shopify, the e-commerce platform, is offering an extended 90-day trial for new customers. For those of you currently on a 14-day trial, you can extend it at no charge to 90 days.

Cloud storage

WFH skills and tools

  • Vonage, a global cloud-communications company, is offering its collaboration platform and video conferencing tools for businesses at no charge for 90 days, and for up to 250 users.
  • Vidyard, an online video platform, is offering its video message service for free to businesses to use for internal communications through June 30.
  • Software company TechSmith is offering its screen recording tool, Snagit, and its collaboration platform, Video Review, for free to businesses through the end of June.
  • Threads, a collaboration and communication platform, is offering its Pro tier plan, which supports up to 100 members, for free through July 1.
  • Workhuman, the human capital management software company, is making its cloud-based social recognition tools–specifically its Life Events, Social Recognition, and Conversation platforms–free for 12 months to all businesses and organizations.
  • 15Five is offering full access to its performance-management software through June 15, to help companies lead remote teams.
  • Igloo Software, a digital workplace solutions provider, is offering its Business Continuity Bundle for free through July 6, which includes digital workplace tools to keep employees productive and supported through the crisis.

  • LinkedIn has made 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free, including tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools, and balance family and work in a healthy way.

Team videoconferencing

  • Calendly, the appointment scheduling software company, is offering Zoom and GoToMeeting integrations–which were previously premium tier features–free of charge to businesses through June.

  • Dialpad, a communications platform, is offering businesses its cloud-based phone system  Dialpad Talk Pro and its videoconferencing tool UberConference Business at no charge for two months. 

  • Adobe is offering Adobe Connect, a Web conferencing platform, for free to businesses and individuals through July 1, for meetings of up to 25 participants.
  • Cisco, the multinational tech giant whose Webex product hosts videoconferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars, is offering free 90-day licenses with unlimited usage.
  • Jamm, a voice and video collaboration tool for remote teams, is offering its service free to any team for four months.
  • Zoho Remotely has opened up its complete suite of Web and mobile apps for free to small-business owners through July 1, to help remote teams communicate, collaborate, and be productive.
  • Align Technologies has made its Huddle Tools software available for free to small businesses to help teams improve the flow of communication and manage updates and tasks through the coronavirus crisis.
  • Software giant Atlassian, which offers productivity and collaboration tools, is offering its cloud products for free to small businesses with teams of up to 10 people. 

Cybersecurity

Video content

  • Software company Panopto is offering three months of free access to Panopto Cloud, a service used to record and distribute video content.
  • Apple has opened some of its professional-grade software to businesses at no charge for 90 days: Final Cut Pro X for video editing and Logic Pro X to create music.

Wellness

  • Headspace is offering a variety of guided meditations and exercises (including new ones) for free to all businesses and their employees.
  • Fitness startup ClassPass has launched livestream classes for studios, with all proceeds going back to studios through June 1. The fitness startup is encouraging members to donate to their favorite studios, and it plans to match those donations up to $1 million. ClassPass also offers free access to 2,000 on-demand workouts.

  • Unmind, a workplace mental health platform, has started a free and open #GreatUnminds channel on Slack, where you can make connections, learn tips, and share advice on mental well-being in the workplace.
  • Les Mills, whose fitness brand started in 1968 in New Zealand, is offering more than 100 of his virtual fitness classes for free until the coronavirus crisis is over.
  • If yoga is more your speed, DoYogaWithMe is offering two months of free access to its premium content.

Published on: Apr 8, 2020





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