SIGN UP
Business inspiration

8 ways businesses are pulling together during the coronavirus crisis

No business operates on its own. From suppliers to distributors, each business depends on many others to get its products or services into the hands of customers. Any problems that disrupt this vast, interconnected network can have a knock-on effect.

It’s no surprise then that coronavirus hasn’t just impacted individual businesses, it’s completely transformed the way they interact with each other. While most businesses have had to close or totally rethink their proposition, the supply chains that support them may take years to recover.

But there are a few positive stories amongst all the hardship – of businesses banding together and helping each other out. We’ve collected a handful of heartwarming examples, for a bit of positive news during this difficult time.

1. Morrisons is paying suppliers straight away

UK supermarket Morrisons has announced that it will pay its suppliers immediately, a step which will save many farmers, food makers and small businesses from going under.

Not just that, the firm has also widened its definition of a small supplier, from companies earning £100,000 a year or less to those with a turnover of up to £1m.

As a result, far more businesses will benefit from the policy and be able to steer clear of cashflow issues.

2. Business owners are sharing knowledge online

From video calling to online food delivery, technology is proving an enormous help during this crisis. Social media platforms and messaging services in particular are allowing people to communicate, provide help and share resources.

Like the mutual aid groups springing up across the country, where local volunteers offer support to those in need, businesses are also pulling together online. Business owners are taking to industry-specific WhatsApp groups, or platforms like Reddit and UK Business Forums, to share crucial knowledge and advice.

Holly Tucker, co-founder of notonthehighstreet.com, has also launched SME:SOS, a free resource which highlights the help available for small businesses during the pandemic.

3. Alcohol brands are turning waste alcohol into hand sanitiser

A number of savvy alcohol brands have made use of the alcohol content in their products to tackle hand sanitiser shortages. Take craft beer brewer Brewdog, which is giving away its ‘punk sanitiser’ for free to local charities and people in the community.

Another example is Conker Spirit, a gin producer in Bournemouth, which is helping out fellow businesses by handing out sanitiser made from waste alcohol to care workers and hospitality firms.

4. UK supermarkets are pooling resources

In a move that would have been unthinkable even weeks ago, the government has temporarily relaxed competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together to feed self-isolating Brits.

To meet ever-increasing demand, retailers can now share stock level data, distribution depots and delivery vans.

Supermarkets are also pooling staff, which reflects the ‘employee sharing’ seen in China, where delivery services solved a shortfall in drivers by hiring redundant restaurant workers.

5. Big tech is supporting coronavirus research

Big technology firms like Amazon, Google and Microsoft haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with the American government, but they’re making an exception during Covid-19.

The world’s biggest tech companies are now working with the White House to combine their enormous computing power.

The initiative, which brings together various organisations’  high-performance computing resources, will drastically reduce the time taken to complete experiments and identify a potential Covid-19 cure.

6. Entertainment platforms are supporting out-of-work creatives

The film, TV and music industries have ground to halt in recent weeks. But it’s not just screenwriters and artists who rely on these industries for their income, hundreds of thousands of cast and crew are also now out of work, including electricians, carpenters and drivers.

Streaming giant Netflix has stepped in to launch a $100m fund for those affected by cancelled television and film productions.

Likewise, music platform Bandcamp also waived its sales fees last Friday, allowing customers to put money directly into struggling musicians’ pockets, now that tours are no longer going ahead.

7. Facebook is providing grants to small businesses

Many of the stories we’ve encountered focus on big corporates helping out smaller firms, which is encouraging, as these tech giants wield more power than many major governments.

Facebook, one such colossus, is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.

It’s early days for Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program, so the scheme is still a little light on detail. But it’s a promising gesture from an organisation that could make a real impact. We hope to see more large firms doing the same.

8. Businesses are getting behind the NHS

Although the National Health Service isn’t a private company, it is the one of the world’s biggest employers, with over 1.3 million staff. So it would feel strange not to mention the vast array of UK businesses rallying behind the NHS staff with discounts and other measures.

From special shopping hours at supermarkets to free fuel for emergency services vehicles, there’s been an outpouring of appreciation for the country’s health service, as they tackle the pandemic day in, day out.

Even online fashion retailer Missguided is offering a 50% discount to healthcare workers.

In fact, we could write a whole article about these initiatives, so stay tuned for our piece on this very topic, which will feature more much-needed good news.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Spotify
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound
Login