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Mutual help projects: business development under pandemic

Mutual help projects: business development under pandemic

While doctors and nurses were the main heroes of 2020, businessmen who helped each other endure the difficult period also proved to be heroes.

During the lockdown in spring, delivery services supported restaurants and cafes, which were facing serious problems. Delivery services offered temporary jobs as buyers and couriers to the personnel of the locked down cafes and shops. This personnel exchange programme helped people earn their living.

Grigory Kunis, Managing Director, food product delivery service, tells: ‘In most cases, we gave people jobs of personal buyers, they were collecting orders for our customers in hypermarkets. We hired some 600 people as buyers and about the same number as couriers, so we gave jobs to more than a thousand people, maybe, to a thousand and a half during the peak period.’

Another case is about a company that was able to adapt to save the business and help medics. A factory making sports clothes started making protective overalls. As a result, they had to hire additional personnel and plan expanding into the European market to compete with such giants as Nike, Adidas and Reebok.

Alexander Fedotov, Board Chairman, sports clothes manufacturer, recalls: ‘We cut all the cloth we had in store to make protective overalls and donated them to hospitals. We started making 400 overalls a day in April and make up to 5,000 overalls a day now.’

A large number of mutual help projects sprang up in St. Petersburg during the pandemic. One of them is free meals. Many restaurants continue cooking free meals for doctors and those in need. City residents help by transferring money, delivering meals and volunteers, and bringing products. A web-based platform has been established, on which anyone can pay for a meal for doctors. 

Ruslan Zakirov, chef, says: ‘When the holidays are over, we will continue this project, we decided we will cook as many meals as necessary. We also invite volunteers to help us deliver meals, and suppliers who can donate water, tea, and coffee.’

These are just several examples. In fact, there are many more such projects. St. Petersburg businesses have proven to be socially oriented and caring.

Photo: St. Petersburg TV channel