Businesses need to step up their efforts of supporting people to deal with the Covid-19 virus. Here are a few ideas on how businesses can support the most vulnerable in the face of Covid-19.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people, families and businesses in unprecedented ways. As a result, protecting people and containing the effects of the pandemic is a top priority.
With livelihoods and jobs hugely at risk, businesses can create employment and social-policies that reduce the harmful effects of Covid-19.
In countries like Kenya, we don't have strong social safety nets like richer countries. As well as the direct health impacts of the pandemic, there is a wider mental health and financial crisis. At this time, we all need to do more to listen to and support one another.
How businesses can support the most vulnerable in the face of Covid-19
Businesses can provide appropriate measures towards limiting the spread of the virus. This includes providing soap and water for washing hands and providing face masks. Given that public transport gathers large numbers of people, businesses can provide transport to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the Covid-19 virus.
Businesses can provide relief through paid sick leave programs for staff who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. By ensuring that sick staff still earn an income, a business can help slow the transmission of the virus.
Businesses can collaborate with telecommunication companies in order to provide affordable access to internet and sharing tools. This will increase chances of working online and reduce gathering in office and thereby reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
They can seek for grants from the government to prevent shut-downs and thereby ensure staff members don’t lose their jobs and sources of income. They also offer small grants to small businesses in order to save them from shutting down.
Businesses can donate food stuff whose sell-by date is approaching. Aside from saving vulnerable families from starvation, this will also prevent wastage. They can also organize soup kitchen and lunch for street families and those in need of help.
Businesses can encourage their staff to get involved in supporting grass root organizations as volunteers. According to Zippy Nyangara, the founder of Haven of Dreams, the onset of Covid-19 has affected the functions of a lot of organizations. Businesses can help with capacity and management development so community based organizations can benefit.
Lastly, businesses can collaborate with medical companies and hospitals to provide medical camps in the community.