The age of the philanthropic multi-national

Proactive as ever, Salesforce has recently announced its plans to provide $5m of grants to help smaller businesses with covid-19-induced cash-flow issues.

Up to $10,000 will be available to applicants, provided they are eligible for the scheme; a company must have between two and 50 employees, it must have demonstrably trading for two years, and should have an annual revenue of between $250,000 and $2m.   

The scheme will be open to US-based companies in two phases, starting at the end of April. Most important to note is that the money comes in the form of grants, meaning it won’t need to be paid back.

Speaking on the issue, Salesforce said: “They are the heart of our communities and we care deeply about the challenges they are facing in this crisis.”

And, though the grant allowance of $10,000 would only cover a few days’ operating costs at the higher end of the eligibility spectrum, the money could provide a real lifeline to those smaller businesses that may not have the cash reserves or products to fall back on. We are all left wondering what might happen to our favourite local bar or restaurant; this might be the financial top up these establishments need.

We are yet to see anything quite so charitable crop up here in the UK, although many businesses will be covered by the various government schemes such as CBILS, granted their applications are approved. See here why some companies are finding it difficult. These processes are likely to take a long time to come to fruition, however, let alone the fact that they are loans that need to be repaid, not grants.

It’s an interesting time to live in when multi-nationals are assisting with the financial-aid gaps provided by the government; it seems that the centre left’s traditional power hierarchy of government first flies out the window in times like these. This is exactly what proponents of small government point to as an alternative to the big government which is currently bailing out the world economy.

Governments around the world are certainly trying their best to be nimble, however, despite their hulking bureaucratic mass slowing down their reaction times and proactivity. And, unlike for-profit companies with extensive cash reserves, government, funded by the population (and, dare I say it future populations) face a lot more scrutiny. Helicopter dropping cash in over companies is a had one to sell to the populous.

The world we emerge into on the other side of this pandemic is sure to be a very different one from the one we left behind at the start, but it’s reassuring to see large corporations doing their bit to help those with less cash get through the tough times.

If you have any questions or are in need of advice on what might be the best funding solution for you, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

Small businesses are the heart of our communities and we care deeply about the challenges they are facing in this crisis.”

By Rebecca Garland on 29/04/2020