Alibaba.com has launched a support initiative for small and medium-sized businesses during the Covid-19 crisis, sharing timely information and resources, including free training, online events and content to help businesses stay afloat.
The initiative, named B2B Today, launched in March and is an extension of the weekly outreach events the e-commerce platform holds with suppliers across the U.S. The program aims to build up a community of buyers, sellers and industry insiders as a way to foster connections and confidence among business-owners, said the company.
“SMBs in the U.S. are struggling because of the pandemic and resulting economic environment. They’re particularly vulnerable during this time,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “They need support more than ever. Alibaba.com is here to provide the resources, tools and platform to make domestic and international sourcing and selling both efficient and effective.”
The core part of B2B Today is a dedicated site that features webinars, keynote talks from industry experts, resource roundups, one-on-one office hours and real-life stories of small businesses. There’s also guidance to help organizations bolster workplace culture amid nationwide lockdowns.
The site is updated on a daily basis and covers everything from financial support to supply chains – topics chosen to address challenges that are of particular concern to SMBs during this challenging time.
“Covid-19 has disrupted the supply chain and transport availability, taking more than two-thirds of air-freight capacity, both nationally and internationally, out of the market. This is resulting in price volatility, longer delivery times and backlogged supply chains,” explained Caplan. “We’re putting out content and resources for small businesses, who are the unsung heroes of our economy.”
To provide support to SMBs, the B2B Today initiative includes a coalition consisting of experts from different sectors as well as members of the Alibaba.com North America team who share insights through online fireside chats. Last month, Denisha Kuhlor of Grasshopper Bank, a digital-banking platform for startups, spoke about helping businesses keep their employees on the payroll. Another presenter, Freightos’ research lead, Judah Levine, shared his expertise on navigating supply chains during the outbreak.
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