In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are now adopting social distancing and work-from-home lifestyles. These mandates have also forced many business owners to close their doors to comply with mandatory shelter-in-place orders. The mandates are posing serious challenges. Luckily, some companies are offering free business services to help alleviate this struggle.
Below is a running list of software and services that can help businesses struggling because of COVID-19.
Discounts for restaurant owners
- Grubhub/Seamless: Deferred commission fees and payments for independent restaurants.
- Uber Eats: Delivery fees for customers are waived for over 100,000 independent restaurants across U.S. and Canada.
- OneDine: Offering Tap & Order and Tap & Pay technology for free during COVID-19.
Free business services from utility companies
- PG&E: PG&E halted service disconnections for nonpayment for commercial and resident customers.
- Southern California Edison: SCE suspended disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late fees for business and residential customers.
- All New York electric and gas utility companies: The companies halted power and heat disconnections for customers unable to pay bills during COVID-19.
Credit Card Issuers
- American Express: Users could receive temporary relief. This relief includes waived interest and late payment fees for business cardholders. It depends on your situation, so learn more by reaching out to their customer service.
- Bank of America: Users can request to defer payments and refunds on late fees.
- Capital One: Customers could receive more time or waived fees for minimum payment. Reach out their customer service to learn more.
- Chase: Businesses could receive temporary relief, such as waived fees, extended due dates, or increased credit lines. Reach out to their customer service to learn more.
- Citi: For small business customers, Citi is offering fee waivers on monthly service fees and remote deposit capture and waived penalties for early CD withdrawal. Effective March 9, 2020 for an initial 30 days.
- Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and other issuers: They encourage customers to call and discuss possible solutions.
Free business services for your workplace
- Homebase: Free Basic plan that helps make scheduling, time tracking, and team communication easier.
- Pandadoc: Introduced a new Free eSign plan that allows companies to have the following capabilities – unlimited document uploads, unlimited eSignatures, and payment processing.
- Box: For small businesses, 3 months free of its Business plan, which includes unlimited storage, mobile access, and advanced user and security reporting.
- Cisco Webex: Offering unlimited usage with no time restrictions and support for up to 100 participants with a free 90-day license to new Webex customers.
- Cloudfare: Cloudfare for Teams network security product is free for small businesses for next 6 months.
- Google: G Suite and G Suite for education customers get free access to enterprise video-conferencing features (for example, meetings up to 250 people and ability to record) through July 1, 2020.
- GoToMeeting: Video conferencing product for free for three months to “critical front-line service providers” (includes healthcare providers, educational institutions, municipalities and nonprofit organizations).
- LinkedIn: 16 LinkedIn Learning courses are now available for free. The topics include how to stay productive, build relationships, use virtual meeting tools, and balance family/work dynamics.
- Microsoft: The premium version of Teams is free for 6 months and existing user limits on the free version have been lifted.
- Meero: Providing increased the storage capacity (up to 10 Gigabytes) and validity duration (up to 3 months of validity) of files shared through MeeroDrop.
- Zoom: 40 minute cap on video calls are lifted for K-12 schools in the U.S.
- StopCOVID: StopCOVID is a training service for food businesses with essential employees. The company delivers the service through SMS text messages and educates personnel on coronavirus preparedness. The training is a series of eight, 5-minute training drills that are based on WHO and CDC guidelines. Content covers hand hygiene, surface disinfecting, and the basics of COVID awareness.
Other free services that can help business owners:
- Headspace: Offering some meditations for free in the Weathering the Storm collection.
- Planet Fitness: Home workouts that are live-streamed daily at 4pm PT/5pm MT/6pm CT/ 7pm ET.
We’ll continue to update this list as more services become available. Do you know of free or discounted services that we did not include? Please leave a comment about the service and we’ll add it.