N95 type masks or respirators are in very short supply. Some companies are now helping to make masks for healthcare workers. Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses of all sizes are changing to help flatten the curve and assist those affected by the pandemic. Here are just 10 ways among many that companies are giving back: 

1. Large businesses, like Microsoft and Google, are continuing to pay their hourly workers who ordinarily support their campus but cannot work from home while the buildings are closed. These include janitors, cafeteria chefs, landscape workers and others. 

2. Virtual conference services have also contributed. Google has made their hangout feature, which allows people to video chat, free until July 1, 2020. Loom, an educational service, has made their program free for  K-12 schools, universities and educational institutions. 

3. Businessman Mark Cuban is reimbursing all of his employees, across all of his businesses, who buy food from small businesses. This is in an attempt to help small businesses who are especially struggling during this time. Cuban has also vowed to continue to pay the hourly employees who work for the Dallas Mavericks, his NBA team, even though the remainder of the NBA season has been cancelled. 

4. Distilleries across the nation are using their alcohol-making supplies to make hand sanitizer. Old Fourth Distillery in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta has undertaken this task, which not only helps the medical industry but also helps the economy by allowing their workers to continue working. 

5. Ventilators are needed for patients fighting the coronavirus. The five largest producers of these devices, Hamilton Medical, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Draeger, Medtronic and GE healthcare, have all increased their number of workers and their employees’ hours. 

6. Small businesses are also doing their part to help flatten the curve by using their resources to make masks. Two lacrosse companies, Stringking and ECD lacrosse, are making masks. Both companies are 3D printing masks using the lacrosse mesh material.

7. Uber drivers are technically private contractors and Uber is under no obligation to pay them when they are not working; however, Uber has given all drivers 14 days of paid work to help them during this time. 

8. Food delivery services Doordash, Ubereats and Postmates have cut commission fees for small restaurants. This will help small restaurants who have less liquidity to fall back on during these difficult times.

9. Many K-12 schools around the country cannot provide online school to all students due families’ lack of devices or internet at home. This has left parents, especially parents of younger kids in the formative years of their education, to have to try and teach their kids from home. The Barbara Bush Foundation has set up a toolkit that leads parents to resources for teaching their children. 

10. Adobe is one of the most popular and widespread global platforms for education in the world. They have allowed educators and students to request in-home access for no additional cost.  

Get the discussion going! Leave a comment or reply below.