Verizon is launching programs day by day to support our communities in response to Covid-19. Chief among those actions that I wanted to ensure your business community was aware of is a $2.5 million donation we’ve made to Local Initiatives SupportCorporation (LISC) a national nonprofit that invests in economic opportunity for people and communities across America, as part of the launch of Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live, a weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. Over the course of the series, all viewers will be encouraged to tag their favorite local businesses and make advance purchases for when the businesses reopen. As consumers engage, Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million in funds, bringing the total donation to a potential $5 million. LISC will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. Applications for the first round of grants were due April 4th. However, to apply for the next round of grants, small businesses would click here.
Aside from the grant opportunity through LISC noted above, Verizon continues to support small businesses in ways that can help maintain business as usual to the extent possible in these unprecedented times.
- We’ve added 15GB of data for no charge to the plans of wireless and small business customers on metered plans, 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data to wireless customers on unlimited plans, and 15GB of data to Jetpack plans. While more than half of our wireless customer base is on an unlimited data plan, we recognize there are many who may need additional connectivity during these trying times. We’re here for our customers and to make sure they have what they need to stay connected.
- Verizon signed the FCC’s “Keep America Connected” pledge and committed, for the duration of the pledge, to not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and to waive any late fees that they incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- On a national perspective, Verizon is partnering with a number of small businesses preparing daily meals to feed healthcare workers. This program brings together multiple New York City restaurants with six area hospitals in an effort to help both the restaurants’ workers and hospital staff on the front line providing care to patients. Meals are being provided seven days a week throughout the month of April, at no cost to the hospitals or their employees. The ordering and delivery process is managed by Grubhub, which donated its service to help this cause.
- Launched a small business webinar series
Lastly, for small business parents who have been thrust into their new side hustle as an impromptu home school teachers given news of schools’ stay at home orders the remainder of the school year, I wanted to ensure you knew that at least for this month, Verizon wireless customers will be able to experience up to 60 days of free access to valued educational resources, tools and games at no cost, including:
- Quizlet: Free Quizlet Plus account to study languages, science, math, history and more
- Bookful: Bring books to life with hundreds of AR and 3D interactive education books and games
- Chegg: Access to the new Chegg Study Pack with step-by-step textbook solutions, expert Q&A, practice tests, a step-by-step math solver, and more
- Epic!: Access to a 40,000 book digital library
Courtesy of Verizon