Google parent Alphabet has pledged to provide U.S.$340 million in Google ad credits to small and medium businesses (SMBs) active on its platform amid the COVID-19 crisis.
"Credit notifications will appear in their [SMBs'] Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers," CEO Sundar Pichai said on Friday.
Alphabet also plans to donate more than U.S.$800 million in funds towards producing medical supplies used to fight COVID-19, and in ad credits to government and health organisations and businesses, Pichai said.
Additionally, it intends to provide U.S.$250 million in ad grants for the World Health Organisation and many government agencies, Pichai said in a blog post.
The company is working with Magid Glove and Safety to produce 2 million to 3 million face masks, and will financially support efforts to boost the production capacity for lifesaving medical devices and personal protective equipment, Pichai said.
The rapid outbreak, which has killed nearly 25,000 people globally, has strained healthcare systems around the world and led to a shortage of medical equipment including face masks and ventilators.
(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli; with ARN Staff)