The funding is part of a $800-million worth initiative and commitment put together by the technology major to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has said that it will provide up to $340 million in Google ad credits to small and medium businesses (SMBs) globally on its platform as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms,” said CEO Sundar Pichai. “We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” he noted.
In a blog post, Pichai announced several additional forms of financial aid, including $250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies around the world provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“This is an increase from our initial $25 million announced last month,” noted Pichai. “In addition, we’re providing $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs specifically to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.”
In furtherance of the cause, Alphabet also announced “a $200-million investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital,” along with “a pool of $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage our computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.”
Pichai also announced a “direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices”, adding, “we’re working with our longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety, with the goal of ramping up production of 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks that will be provided to the CDC Foundation.”
Employees from across Alphabet, including Google, Verily and X, will now get together “engineering, supply chain, and healthcare expertise to facilitate increased production of ventilators, working with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort,” says Pichai.
Internally, Google said that it had raised the “gift match” Google offers every employee annually to $10,000 from $7,500, so that “our employees can now give $20,000 to organizations in their communities, in addition to the $50 million Google.org has already donated”.
Picchai concludes, “Together, we’ll continue to help our communities —including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits — to navigate the challenges ahead.”