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COVID-19 crisis: Know how Google India helps small businesses to rebuild themselves for new digital world

‘Grow with Google Small Business hub’ aims to help small businesses go digital by providing access to helpful resources.

Since a long time, Google has been helping small and medium businesses to go digital in India. Now due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns the tech giant has launched ‘Grow with Google Small Business hub’ along with other features in India to help small businesses make the transition to the digital economy, and empower them to rebuild for the new world.

Grow with Google Small Business hub will serve as a single destination for all small businesses to get access to all the products and tools they need to go digital, maintain business continuity and get access to helpful resources like quick help videos, support pages to learn digital skills. Google will soon make this site available in Hindi as well.

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Asserting that Google recognizes that recovery will come in different stages for different businesses, Shalini Girish, Director of Google Customer Solutions, India, said, “We want to ensure that we are helping businesses make this journey, providing every business with the support and tools they need to recover and rebuild in this new environment. We’re sharing an update on our programs and efforts in India to help small businesses make the transition to the digital economy, and empower them to rebuild for the new world.”

According to Google, The tech giant has made important changes to Google My Business to ensure that businesses are able to keep their customers updated about changes during this time. These include:

  • Business owners can mark the business as temporarily closed or update the hours of operation, and also easily update on Google Search and Maps, once the business reopens
  • Business owners can now choose attributes that show customers new ways by which the business is serving customers. For instance you can select options such as  delivery, takeout, online services such as classes, appointments, or service fee estimates
  • Business owners can also use the new COVID-19 post type to share more detailed and timely updates such as safety measures put in place such as curbside pickup, as well as product and service availability

Besides this, Google Pay for Business app aims to help millions of businesses accept contactless digital payments from their customers daily. Google stated, “Since its launch just 8 months ago, over 3 million businesses are now using it to accept and make payments digitally.  With the help of features like frictionless on-boarding and video verification, any small business can easily adopt digital payments and start accepting payments easily and instantly.”

Moreover, Google is also working with its partner financial institutions to surface their loan offerings for merchants that can be availed right within Google Pay for Business app. As per the tech giant, this is something that is especially pertinent in these uncertain times of COVID-19 pandemic. Google will soon launch this offering.

Nearby Stores, a Spot launched on Google Pay last month, helps  local businesses get discovered by customers in their vicinity. We introduced this feature in May and starting today, we are expanding this offering to become available  across India. Additionally, merchant establishments can indicate their business hours, whether social distancing measures are in place at the store and the essential goods presently in stock.

In order to help businesses stand out during these moments by displaying a prominent, square-shaped pin, Google has started rolling out a new offering called promoted pins on Google Maps. In the current situation, business owners can also highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, or other unique offerings to make shopping convenient.  Mind you! Google has started introducing Promoted pins to Smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business profile and will be fully available in the coming weeks. “Until the end of September 2020, businesses will not have to pay for any clicks, calls or sales resulting from Promoted pins,” revealed Google

As Remote working and working from home is the new reality, Google has now announced the free availability of Google Meet for everyone. It has also included G Suite essentials like the professional-grade versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides and made it available for free through 30th September, the tech giant added.

Under Google’s Digital Unlocked program, the tech giant has so far supported over 1 million businesses and individuals to gain from its digital skilling program in India.

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