As bans are being placed across the nation, we are seeing brands adopt procedures and put plans in place to ensure society does its part to flatten the curve. Here are some brands that are taking measures to help us all stay safe, but not feel alone.
Chipotle Mexican Grill this week is hosting a series of daily “Chipotle Together” sessions on video-conferencing site Zoom with celebrity guests and as many as 3,000 fans. Colton Underwood, Bachelor #23, was the first to host on Monday. As a pioneer in all fields digital marketing, Chipotle is doing the same with Zoom, fostering its die-hard fan community base and doing so in an engaging, relevant way.
The ride-hailing companies have both paused their ride-share services, which allow up to 3 different passengers to ride together, in effort to “flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve” said Uber Platform Vice President Andrew Macdonald. Uber is also giving away 300,000 free meals for health officials and first responders. Uber Eatsis also waiving delivery fees on more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the US and Canada. Head of Uber Eats, Janelle Sallenave said in a statement, “We know that the work of medical and crisis response teams can be tireless, and the hours long; we hope we can help in a small way.”
The social media giant is reimbursing parents for additional daycare expenses caused by the outbreak. Jennifer Christie, Vice President of People at Twitter, said in a company blog post that the decision was made because of “a responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this (coronavirus) pandemic.”
In its Seattle headquarters, Amazon employees have access to hundreds of restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and other small businesses. With the mandatory telecommuting policy in place, these businesses are certainly not getting nearly the same kind of business. Amazon is subsidizing two month’s worth of rent for Seattle and Bellevue area small-owned businesses in Amazon-owned buildings, in an effort to support thy neighbors.
The 100+ year old car manufacturer is replacing all national ads promoting their vehicles, and is making it their mission to, “Build to lend a Hand” and “Build for Right Now.” Additionally, Ford customers “may be able to change a payment due date or delay a payment,” Ford says in a press release. Ford Credit is also offering a program giving new vehicle buyers the option to delay their first payment for 90 days.
Along with new precautions like having crew members wear gloves and replacing cups for refills of beverages, United is allowing customers to change their travel plans with no fees.
Comcast, Charter, Verizon & other internet phone providers:
Comcast along with dozens of other internet phone providers signed the FCC pledge that should: 1. 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. 2.Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their
economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
Many college students have been sent home with classes cancelled, or even the entire semester. Storage company U-Haul recognizes this struggle, which has left students with little time to prepare, pack and leave. President of U-Haul John Taylor made a statement: “We don’t know how every student is affected. But we know they are affected,” said Taylor. “More and more universities are giving instructions to leave campus and go home. Students and their parents are in need of moving and storage solutions. We have the expertise and network to help, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.” In the spirit of goodwill, U-Haul is offering college students 30 days of free storage.
Starbucks is at the forefront of implementing measures for employee wellness including a first-of-its-kind partnership with ASU for employees to earn their bachelor’s degree online. Following suit, Starbucks is offering 20 free therapy sessions a year to all employees. The plan was originally set to begin in a few months, but the coffee-giant rolled it out early to help with employees’ anxiety and potential loneliness that can come with the spread of the pandemic and quarantine.
San Francisco has started a fund to help small businesses and residents hurt by the coronavirus, using money from private donations. Salesforce has donated $1.5 million to the fund aimed to provide assistance to residents, money, grants and small loans to small businesses. The company also donated $500,000 to the Centers for Disease Control’s emergency response fund.
The unprecedented time we are in is sure, scary. But the uplifting spirit that so many brands here and elsewhere described are exercising is reminiscent of the American resilience; stronger together.