Google parent company Alphabet is the newest arrival to the global fight against the novel coronavirus strain – COVID-19. To help curb the pandemic, the company will donate the equivalent of $800 million in both cash and services. Additionally, Alphabet plans to issue millions of dollars’ worth of grants aimed at helping NGOs, academic institutions, and small- and medium-sized businesses in these trying times.
$800 million worth of relief efforts
In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai announced the initiative as a way to address some of the challenges originating from the COVID-19 outbreak. He revealed that $250 million in ad grants will be given to “NGOs like the World Health Organization, and more than 100 government agencies globally” with the goal of educating the public about the current state of affairs and best practices for contributing to the fight against the new coronavirus. The formation of an additional $200 million investment fund will support NGOs and financial institutions worldwide and allow small businesses easier access to much-needed capital. With advertising budgets being among the first things on many chopping blocks in times of crisis, further $340 million will be made available in the form of Google Ads credits to all small- and medium-sized businesses that have had active advertising accounts with the company over the past year. Those credits can be used at any point until the end of the calendar year. $20 million of Google Cloud research credits are reserved for researchers and academic institutions who are fighting the coronavirus. This should allow for easier access to the computing power and resources required to mitigate and combat the deadly pandemic.
Alphabet is also engaged in the production of medical supplies. In collaboration with its longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety, the company plans to manufacture up to three million face masks in the coming weeks. Those will be donated to the CDC Foundation. Additionally, direct financial support and expertise from various Alphabet divisions will be offered to help personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers in making and distributing ventilators. Finally, Alphabet is also increasing its annual employee donation match pledge from $7,500 to $10,000.
The multimillion-dollar pledge comes shortly after President Trump announced that Google is working on a website which would give American consumers an easy way to see if they should be tested, and then direct them to the closest drive-through COVID-19 testing facility. It did not take long for Google to disprove this information, as it now appears it had its own relief strategy well underway at the time.