A Little Light in the Darkness: Companies Helping in the Fight

An immense cultural shift has occurred in the face of the rapid and deadly spread of COVID-19 in America. Healthcare workers are completing long, agonizing shifts day after day, small businesses are losing money and laying off workers, and now first responders like firefighters and police officers are falling ill with the disease after close contact with sick patients during their workday. Undoubtedly, every person, from college student to hourly wage worker to Wall Street trader, has been impacted by and is responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Consequently, it’s currently easy to feel bogged down, defeated, and saddened by the constant stream of bad news on our phones, computer screens, and televisions. However, I’ve found some hope and comfort in the news that many large companies are sacrificing their own business for the common good. Here are some examples of big businesses doing their part in the fight against COVID-19.

Amazon: Amazon is currently experiencing booming sales and huge demand. Because of this, Jeff Bezos and the rest of the company’s board members have given every plant employee across the US a substantial raise in hourly payment. Additionally, to ensure timely order fulfillment, they have hired 100,000 additional workers across the nation. In a time of economic devastation, during which many hourly workers have been laid off, Amazon’s commitment to serve the US throughout this crisis gives many hope and viable employment.

Columbia: This sport and outerwear brand’s CEO, Tim Boyle, has announced that he is reducing his personal salary to $10,000 dollars in order to continue the company's previous payroll for retail employees during this time of crisis. Many retailers have had to make the decision to furlough their workforce because of the current economic climate, but Boyle’s plan ensures that all workers will receive their regular paychecks, despite low sales and closed stores. 

Disney: With the closure of both DisneyWorld and DisneyLand due to the virus, Disney’s CEO ensured that all park workers would still be paid throughout the duration of this indefinite hiatus. Additionally, families and individuals who planned to visit the park and now won’t be able to  have been issued full refunds for all expenses associated with the trip. Disney also vowed to donate more than 100,000 N-95 masks to healthcare providers within the next few weeks. 

Fanatics: Fanatics, the manufacturer of all Major League Baseball uniforms, has transitioned their plant operations to produce masks and gowns from the baseball uniform material. With the start of baseball season delayed indefinitely, healthcare workers on the front lines will soon be wearing the famous Yankees pinstripes on this custom-made personal protective equipment. Since the company is located in Easton, PA, the resources will first be circulated throughout the Pennsylvania healthcare system and then continuously donated to the hardest hit sections of the country.

LVMH: This french luxury brand conglomerate owns and operates labels like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co., and Dom Perignon. In the face of coronavirus, they have transitioned into the hand sanitizer business. LVMH has vowed to convert manufacturing facilities previously used for perfume and beauty products into fully-functional hand sanitizer plants. They plan to donate the “hydroalcoholic gels” around Europe and eventually ship bulk quantities to the United States.