Times are indeed challenging right now in all aspects in terms of health, safety, economy, socially. Google has spent the past few months trying to update their current products and coming up with new ones to help its users adjust to the current situation and deal with COVID-19 and its effect on our lives. They have now released a sort of report and update on what efforts they have been doing which includes their products as well as investing money in underserved businesses.
First, in terms of putting their money where their tech is, they have put $170 million in their Grow with Google Small Business Fund as well as $10 million in Google.org grants. They have focused on businesses owned by minorities and women and has collaborated with Opportunity Finance Network as well to allocate funds to their community partners. They have invested in businesses run by rural, women, Black, Latino, and Native borrowers.
In terms of helping small businesses get back on their feet, Google has also rolled out new and free products for them so people are able to find them more easily on both Search and Maps. You can now find information about curbside pickups or no-contact delivery for more than 2 million restaurants and retailers in the U.S. For the rest of the world, they have been able to update more than 3 million business information through the use of Google’s Duplex technology.
Finding jobs is another important need of Americans right now. There is now a feature in Search where you can look for jobs that can be done remotely. Google Cloud has also partnered with different states to help jobseekers. Their Grow with Google training has been transformed to virtual formats and has helped Americans upgrade their digital skills and help them find jobs related to this field.
Of course, their main product, Search itself is pretty helpful when looking for any information related to COVID-19. The Search Knowledge Panels were launched so those searching for keywords will get local guidance, symptoms information, prevention, and treatments.