The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has brought on a lot of stress for individuals, businesses, and economies across the globe, but these challenging times have also brought out a lot of good news and acts of kindness. If you’re searching for ways to support socially-conscious businesses or just need a dose of joy in your day, look no further.
In this post, we’ll highlight small and large businesses that are doing their part to help healthcare workers, displaced hospitality staff, and more.
1. iPromo (Chicago, IL) shifts production
While this Chicago-based company normally manufactures custom promotional materials for businesses and individuals, iPromo recognized an opportunity to shift their business model to make a difference in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After experiencing the effects of the pandemic themselves, iPromo decided to get their facilities back in order by transitioning their manufacturing plans to create much-needed COVID-19 PPE supplies for hospitals and essential businesses. By offering sanitizers, face masks, medical gloves, and protective suits at reduced rates, iPromo is helping to fulfill the national need for medical supplies while keeping much of their workplace employed.
Note: While the company does accept some individual orders, they do prioritize orders from hospitals, public agencies, and essential services.
2. Mesa Biotech (San Diego, CA) blazes the trail for testing
Since the coronavirus was first identified, scientists around the world have been searching and collaborating to find a vaccine as soon as possible. While the road ahead could be months or even closer to a year, private biotech companies are leading the charge to expedite the process. In the meantime, researchers are working around the clock to produce testing kits that can be used ASAP.
One biotech company based in San Diego recently obtained emergency authorization from the FDA so that they can start shipping their 30-minute COVID-19 test immediately. This rapid testing method is expected to help hospitals manage the cadence of patient visits and ultimately, make more tests available where they’re needed most.
3. Airbnb (San Francisco, CA) provides housing for healthcare workers
While the vacation rental giant certainly isn’t a small business, they’re certainly pulling out all the stops for workers and property owners in communities around the globe. By offering free and subsidized housing for healthcare workers and emergency responders, Airbnb’s initiative aims to offer essential workers a safe, clean place to stay that’s typically closer to their workplace. In addition, the company has also set up a COVID-19 donation tool that helps them expand their mission to provide these workers with housing when they need to stay in isolation or closer to the hospital.
4. Sweetgreen (Los Angeles, CA) provides healthy meals to healthcare heroes
While they’re based in Los Angeles and have locations across the United States, Sweetgreen has made local healthcare workers their top priority in the wake of COVID-19. In March, the healthy restaurant chain announced their program, Outpost. Outpost delivers fresh and free food to healthcare workers in all of the cities that have a Sweetgreen location. The program runs on a combination of revenue and donations, which private donors can help subsidize on their website.
Whether you donate or order contactless meal delivery for yourself, helping these thoughtful businesses survive is an excellent choice!
5. Keep Your City Smiling (Seattle, WA) stimulates local economies everywhere
Keep Your City Smiling wasn’t always what it is today, in fact, it didn’t even exist. Originally, TheSnapBar, based in the PNW, provided photo booths for private and corporate events, but their business model was completely upended overnight. Rather than accept the loss and make labor cuts, they got creative, and Keep Your City Smiling was born.
In an effort to save local economies across the U.S., this brand curates and ships out assorted boxes filled with goodies from small businesses in your desired location. Each box contains a variety of products including snacks, craft coffee, candles, paper goods, cards, spices, honey, and beauty products. In addition to their city collection, they also offer specialized gift boxes for Mother’s Day and healthcare workers.
Currently, Keep Your City Smiling offers Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles boxes.
Are there businesses in your community going above and beyond to help during the COVID-19 crisis? Let us know in the comment section below.
Celebrating 10 years of Native News...
We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.