Google commits over $800 mn in ad credits, funds in fight against Covid 19

Google commits over $800 mn in ad credits, funds in fight against Covid 19
Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Mar, 2020

Google has pledged over $800 million to help small and medium-sized business, health organisations, governments and health workers in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a recent blog post.

The search engine giant has set aside Google Ads credits to the tune of $340 million for SMBs with active Google accounts over the past year. The credits can be used until the end of 2020.

“We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers,” Sundar Pichai said on Google’s official blog, the Keyword.

Out of the $800 million commitment, Google has marked $250 million for ad grants for the World Health Organization (WHO) and 100 other government agencies.

Country specific details on how the $800 million would be allocated were not announced.

Additionally, a $200 million fund will be set up to support non-government organisations and financial institutions to help small businesses access capital. This will be in addition to the $15 million in cash grants that Google.org provides to non-profits.

Academic researchers and institutions will get $20 million in Google Cloud credits to utilise Google’s infrastructure to study potential vaccines and therapies. The cloud will help in tracking critical data as well as find new ways to combat Covid-19.

Read: Google, Flipkart, Swiggy, gig economy startups spring to action to contain Covid-19 crisis

Google will also work towards producing 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks to provide to the CDC Foundation (centre for disease control and prevention).

Pichai said that employees across Alphabet, including Google, Verily and X, will work with the healthcare supply chain to facilitate increased production of ventilators and work with equipment manufacturers globally.

The Google gift match programme, where Google equals the donations done by its employees, will also see an increase from $7,500 to $10,000. This would translate to each employee being able to donate a total of $20,000 to organisations in their communities.

Recently, Google announced it was setting up a fund for its temporary employees and third-party staff members to take paid leaves amid the Covid-19 crisis.