Even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. And for Florida business owners suffering through the economic fallout from COVID-19, there is help. [Previously], we shared some of the funding and financial assistance options available through the State of Florida, as well as federal government agencies.
Today, we will share information about other types of assistance, including help with marketing and promotion. We will also let you know where you can find tools and additional information essential for business owners in Florida.
Help With Marketing and Promotion
If your business is still technically “open,” but your staff is working from home – or if you’ve only got an essential crew on site – it may be difficult to let your clients or customers know what’s going on. Here are some resources that may help:
• Google – is offering $340 million in ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses worldwide. These credits can be used on any of the company’s Google Ads platforms at any time until the end of this year.
• Yelp – is offering $25 million in relief, by waiving advertising fees, and making free advertising, products, and services available to independent local restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and similar establishments. Yelp is also providing support for independent local advertisers in other businesses struggling because of the pandemic.
• Kabbage – is allowing any business to enroll and sell gift certificates online through Kabbage Payments. Registered businesses can send custom links to their customers. Beyond that, anyone can buy gift certificates from participating businesses to support them.
Tools for Remote Work and More
For traditional “brick and mortar” businesses, having employees working from home may present challenges in terms of logistics and production. These tools are available to facilitate remote work and more:
• Microsoft – is making free videoconferencing available to businesses through Teams even if they do not use Microsoft Office 365. You can learn more here.
• Zoom – is offering a free plan and links to resources to simplify virtual meetings and remote work.
• GoToMeeting – is providing an “emergency remote work toolkit” for businesses new to remote work.
• Cisco — is providing free access to virtual meetings and event tools.
At a time when everyone is being inundated with information, it may be difficult to find information about the COVID-19 pandemic that applies only to your industry. Your trade association may be a good place to start. You can find a list of trade associations here.
The following are also providing information about COVID-19 for relevant professions:
• The National Association of Realtors
• The National Electrical Contractors Association
• The National Restaurant Association
• The National Retail Federation
• The Global Association for the Attractions Industry
• The World Tourism Organization
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