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You get an ad! You get an ad! Google outs $800m COVID-19 relief plan

Google has announced its plan to dole out a support package worth more than $800 million (around £642m) to those affected by, or seeking to alleviate the coronavirus crisis.

In a blog post from Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO says the fund will be split several ways, across health organisations, small and medium-sized businesses, academic institutions and researchers, and to medical supply companies making personal protective equipment and medical devices.

The small business assistance comes via $340m in Google Ads credits for accounts that have been active over the last year. Pichai says he hopes it will alleviate “some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.”

Related: Google I/O 2020 cancelled

There’s also $20m in Google Cloud credit for those who’re using Google’s infrastructure to “study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.” Google also says its investment of financial support and expertise will help to create 2-3 million more face masks that will be donated to the Centre for Disease Control.

Pichai added: “Additionally, employees from across Alphabet, including Google, Verily and X, are bringing engineering, supply chain and healthcare expertise to facilitate increased production of ventilators, working with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort.”

Google says $250m in ad grants will go to the World Health Organisations and another 100 government agencies around the world who’re providing critical information to citizens. Another $200 million investment fund will go to non-government organisations and financial institutions who’re helping small businesses stay afloat during these most trying of times.

Related: How to stop Google using your location data for its Covid-19 behaviour tracking reports

Pichai added: “As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organisations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.”

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