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Google's $800 million COVID-19 relief effort includes 2 million face masks

Ad credits and small business support are also part of the strategy.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 27, 2020
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Google's support for the fight against COVID-19 includes more than advisories and a search hub. The internet firm is making a $800 million-plus investment in multiple areas to aid treatment, support businesses and keep the public informed. This includes direct financial backing and know-ow, including partnering with supplier Magid GlovE & Safety to produce 2-3 million face masks for the CDC Foundation in the "coming weeks." It'll also assist the government, manufacturers and distributors in producing ventilators.

The business assistance includes a $200 million fund for financial institutions and non-governmental organizations to help small businesses get funds. All small businesses with active accounts over the past year will have access to a pool of $340 million in Google Ads credits.

Google's remaining funds include $250 million in ad grants for the WHO and government agencies to provide vital information (a leap from $25 million in February) and $20 million Google Cloud credits for academics using remote computing power to study possible treatments and track data. On top of this, Google is raising its employees' annual donation matching limit from $7,500 to $10,000.

Google isn't alone among tech companies in contributing extensive resources to dealing with the pandemic. However, this is clearly a large contribution -- and one that might be necessary as infection rates surge in the US and prompt widespread store closures.

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