“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Mr. Rogers

It’s great advice in any situation, that jewel of wisdom from beloved children’s television icon Fred Rogers—and perhaps never needed so much as now. In these times of humanitarian and economic crisis, we look to the others for inspiration, guidance, and hope. We look to see how we can help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are the people taking action; those giving of their talents and resources where it is needed most to help others move forward, even if only a step. They are your frontline healthcare staff, for certain. They are essential retail workers, grocery store clerks, and pharmacy staff. They are your neighbors, your community, your colleagues. Maybe one of them is you.

In some cases, entire organizations have committed to serving their customers and communities as helpers. Google, for example, has pledged over $800 million to support small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations, and healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Google’s pledge to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic includes:

  • Millions in advertising credit for the WHO and small businesses 
  • A $200 investment fund to give small businesses access to capital 
  • Google Cloud access for researchers and academics 
  • Direct financial support for companies to increase their production of PPE and lifesaving medical devices such as ventilators

Check out these other examples of brands helping others through COVID-19, how and wherever they can:

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is taking care of New York doctors and nurses. 

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is providing free lodging for frontline healthcare workers at its iconic 57th Street location. This “most prestigious address between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue” is now a refuge for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in need of a place to shelter-in-place away from the family they wish to protect from potential exposure.

Four Seasons Hotel

The luxury brand isn’t alone in opening its doors to medical workers in need. The American Hotel & Lodging Association recently launched its ‘Hospitality for Hope’ initiative and already has over 15,000 U.S. lodging properties signed on to support the healthcare community with accommodations.

CVS is improving access to essentials and lifting spirits.

Staying home during this current Coronavirus pandemic is more than just keeping with public health recommendations or regulations—it’s a matter of life or death. This is especially true for people with preexisting conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. 

Pharmacy brand CVS is helping customers at its over 9,900 locations stay home with free delivery. Orders for prescription medications, medical supplies, and other everyday essentials (including groceries) over $35 are now delivered free of charge. Use the CVS Store Locator to find a location with the service options you need near you.

CVS Pharmacy

Target is protecting its team members with special shopping hours.

Helping customers in their time of need doesn’t have to require a large outlaying of cash. In some cases, rethinking business-as-usual and creative adjustments to operations can deliver big benefits for specific groups of people.

Such is the case with Target’s dedicated shopping hours for the brand’s team members and their families. Store and distribution team members are able to shop the hour before stores open on Monday, Friday, and Saturday.

Target

In a special bulletin announcing the program, Target executives wrote, “We know that in order to serve the countless families shopping at Target each and every day, our team needs to be able to care for themselves and their families. On top of the $300 million+ team investment and paid leave we’ve already committed to, we’re also setting aside dedicated time for our store and distribution center team members to shop for essentials, such as food, baby products and medicine.”

You can learn more about Target’s other COVID-19 safety measures here.

Grocery brand Meijer is serving vulnerable customers with special shopping hours.

Michigan-based grocery and supercenter retailer Meijer adjusted hours at its 245 locations to better serve the needs of seniors, vulnerable customers, and essential service workers. Team members are given more time to restock and clean, as well.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Meijer stores and pharmacies are open exclusively to serve senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions from 7am-8am. At the same time on Mondays and Wednesdays, team members and essential service workers are welcome to shop.

On April 4, Meijer announced new measures to help protect customers from potential COVID-19 exposure. The number of customers allowed in-store is being monitored, and employees are now undergoing daily health screenings and temperature checks. You can read more about these and other measures here.

Keep your customers and local owners up to date with COVID-19 local marketing resources from Rio SEO.

Rio SEO is here to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re committed to helping brands better serve customers and team members in this uncertain and rapidly evolving environment. Accurate, current information and proactive communications are more important than ever.

To that end, Rio SEO recommends that you:

  • Update all location listings with special hours or temporary closures
  • Update business descriptions to add custom COVID-19 messaging
  • Publish information about your unique services and amenities (e.g., drive-thru, pick up, delivery, etc.), using Google Posts where possible
  • Add COVID-19 messaging to local landing pages

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 resource for access to free expert webinars and resources, important updates from Google and Yelp, our latest recommendations in light of new information becoming available, and more.