Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of service providers and online platforms do their part to help people during COVID-19. This usually takes the form of free access to the solution for a specific period of time, and now online office suite specialists Zoho is doing the same for its paid customers.

More specifically the firm has announced the launch of its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Programme (ESAP). This initiative will see Zoho waive the cost for all applications used for up to 20 000 of its qualified paying customers with 25 employees or less, for up to three months.

As such this is a programme specifically designed to assist the smaller organisations which make use of the Zoho platform.

“Certain industries have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and we strongly encourage our customers in these industries to please apply for this Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Programme,” explains Andrew Bourne, business development manager for Africa at Zoho.

“While we want to provide relief for as many small business customers as possible, we will prioritise those who are most in need and hope that others who are adapting to market conditions, will help us by allowing programme availability to those struggling to stay afloat,” he adds.

For those firms who fall outside of Zoho’s number of employees restriction, but still wish to leverage the tools the platform offers, the company recently launched a new offering called Remotely.

This new platform features 11 freely available collaboration tools for businesses of any size, and in the two weeks since its release, Zoho says more than 5 000 new companies are running on the platform.

“Businesses are hurting. They already face tremendous pressure on revenue and cash flows. Not knowing when things will get back to normal makes the situation even worse,” notes Bourne.

“Every bit of help we, and other companies, can offer to keep these small businesses afloat will go a long way, not just financially but emotionally as well. We are in this together, and contributions from every business will help our community get through this pandemic,” he concludes.

To find out more about the Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Programme, head here.