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Verizon donates $250,000 in support of small business recovery in wake of hurricane

Verizon Business continues its commitment to supporting small businesses in times of crisis

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon today announces a $250,000 donation to support small businesses affected by Hurricane Ian. Verizon is partnering with Collaboratory, a local non-profit community-problem solving organization in Southwest Florida, and Florida TaxWatch, a trusted non-profit organization that serves as the ‘eyes and ears’ of Florida taxpayers and promotes economic development across the state, to create $10,000 grants to provide small businesses in the hardest-hit areas of Florida with critical relief.

“We are committed to helping small businesses who have been affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Aparna Khurjekar, Chief Revenue Officer, Business Markets and SaaS at Verizon Business. “Many of these businesses are dealing with insurmountable challenges, ranging from functional and operational disruptions to the destruction of property. We hope that this donation will help accelerate business recovery and provide assistance for the small business communities affected by Hurricane Ian during their time of need.”

“Hurricane Ian has significantly impacted the livelihood of many small business owners in Southwest Florida and nearly 20 counties in the peninsula,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “Florida TaxWatch is proud to be partnering with Verizon Business and Collaboratory to offer grants to many of these hard-working people, supporting them and their families, as part of our ongoing work.”

“Collaboratory understands that local small businesses are part of the lifeblood of our community,” said Sarah Owen, President and CEO of Collaboratory. “They employ our workforce, create new innovative solutions and ideas, and drive our economic future. Assisting these businesses post-storm is a critical component of the rebuilding of Southwest Florida. Donations like this one from Verizon Business help us to do just that.”

Ongoing Disaster Recovery Efforts

Verizon engineers are continuing their efforts this week to add capacity to the network to support the tremendous data usage increase we’re seeing compared to pre-storm levels. The influx of recovery teams to the area, coupled with customers using wireless service while their home internet service is out, has increased data traffic on the network by more than 70% in some locations.

Engineers continue to add 5G service using C-band spectrum, repair radio heads and realign antennas which will help optimize network performance. Teams are also continuing to increase the capacity and stability of the satellite, fiber and microwave links that connect cell sites back to the rest of the network so those sites can manage more data traffic. Lastly, engineers continue to deploy additional mobile cell sites to supplement coverage and capacity in extremely busy areas of Southwest Florida.

Further, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has deployed more than 400 Verizon Frontline solutions, including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, portable satellite assets, and THOR (Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response), a one-of-a-kind private 5G network-capable mobile emergency operations vehicle, to support first responders in their search and rescue missions.

More recovery efforts can be seen on the Verizon Response to Hurricane Ian page, which will continue to be updated regularly. 

Free Learning Resources Available to Small Businesses

Small businesses can also access Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, a free, comprehensive online curriculum focused on helping small businesses with digital transformation. The portal was created with and for small businesses, with a specific focus on helping diverse and under-resourced business owners, and offers personalized learning through 30+ courses, mentorship, peer networking, 1:1 expert coaching and incentives. This initiative is part of a 10-year commitment Verizon made in 2020 to support 1M small businesses with the resources to thrive in the digital economy as part of its responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon.

 

Media contact(s)
Claudia Russo
claudia.russo@verizon.com

Florida TaxWatch contact:

Christina Johnson, christina@on3pr.com, 850.339.5773 

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