Coronavirus update for business: Tech for temps, windfall for Zoom rival, and getting the beers in early


Talent exchange

Student recruitment platform Hatch, headed up by The Iconic co-founder Adam Jacobs and Zip co-founder Chaz Heitner, has launched a spin-off site, Hatch Exchange, helping workers stood down due to COVID-19 to find new, temporary roles.

Businesses finding themselves short-staffed can sign up to engage experienced workers, while those temporarily out of income can sign up to be reallocated with a participating business. The site aims to provide hirers with a shortlist of candidates within 72 hours.

In a LinkedIn post, Jacobs said Hatch saw almost 7,000 stood down staff, from more than 70 companies, register on the platform within the first two weeks.

“We know work won’t look the same anymore,” he wrote.

“We also know impacted Australians are talented and adaptive. This moment gives you the opportunity to draw on that adaptiveness.”

Get the beers in

For anyone craving a latte while people watching, a night of live music, or even an evening of lawn bowls, another platform has launched allowing patrons to purchase vouchers for their favourite local small businesses, to be enjoyed when the COVID-19 lockdown is over.

Shout Your Local is a social enterprise striving to help Aussie businesses keep some cashflow coming in during the pandemic.

Business owners can sign up to list their wares here, and punters can nominate their favourite local haunts here.


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Welcome to SYL! Fred and the team at the indelible Rinkdink! True local legends providing good times in the inner north. @rinkydinkau

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Staying in

Rideshare operator DiDi has seen a shift in user behaviour, with weekend business plummeting, according to Business Insider.

Since COVID-19 restrictions have come into place, more people are using DiDis for their supermarket run, to get to train stations and to travel to hospitals, instead of to get home from the pub on a Friday.

However, along with rivals Uber and Ola, DiDi is remaining tight-lipped on what this new world looks like for business, declining to comment on what a global pandemic means for its bottom line.

Are you listening, Scott?

The Canadian government is the latest to pledge its support for startups suffering in the era of COVID-19, unveiling a $1.2 billion fund for startups and small businesses that originally claimed to have been left out of economic support packages.

In an interview, Canadian Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains reportedly said the funding should start flowing in a matter of days.

“Today’s announcement reflects the fact that we know we need to do more to support startups,” he said.

Teleconference wars

US communications giant Verizon is set to acquire video conferencing platform BlueJeans, a rival to COVID-19 success story Zoom.

BlueJeans currently plays only in the B2B space, and it is thought Verizon has its eye on both the SME and global business markets, offering a more viable alternative to Zoom.

The global coronavirus pandemic may make an investment virtual conferencing look like an opportunistic deal. But, Verizon reportedly says the acquisition has been in the pipeline for more than a year.

Nothing like a global health crisis to sweeten the deal.

NOW READ: JobKeeper applications now open: Here’s how to apply

NOW READ: ‘Dob them in’: Morrison lays down the law for employers thinking of pocketing the JobKeeper subsidy


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