Local tech companies have united to help alleviate the suffering inflicted on Victoria citizens and businesses by the COVID-19 shutdown.

On Tuesday, March 24, Tiny Capital CEO Andrew Wilkinson announced:

  • We (Tiny) are providing $500-$2,500 interest free, unsecured loans to Victoria-based small businesses affected by the shutdown. We have already had over 140 submissions and are working through them as quickly as possible.

  • Tiny and other local tech companies are also doing a "Double Your Donation" $350,000 matching program with the Victoria Foundation's Rapid Relief Fund. If you are looking for a way to donate, this is the most acute need in the city right now: with homeless shelters closed due to the lockdown, food banks are under extreme pressure. This is a great way to double your impact.

Yesterday, Thursday, March 26, Wilkinson went on to say

  • We've realized that in some situations, our small loans are insufficient. Some businesses need significantly more than a couple thousand dollars (in some cases $10,000-$20,000), which we can't afford to do alone.So, our idea was to buy large gift cards ($2,500-$20,000) then resell them to the community (you guys) at a discount (10% off). The only rule would be that you would have to commit to not use them until 2 months after the shutdown ends (to give the businesses a bit of buffer time) and ideally use them over time vs. all at once (to help them preserve their cashflow). We've created a simple Google Form where you can specify which restaurants you'd want to buy discounted credits from, and how much you'd commit to buying as part of this program. If you have a favourite restaurant or cafe that you know you will frequent once the lockdown ends, and you have the means, then this is the best possible way to directly help them stay afloat. Please don't fill this out unless you are serious about buying some gift cards :-)

  • With unemployment rising to an estimated 20-30%, there is a huge population of smart, talented people who are currently sitting at home feeling stressed, anxious, and bored. We would love to help get them back to work with jobs that can be done in this strange new world of work from home/low contact.We just whipped up a simple job board here, and would love it if you could post your Remote/Work From Home/Low Contact jobs here so we can help get everyone back to work: http://yyjobs.ca

It's not minimizing the very real hardships people around the world are currently suffering to point out that mindset and determination have carried entire societies through the most devastating calamities. So let's fix our mindset and get this job done!

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

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