Group to allocate 1 bn rubles to supporting small and medium-sized businesses. A message from CEO Boris Dobrodeev

“The spread of coronavirus has changed our day-to-day lives, and this is primarily manifested in all business activities. For the big players, the forced limitations are a large source of stress, yet the companies’ scale allows them to adapt processes quickly to overcome these hurdles.

The story is very different when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they have suffered a big blow from the virus and the obligatory measures to curb it. Small businesses are the backbone of the well-being of tens of millions of households – yet many of them are in dire straits right now.

From day one of this new threat, we have been helping the community rebuild – at least partly – to go back to its normal everyday life with the help of our products and services. We believe it is our duty today to act preemptively to help SMEs.

We have established a task force to do that, and we are allocating 1 bn rubles to support the following categories:

1. Companies and entrepreneurs in general: VK and OK social networks will double advertising budgets on SMEs’ mobile accounts;

2. Companies and entrepreneurs providing services remotely and at home: classifieds service Youla will be promoting remote services in its main feed. It will also offer sellers up to 200 free ads a month, and an option of free promotion in exchange for bonuses;

3. Companies forced to move their business online: we will offer a package of free services from the for Business platform;

4. Restaurants: Delivery Club is lowering its commission for all newly subscribing partners, and VK will issue grants for first-time promotion for cafes and restaurants;

5. Realty companies: our digital real estate agency 33 Slona will waive its share of commission in favor of realtors and agencies;

6. Companies facing staffing problems: the Worki HR service is offering bonus cash support to businesses ailing due to the crisis. The company is also extending the duration on pre-paid services with the possibility of using them at a later date;

7. Taxi drivers: aggregator Citymobil will compensate drivers for downtime if they were either diagnosed with coronavirus or came into contact with COVID-19 positive passengers.  Moreover, the company is already providing drivers with face masks, antiseptics and disinfectants.

Our colleagues will have detailed step-by-step instructions on how to receive this aid shortly. Group will continue offering its support to users, its peers and its partners by all means possible until society beats coronavirus – and after that, too.”

Boris Dobrodeev, CEO of Group