Google stepped up Friday, giving small- and medium-size businesses financial help. The company said those with active advertising accounts during the past year will have access to free ad credits -- about $340 million in aggregate. The goal is to help companies stay in touch with their customers as the COVID-19 outbreak worsens globally.
Credit notifications will appear in Google Ads accounts and can be used across the company’s advertising platforms. The offer expires at the end of 2020.
The ad credits to SMB are one of several initiatives announced Friday to help business, educational institutions and government.
The donations were announced one day after Laura Martin, managing director at Needham & Company, during an ARF Town Hall meeting, expressed a concern about small businesses in the U.S. not having the financial ability to weather through the COVID-19 storm.
In total, Google plans to donate more than $800 million to a variety of companies, educational foundations and government offices. The World Health Organization will have access to $250 million in ad grants, up from the initial $25 million Google donated last month. The company is also providing $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.
Then there is the $200 million investment fund to support non-profits and financial institutions worldwide to help provide small businesses with access to capital. For example, Google is working with the Opportunity Finance Network in the U.S. to help fill gaps in financing for people and communities underserved by mainstream financial institutions. This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants that Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs.
Academic institutions and researchers will have access to $20 million in Google Cloud credits to leverage computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.
Google is also working with Magid Glove & Safety to ramp up production of between two million and three million face masks in the coming weeks that will be provided to the CDC Foundation. Employees from across Alphabet -- including Google, Verily and X -- are bringing engineering, supply chain and healthcare expertise to facilitate increased production of ventilators, working with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort.
A gift-matching program will allow Google employees to give $20,000 to organizations in their communities, in addition to the $50 million Google.org has already donated.