Central Florida newsmakers: How companies are giving back amid coronavirus


Central Florida newsmakers: How companies are giving back amid coronavirus

May 04, 2020

Orlando Business Journal | Updated Apr 30, 2020

Organizations across Orlando are banding together to provide aid to residents or businesses seeking help or resources to survive the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

Know of another company doing good that’s not listed here? Email Staff Writer Ryan Lynch at Rlynch@bizjournals.com. This page will be updated regularly.

Here are a few companies and organizations doing good works:

  • Safr, a new ridesharing service dedicated to the safety and empowerment of women, will provide free rides to clients of The Mustard Seed of Central Florida and its affiliate network from May 4-31 to visit their facility to receive home furnishings, appliances, bedding, clothing and more. Those interested in receiving complimentary rides may reach Mustard Seed of Central Florida at (407) 875-2040.
  • Ridgefield, New Jersey-basedToufayan Bakeries, which has bakeries in Orlando and Plant City, is helping out in various ways — from increasing wages of frontline workers to donating to food banks and hospitals across the country. In addition to enhanced pay for front line employees, Toufayan is donating to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and nourish.NJ with a $200,000 donation to support their increasingly difficult task of feeding families in need during this time.
  • Community Health Centers Inc. is receiving $100,000 from the Siemens Foundation to support its response to Covid-19. The money will help Community Health Centers acquire personal protective equipment needed for clinical staff.
  • The Orlando Magic is selling protective face masks to benefit Feeding America and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. All of the proceeds will go to the nonprofits.
  • Impress Ink has partnered with several local companies to make benefit T-shirts. $10 of the $25 purchase goes to the business on the shirt, while another $2 goes to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
  • The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce created the nonprofit THRIVE Winter Park initiative with the help of local businesses. The goal of the charitable organization will be to support local small businesses and to help with the recovery after Covid-19.
  • Orlando Utilities Commission made a contribution of $12.1 million to help its customers and those affected by Covid-19. Measures include the reduction of electric fuel rates, an assistance fund for commercial customers as well as an assistance fund for local businesses.
  • The United Health Foundation has committed $1 million to provide urgent assistance to Florida residents experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as they face unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnerships with Feeding Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida are part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) previously announced initial $50 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support those most directly impacted, including health care workers, hard-hit communities, seniors and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
  • Florida Blue is contributing 300,000 meals to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The company’s donation is similar to what other companies have done for the nonprofit, including Walt Disney World Resort Orlando.
  • Duke Energy is suspending disconnection for nonpayment effective immediately for all businesses and homes in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee due to financial hardship caused by coronavirus.
  • Diamond Resorts is offering free accommodations to first responders and medical personnel at its open resorts, including: Grande Villas by Diamond Resorts, Cypress Pointe by Diamond Resorts, Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club in Celebration, Barefoot’n Resort, Alhambra at Poinciana, Polynesian Isles Resort and Orbit One resorts in Kissimmee.
  • ServiceHerd, a digital marketplace app connecting businesses with consumers in need of home services, automotive repairs, pet services, landscaping and more, has suspended monthly subscription fees for all providers until further notice during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Aqua Inferno Auto Spa is offering free sanitation cleaning of all Winter Garden/Oakland first responder vehicles and a 40% discount on all services for their personal vehicles.
  • Helping Hands Movers of Central Florida is offering assistance to any local nonprofit organizations overwhelmed in delivering food and supplies to those in need.
  • DFBakery Inc. at 610 Business Park Blvd.in Winter Garden is offering to sell directly to the public three times a week during specific times of the day due to the shortage of baked goods in area grocery stores.
  • Starbucks will give free tall coffee, either hot or iced, to first responders and other workers on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak, including nurses, doctors, police and more, now through May 3. In addition, the Starbucks Foundation will donate $500,000 toward coronavirus response efforts.
  • Wells Fargo & Co., Truist Financial Corp. and Bank of America are among the financial institutions that have donated money toward local causes. Wells Fargo donated $40,000 to Heart of Florida United Way’s ALICE Recovery Fund, Truist is donating $3 million to various local United Way branches in its footprint, while Bank of America has pledged $100 million for local organizations globally, with a yet-to-be determined local amount.