Free resources and help for small businesses during COVID-19


free help and services for small businesses during covid19 pandemic

More and more parents will be working from home during COVID-19

Featured | Small Business

By Loren Webb

Many businesses are offering either free services or products during this challenging time that small businesses can take advantage of. These range from software, to forums to parent-specific tools.

Please follow Dynamic Business for updates on these resources, which we will continually add to, and also for updates on the stimulus package and what you can access and when.


Wrike

Project management software Wrike is offering their Pro plan free for six months to new customers.

Fintan Lalor, who is the Regional Managing Director (APAC) at Wrike, said that this free trial period will hopefully aid businesses that are forced to work remotely.

“We hope the increased visibility, ease of collaboration and ability to streamline workflows will empower businesses and their workers to perform their best no matter where they are—during this challenging time and into the future.”

He continued, “In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis, virtual working has become the new normal. Businesses of all sizes have shifted, or are preparing to make the shift, to remote working to protect employees and help flatten the curve.”

“While working from home is no new phenomenon, many small and medium businesses have not previously needed to invest in the resources to support smooth, successful remote operations.”

Atlassian 

Atlassian has announced the immediate availability of free versions of Jira Software, Confluence, and Jira Service Desk for teams of ten or less. These products join the existing free options for teams including Trello, Bitbucket, and Opsgenie.

Atlassian has also launched a remote work hub at www.atlassian.com/remote. The hub features advice on staying productive and collaborative along with information about how to get the most out of the free cloud products and access to applications from leading partners like Slack, Zoom, Dropbox and G Suite.

On their website they have said that this a moment to “come together to make the remote journey an easy one for as many people and teams as we can.”

Workplace from Facebook

Workplace from Facebook has announced it will be providing access to its Advanced tier free of charge for governments and emergency services globally for one year.

For these organisations, which are on the frontline of combating COVID-19, this aims to:

  • help inform, connect and safeguard their employees
  • allow employees to share critical information in real-time
  • provide updates on the health and welfare of their employees
  • enable leadership to reach employees via Live Video, posts and more

Important information regarding this free offering:

  • This offer is available to all government organisations (at a country and local level) and emergency services (including ambulance, dispatchers and law enforcement) pending legal and compliance checks.
  • Through our platform, companies can instantly share information, live stream meetings or announcements, support two-way communication or even employ bots to quickly gather feedback from employees. The World Health Organization is currently using Workplace to share critical information about COVID-19 amongst its workforce, host staff seminars and create an open forum for employee questions.
  • Workplace Advanced is built for connecting entire organisations. It will provide these organisations with familiar Workplace features, such as Chat, Live Video and Groups, plus advanced admin controls.

Employsure Resource Hub

To help employers understand and apply their obligations during the coronavirus pandemic, Employsure has built an online Resource Hub.

It includes a free Coronavirus Policy for the workplace, FAQs and other helpful resources specifically for business owners. It can be found at employsure.com.au/coronavirus

Storyberries – for parents

Storyberries was established five years ago by writer Jade Maitre with the aim of providing fresh, free kids stories online.

As parents all around the world are wondering how to keep their kids educated, busy and having fun during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, this Australian story website could help them do just that.

Maitre explained, “I wanted to organise quality stories so that, for example, parents who were looking to encourage self-confidence in their children could find the stories that would help them do it; or who were suffering fears, or needing help to go to bed… We gather each of our stories together in ways that we hope are helpful, and provide talking points at the end of each, so that reading becomes much more than a solitary endeavour… instead, an opportunity to bond and learn between parent and child.”

“Being a very fluid and responsive publishing environment, we are able to provide stories that speak to the issues that parents and children are discussing at the moment,” said Maitre.

“For example, several weeks ago we published a picture book discussing the Australian bushfires, and next week we are releasing a picture book that aims to ease anxiety around COVID-19, focusing on helpful things kids can do, such as washing hands and understanding germs. All of these books are completely free, and can either be read together, listened to on audio, or watched as an animated story.”

MYOB – for parents

MYOB has launched an online employee portal to support working parents, in partnership with Circle In, offering practical materials and tools for existing or soon to be parents.

The Parents Hub is an online resource where MYOB employees can access information across different stages of their parent journey – from taking leave to returning to work and juggling life as a working parent. Managers can also use the hub to assist them in supporting a team member via automated reminders and a ‘stay in touch’ program.

“Working parents are a crucial part of the workforce. Whether this is their first child and a new experience, or they’re set to grow their family, we know that being a working parent can be a mix of rewarding and challenging,”MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer Helen Lea said.

The Parents Hub provides information, resources and policies relevant to working parents in one place. It also offers news and real-life stories from MYOB team members who can share their stories to inspire and support others.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite announced today that it will provide free access to its Professional Plan to non-profit organizations and small businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“As global citizens, our first thoughts are towards those who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus and hope for a quick end to the spread of infection,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite.

“We are also concerned about the profound impact on small business owners and non-profits everywhere. These organisations are at the core of our communities.

“The people who bring us the products and services we love are the people most at risk of being directly impacted by the societal changes stemming from social distancing.”

Hootsuite is also set to launch a series of free online ‘social first’ workshops in support of customers in healthcare, financial services, higher education, and government organizations that are working hard to manage complex communications issues.

Pluralsight

Pluralsighthas announced the free availability of recorded technology conferences on its platform. Conferences, an experience within Pluralsight’s Skills product, offers recorded content from some of today’s most in-demand technology events.

Pluralsight’s free conferences offering includes full access to recorded content from 19 conferences and includes access to keynotes, breakout sessions, panel sessions and more.

Pluralsight is making a majority of its conferences content free to anyone through July 1.

Related: The remote work conundrum: How to work from home efficiently

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