what we can do together in response to coronavirus.

At the time of writing this, the number of Coronavirus cases stood at 185,000 in 162 countries, a now recognized pandemic by the World Health Organization. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, and like all other pandemics, it’s almost impossible to control. In fact, it’s COVID-19’s relentless and inconceivably rapid spread that is driving its grave effects on people, countries, markets, economies and businesses.

Coronavirus’s impact on the world cannot be overstated, but it is truly global events like these that draw attention to the need for everyone to act together as humans for humans. It’s rarely been more important to look out for your neighbors, colleagues, family, friends and strangers so that we as a collective global community keep as safe as possible. Difficult times demand a lot from us and Coronavirus is the epitome of this. So, here’s a list of things you can do as a business and a human, as well as what others are doing, to make something positive out of this time of crisis.

1. Innovate to fight

The European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs who could use technology and innovation to help treat, test and monitor Coronavirus to apply to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council. With a € 164 million budget, this initiative is aiming to meet Coronavirus with speed, and all grants will be fast-tracked with additional support to access further funding. The deadline is 17:00 on Wednesday 18 March, so if you think your startup can join the battle against Coronavirus, please consider this opportunity.

2. Shop local

Social distancing is essential to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and to minimize the risk to those most vulnerable, but such measures are also detrimental to small local businesses. In Seattle, 60% of small businesses are considering wage cuts and staff cutbacks, and 35% fear they will have to close. The situation is the same everywhere, so it’s critical to support local businesses who are now depending on those around them to keep afloat. So, make sure you shop local (both online and offline), order in from local restaurants and cafes or make use of online delivery, and tip a little more than usual if you do go out. Be a community.

3. Create a 'War Room'

We are all in uncharted waters with Coronavirus, and with that comes uncertainty. For many entrepreneurs and their businesses, the effects are already being felt, but for others, the only certainty is that something is approaching. So to give businesses access to strategies that could help tackle Coronavirus when it does hit them, our member ScaleUp Company has come up with a guide to creating a ‘War Room’, from creating a dedicated Crisis Team to top priorities you should be focusing on in response to COVID-19. Get in the know and share this around.

4. Support the homeless

It’s easy to think of those in our immediate surroundings, but the homeless of the world don’t have the same support when it comes to Coronavirus. Because of this, restaurants across the Netherlands including our restaurant café Bureau have started taking leftover food to various institutions that are organizing the distribution of extra food. If you know of any businesses that could lend a hand to those who are desperately in need of help, please direct them to the Leger des Heils.

5. Help the elderly

Older people are at a much higher risk of developing serious, and potentially fatal, cases of Coronavirus. Yet self-isolation for the elderly means they are relying more on the young and healthy to help them through this time. Several volunteer initiatives have been set up to allow you to get involved with helping others with daily tasks, so if you can lend a hand, please think about getting in touch with the following programs: gewoonmensen.nl and iwillhelpyou.nl

6. Build awareness

Self-employed workers are among those with the least security when it comes to pay and demand, so The FNV are wanting to map out how Coronavirus is affecting them. Through this online survey, they’re collecting experiences and consequences so they can discuss actionable steps with the government. Pass this on to all your self-employed friends.

7. Support others

No one could have predicted the monumental economic effects of Coronavirus. There is now a petition being signed to encourage the government to offer financial assistance to self-employed workers, something they are not currently entitled to. Please share this link to support those with less financial certainty than most.

8. Optimize yourself

Whilst self-isolation and social distancing is a daunting and unfamiliar change for everyone, it does give us the chance to spend some time on ourselves. Finishing that book you’ve wanted to for months, learning a new skill online, establishing a morning routine that will help when things return to normal or trying a new diet. These times can be scary, but also use them to better yourself and encourage others to do the same.

9. Spread positivity

Lastly, the coronavirus pandemic is new for the entire world. It’s a time when our connected lives should be utilized to spread as much kindness as possible, both digitally and in person. So make sure you check in with as many people as you can, send a message or call faraway friends, look after yourself and those around you and spread positive information and news.


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