BASKING RIDGE, NJ, Oct. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Verizon today announced a $250,000 donation to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian. Verizon partners with Collaborativea local nonprofit community problem-solving organization in Southwest Florida, and Florida TaxWatcha trusted nonprofit that serves as the “eyes and ears” of Florida taxpayers and promotes economic development statewide, to create $10,000 grants to provide small businesses in the regions Florida’s hardest hit critical relief.
“We are committed to helping small businesses that have been impacted by this terrible tragedy,” said Aparna Khurjekar, director of revenue, commercial markets and SaaS at Verizon Business. “Many of these businesses face insurmountable challenges, ranging from functional and operational disruptions to destruction of property. We hope this donation will help expedite the resumption of business and provide assistance to small business communities impacted by Hurricane Ian during their time of need.
“Hurricane Ian had a significant impact on the livelihoods of many small business owners in Southwest Florida and nearly 20 counties on the Peninsula,” said Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of the management of Florida TaxWatch. “Florida TaxWatch is proud to partner with Verizon Business and Collaboratory to provide grants to many of these hard-working individuals, supporting them and their families as part of our ongoing work.”
“Collaboratory understands that small, local businesses are part of the lifeblood of our community,” said Sarah Owen, President and CEO of Collaboratory. “They employ our workforce, create innovative new solutions and ideas, and drive our economic future. Helping these businesses after the storm is a critical part of rebuilding Southwest Florida. Donations like this from Verizon Business help us do just that.
Disaster recovery efforts underway
Verizon engineers are continuing their efforts this week to add capacity to the network to support the huge increase in data usage we’re seeing from pre-storm levels. The influx of recovery crews into the area, coupled with customers using wireless service while their home Internet service is down, has increased network data traffic 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 also continue to increase the capacity and stability of satellite, fiber and microwave links that connect cell sites to the rest of the network so that these sites can handle more data traffic. Finally, engineers continue to deploy additional mobile cell sites to supplement coverage and capacity in extremely busy areas of Southwest Florida.
Additionally, 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 solution. network-enabled mobile emergency operations vehicle, to support first responders in their search and rescue missions.
More recovery efforts can be seen on the Verizon’s Response to Hurricane Ian page which will continue to be updated regularly.
Free learning resources available for small businesses
Small businesses can also access Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, a free, comprehensive online program to help small businesses with their digital transformation. The portal was created with and for small businesses, with a particular focus on helping diverse and underfunded business owners, and offers personalized learning through over 30 courses, mentorship, peer-to-peer networking , 1:1 expert coaching and incentives. This initiative is part of a 10-year commitment Verizon made in 2020 to support 1 million small businesses with the resources to thrive in the digital economy as part of its responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was established on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York and operating globally, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company provides data, video and voice services and solutions across its award-winning networks and platforms, meeting customer demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
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