The pandemic has highlighted the systemic issues that place communities of different socioeconomic classes on opposite sides of the spectrum. When it comes to its adverse side effects—what some thought to be the great equalizer of communities served to further the divide in certain areas—addressing these issues needed to be done quickly and efficiently. We soon saw businesses large and small stepping up with creative and innovative solutions to address the social problems brought up by the pandemic. Launching campaigns specifically geared towards giving back and helping out communities in need of a hand. Even outside of larger corporations’ corporate social responsibility programs, small businesses also made sure to give back in their own ways. For example, larger chain groceries engaged local communities to donate to food banks and establish community pantries. At the same time, local restaurants and cafes started serving complimentary beverages and pastries to front-line health workers who were at the very epicenter of the pandemic.
While various business industries started to shift and integrate different technological and digital pursuits, the focus on communities, skill-building, well-being, and sustainability were also hot topics of discussion. The modern era required companies to start getting creative with their business models as consumer behaviors also started to change. Markets have become more socially aware of the effects big businesses can have on communities worldwide. In such dire times, they looked to successful corporations to take a step in the right direction. Various causes and issues need to be addressed, and each industry can help in unique ways. Here are just some great causes and initiatives businesses have taken to help out.
A thirst for continued learning throughout life can lead to some extraordinary results. In the field of socially conscious businesses, it’s no surprise that countless programs focus on providing the underprivileged with better opportunities for learning and growth.
As a student
Companies have started taking action towards helping students and prospects obtain better learning opportunities. There continue to be organizations developing different educational grants to help promising students in some of the most challenging financial times the world has faced.
As an amateur
Skill building and training is another excellent initiative of social businesses. They were equipping individuals with skills in the trade to better their chances of gainful employment and learning new works. Companies have often sponsored training programs in their specific industries to help provide the sector with new candidates for employment.
As a professional
Similar to how education and skill-building initiatives have gained popularity over the years, providing employees with opportunities to learn has been a focus of corporations years prior to the pandemic. Sponsored continued education, professional seminars, and short courses have all served to improve the workforce’s skills and improve productivity.
The lockdown protocols that had citizens sheltering in place in the safety of their homes also adversely affected different sectors of society. Rent control, working from home, increased child care needs, missing local transportation, and decreased income all factored into some citizens having a hard time keeping their homes. During the pandemic, we saw that more and more people who worked in the city moved to more suburban areas because they were now working from home. Organizations, companies, and individuals started campaigns to educate and spread information about home loans, rent rates, properties for sale, apartments, safety protocols, and other essential aspects of finding a new home in already difficult times.
The issues surrounding nutrition for people of all ages worldwide have been a recurring focus for developed nations for years. During the pandemic, feeding programs, community pantries, company giveaways, and building farm-to-table relationships are just some of the ways different businesses engaged their powers for good. One quite inspiring example can be seen in the restaurant industry during the pandemic. The lockdown protocols were especially tough to navigate in the food industry. With so many establishments closing their doors, it’s commendable how some have still tried to give back to their communities. Local restaurants began giving their left-over products to various food banks to help those struggling with their finances during lockdowns. They also started establishing closer relationships with their produce suppliers as fresh and whole foods became more in demand. While these relationships bloomed, they also fostered a better and mutually beneficial relationship between the different players in the restaurant industry.
It’s inspiring to see how corporations down to the individual levels of society were triggered to take part in initiatives that helped others navigate and survive the pandemic.