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Our Story

How we're supporting our employees, customers, and communities

 

 

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Highlights

 

1. What we are doing for employees

  • We’re offering a special one-time Thank You bonus totaling over $500 million. All front-line employees and partners who were with the company throughout the month of June will receive a bonus.
  • Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest approximately $4 billion on COVID-related initiatives getting products to customers and keeping employees safe.
  • We've made over 150 process updates—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to new efforts like disinfectant spraying.
  • We've distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for our employees, and implemented disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across our operations worldwide.
  • Someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks of paid time off—this is in addition to their other paid and unpaid time off options.
  • We're working on building scalable testing for coronavirus.
  • Amazon employees receive comprehensive health benefits starting on day one of employment.
  • We are offering extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • We established a $25 million relief fund for partners (e.g. delivery drivers) and seasonal associates facing financial hardship or quarantine.

 

2. What we are doing for customers

  • We're providing free masks to customers at all open Amazon physical retail stores and Whole Foods Market locations nationwide.
  • We enhanced cleaning at all open Amazon physical stores and Whole Foods Market stores.
  • All Whole Foods Market stores have dedicated shopping hours to service customers who are 60+ (70+ years old U.K.), those with disabilities and those who the CDC defines as high risk.
  • Customers ordering delivery from Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market can select "unattended delivery" during checkout.
  • Customers ordering a scheduled delivery can select front-porch delivery during checkout. The delivery team will leave the item at your front door and you will not be required to sign for it. Until further notice, Amazon delivery teams will no longer enter homes or offices. In addition, all delivery vehicles and equipment are disinfected each day, and delivery devices and mobile phones are disinfected after each delivery appointment.
  • We're vigorously combating price gouging to help protect customers, help ensure fair pricing, and combat those seeking to profit off the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Our Amazon and Alexa devices help keep customers stay connected and informed.

3. What we are doing for communities around the globe

 

Daily Updates

 

Continue checking here for updates about how we're supporting our employees, helping
customers, aiding community relief, and furthering research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 22
Amazon Web Services extends offers to help employees collaborate from home
As the COVID-19 crisis began, AWS helped businesses and employees collaborate and work from home through Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon Chime. For Amazon Workspaces, new customers can use up to 50 WorkSpaces with the Windows Standard bundle, plus a collection of other WorkSpaces bundles for free. For Amazon Chime, customers have access to Amazon Chime Pro features at no cost to help employees communicate and collaborate from anywhere. These offers, originally posted in April, have been extended through September 30, 2020. Learn more here.

July 16
Amazon donates $10 million in critically-needed personal protective equipment
Amid a new shortage of supplies, Amazon donated 4.4 million masks and thousands of contactless thermometers to Direct Relief and Feeding America over the past several weeks. The masks and thermometers went to over 200 of Direct Relief's partner clinics and Feeding America member food banks and partner agencies in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Amazon also donated over 273,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to the Feeding America network of food banks across the U.S. Learn more.

July 15
Amazon updates work-from-home guidance
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are extending the time frame for those who can do their job effectively from home to January 8, 2021. Meanwhile, Amazon’s corporate buildings are open and available to all employees. We continue to do everything we can to ensure a safe office environment including temperature screenings upon entry, physical distancing guidelines, providing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning protocols.

July 13
Helping small businesses apply for loan forgiveness
Nirveda Cognition, a startup powered by Amazon Web Services, uses artificial intelligence to turn data from documents to actionable insights. The company wanted to use its technology to help other businesses respond to the impacts of COVID-19. It built ALFA, a product designed to help small businesses more easily navigate the process of applying for loan forgiveness from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and improve their odds of converting the loan to a grant.

July 7
Amazon Web Services supports Oregon communities with energy refund donation
AWS donated its $577,000 refund from the Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) to support Oregon electric utility customers, food banks, and students impacted by COVID-19. As a not-for-profit, member-owned company, UEC operates at cost, with net operating revenues returned to its customers in the form of cash refunds via the Capital Credits program. Learn more..

July 1
Quantifying the silent spread of COVID-19
We recently sat down for a conversation with Dr. Lucy Li, a data scientist at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, to discuss her latest research to estimate unreported COVID-19 cases. The research is supported by the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a global program to support organizations working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster.

June 30
Amazon donates more than $1.2 million in COVID-19 supplies in Ohio
Over the past few weeks, Amazon has supported donation of COVID-19 related supplies to over 20 local nonprofits across the state, benefitting more than 52,000 people. "It is wonderful to have the support of Amazon during these times, especially because our customers need our help now more than ever," said Matt Habash, President and CEO of Mid-Ohio Food Collective. "We know this is a marathon, not a sprint. These supplies allow us and our partner agencies to continue our work in stabilizing families and helping them get back on track. We are here with our neighbors and for our neighbors. Thank you Amazon!"

June 29
Thank You bonus for Amazon’s front-line employees and partners
Dave Clark, SVP Worldwide Operations, today announced a special one-time Thank You bonus totaling over $500 million. All front-line employees and partners who were with the company throughout the month of June will receive a bonus. Details here.

June 23
Distance Assistant now available via open source
We recently rolled out 'Distance Assistant' to provide employees with live feedback on social distancing via a 50 inch monitor, camera, and a local computing device. As people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with on-screen indicators to show if employees are within 6 feet of one another. Today, we are excited to open source the software and AI behind this innovation so that anyone can create their own Distance Assistant. Individuals and businesses large and small can download the package at no cost and get up and running with just a computer and camera.

In all, Amazon donates nearly 9,000 laptops to Seattle Public Schools
Amazon is donating an additional 750 laptops, valued at more than $200,000 to Seattle Public Schools elementary school students. This comes after Amazon’s original donation of 8,200 laptops, valued at over $2 million. These additional devices will help ensure all Seattle Public Schools students have access to a device so they can participate in online learning. Read more.

June 17
Amazon donates $90,000 of COVID-19 relief supplies to Ohio-based nonprofits
As the state of Ohio completes its reopening, demands on local social services continue to increase. Today, Amazon donated $90,000 of supplies to nine Licking County nonprofits, and partnered with the Licking County Chamber of Commerce for the distribution. The donation follows a series of announcements by Amazon that they were creating more than 6,000 permanent jobs in Ohio—many of which have been filled by those impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19.

Amazon Web services powers remote screening solutions
Several AWS customers are offering technology that can remotely screen potential COVID‑19 cases. AWS customers include: Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based health care technology company, launched a COVID-19 Management System in use by over 10,000 leading health care organizations and government agencies around the globe; Qure.ai, an Indian health care start-up built on AWS, is developing capabilities to interpret chest X-rays to remotely detect findings indicative of COVID-19; and Vital, a digital health company, created a software tool to help people assess their risk of contracting COVID-19. C19check.com is a self-diagnosis tool built entirely on AWS with guidance from Emory University.

June 16
Amazon introduces “Distance Assistant” to provide real-time social distancing feedback
As we continue to learn and innovate to support the health and safety of Amazon employees, we saw an opportunity to further promote social distancing behavior in real-time. Our new Distance Assistant provides employees with live feedback on social distancing via a 50-inch monitor, a camera, and a local computing device. As people walk past the camera, a monitor displays live video with on-screen indicators to show if associates are within 6 feet of one another. Our first installations are live in a handful of our buildings and we’ll be deploying hundreds of these units over the next few weeks. We are also beginning the process to open source the software and artificial intelligence behind this innovation so that anyone can create their own Distance Assistant. Read more.

June 15
Amazon Web Services customers use virtual assistants to screen patients and inform care
AWS customers have developed virtual assistants that give 24/7 access to resources that can provide answers, make appointments, and ensure that those in need of immediate help are routed to medical professionals. The University of Washington Medicine developed a chatbot that can assess the need for testing or a medical consult, and schedule appointments 24 hours a day. In North Carolina, to deal with increased call volumes to its COVID-19 help line, UNC Health built a chatbot that answers questions from patients seeking guidance on COVID-19 testing and what to do if they or their loved ones were exposed to the virus. In Canada, Empego developed a free online survey and triage tool on AWS to help health care professionals identify tens of thousands of high-risk cases in Quebec.

June 9
Amazon works with 3M to stop bad actors
There is no place for counterfeiting or price gouging on Amazon and we are working with 3M to hold bad actors accountable. Amazon has long-standing policies against counterfeiting and price gouging and we have processes in place to proactively block suspicious products and inflated prices. If we find an individual or company is violating our policies, we work quickly to remove the products and take action against the bad actor. Amazon supported 3M in its investigation into fraudulent N95 masks and we welcome collaboration from other brands.

Amazon Web Services helps the World Health Organization respond to COVID-19
AWS helped the WHO launch an app to support health workers around the world in caring for patients infected by COVID-19. The app enables workers to access the WHO’s rapidly expanding bank of educational material and guidance, along with offering virtual skills workshops and other live trainings. AWS helped launch the app 12 months ahead of schedule, in response to COVID-19. More details.

June 8
Whole Foods Market named top retailer for its COVID-19 response
Whole Foods Market ranked first across seven industries for its COVID-19 health and safety practices, according to a new study from Ipsos. The research firm polled 2,000 Americans to learn which practices they considered most important, then mystery-shopped stores across 45 major U.S. retailers to determine which were acting most in line with customer expectations. Whole Foods Market outperformed all other retailers for the percentage of store employees who wore face masks and adhered to social distancing guidelines. Read more.

Amazon Web Services powers COVID Atlas to deliver global data sets to the research community Scientists, researchers, and health officials now have access to COVID Atlas, an application that collects, aggregates, and processes outbreak case data from thousands of county and regional data sets across the globe. Built on AWS, COVID Atlas data is updated thousands of times per day to ensure scientists and others have access to the most recent information available.

June 5
How Amazon is helping its HQ2 community amid the COVID‑19 pandemic
Amazon is partnering with local restaurants to deliver 10,000 meals to essential care workers and vulnerable populations. "Food insecurity is the greatest initial concern our residents experience during the pandemic," said Cheryl Ramp, with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. APAH has seen a 40% increase in people coming to food pantry distributions at their properties, and a 450% rise in households that need to have groceries delivered to their door. Read more.

June 4
All In WA virtual concert now set for June 24
Out of respect for current events, we are postponing the All In WA: A concert for COVID-19 relief. Originally scheduled for June 10, it will be held on June 24. We stand in solidarity with our Black employees, customers, and communities, and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear. Read about Amazon’s donation to organizations supporting justice and equity.

Amazon Web Services powers federal COVID-19 resources
A new feature of the Coronavirus.gov website aggregates information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to quickly answer the most common questions about COVID-19. The feature is built on the General Services Administration’s Cloud.gov, a federal government platform AWS powers. Read more about how AWS is supporting organizations during the pandemic.

June 3
Amazon Web Services highlights AI and machine learning customers helping to fight COVID-19
In a post for the World Economic Forum, Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon Machine Learning, highlights how AWS customers are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning expertise to better understand and address the COVID-19 crisis. For example, BlueDot uses machine learning algorithms to sift through news reports in 65 languages, airline data, and animal disease networks to detect and anticipate the dispersion of disease. The Canadian start-up then provides those insights to public health officials, airlines, and hospitals.

June 2
Amazon offers backup family care to 650,000 full- and part-time employees
With the closure of schools and summer camps, and the loss of some childcare and adult care options due to COVID‑19, we know it’s challenging to balance home and work. We listened to feedback from people across the company and are now offering a new family care benefit through Care.com to full- and part-time Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees in the U.S. This benefit will provide each employee with up to 10 days of company-subsidized emergency backup child or adult care between now and October 2. Full details.

Amazon Web Services supports COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium projects
In late March, the White House launched the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to provide researchers with access to the most powerful computing resources, such as those running on AWS. As part of the Consortium, AWS has helped researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology design copies of protein to “absorb” the virus. AWS has also supported the work of researchers at Children's National Hospital who are combining hundreds of data sets to identify genes that could potentially be targeted to treat COVID-19. Learn more.

June 1
New Amazon UK employees come from different backgrounds and share the same mission
The employees who work in Amazon's operations network are making sure customers get the products they need. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has opened 15,000 new full and part-time positions and delivery driver opportunities across its UK fulfillment and logistics network. Meet some of the people who started new careers with Amazon in the UK during these challenging times.

Amazon Web Services customer provides free curriculum for home schooling
As parents and teachers acclimate to remote learning during the COVID‑19 pandemic, AWS customers are stepping up to help with free resources to continue the school curriculum at home. EVERFI, a leading provider of digital learning tools used in more than 55,000 K-12 schools, is giving parents and teachers direct access to its library of digital courses at no cost.

May 29
Amazon’s support for food banks across America continues with a donation in Tennessee
Amazon donated $25,000 to Mid-South Food Bank, a member of Feeding America. The food bank has seen a 300 percent increase in the need for food, as the COVID‑19 pandemic has left thousands of people without jobs or stable incomes. The organization distributed more than 1 million pounds of food in March, and that number sharply increased to 4 million pounds in April. Amazon’s donation will help meet the food needs of thousands of residents in Memphis and throughout the Mid-South region by providing 75,000 nutritious meals to the most vulnerable residents in a 31-county area.

May 28
Amazon opens additional grocery store in California as online-only store to increase grocery delivery
As we continually work to increase grocery delivery to serve more people in our communities during this difficult time, Amazon has opened its grocery store in Irvine, California as a temporary online-only store, focused exclusively on fulfilling grocery delivery orders during the COVID‑19 pandemic. With the stores in Woodland Hills and Irvine now open to focus on grocery delivery, we have increased delivery capacity and are able to serve tens of thousands more customers in these communities. Learn more about how we are helping customers get groceries.

Amazon offers 125,000 full-time jobs to seasonal employees
Amazon will convert 125,000 of the 175,000 temporary jobs hired since March to permanent roles if employees would like to stay at Amazon long term. Regular, full-time roles at Amazon come with a comprehensive benefits package starting on day one, a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour, and access to training programs like Career Choice that make it easier to springboard into a different career at Amazon or other companies. We hope the option for many people to stay at Amazon will help alleviate some of the ongoing burden of unemployment in communities across the U.S. as we work together to fight through this COVID-19 crisis. Read more.

Amazon Web Services customers help fight the invisible effect of COVID‑19: mental health issues
One-third of Americans have experienced high levels of psychological distress during the COVID‑19 pandemic, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center. It’s evident the virus is taking a toll mentally as well as physically. Survey respondents cited stress from worrying about contracting the virus, to keeping up with the news, and considering the financial impacts of the pandemic. AWS is supporting companies like Talkspace, Headspace, and Ginger as they scale to address heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness due to the pandemic. Details here.

Amazon expands online use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
Eleven states have been added the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot enabling Amazon customers to use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online (Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). We are committed to making food accessible through online shopping and we look forward to adding more states soon. Read about the program.

May 27
Governor Jay Inslee announces “All In WA” effort to raise funds for COVID-19 relief through an Amazon-sponsored virtual concert on June 10
Amazon is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the June 10 event featuring performances by Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Brandi Carlile, Macklemore, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and more artists from Washington. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will personally match up to $25 million in donations. “I commend Governor Inslee and the First Lady for thinking big and creating All In WA to help those who so desperately need it,” said Bezos. “It’s been inspiring to watch the people of this state band together and push through this crisis, and I’m excited to see that continue as we raise money for this important cause.” More details.

Amazon Music’s Friday live stream features deadmau5 to benefit COVID‑19 relief efforts
Global electronic music producer deadmau5 will host Amazon Music’s weekly series on May 29. Amazon Music and Amazon Live are collaborating with the artist to help bring awareness to the World Health Organization’s COVID‑19 Solidarity Response Fund and the MusiCares COVID‑19 Relief Fund. Viewers can learn more about these funds while watching the stream, and fans may submit questions by commenting on deadmau5 and Amazon Music’s social posts before the show. The live stream begins Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific at Amazon.com/live.

Amazon Literary Partnership announces new grants to help writers impacted by COVID-19
Today, the Amazon Literary Partnership is awarding more than $1 million in grant funding to 66 organizations. This is in addition to a donation of emergency relief funding to Artist Relief and PEN America’s Writers’ Emergency Fund. Find the full list of grant recipients here. Since 2009, Amazon Literary Partnership has provided more than $13 million to organizations across the United States that empower writers to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive.

Amazon recognized as the food retailer with the most favorable response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Thanks to the work of thousands of customer-obsessed Amazon employees across the United States, consumers have named Amazon the food retailer with the best response to the COVID-19 crisis. Respondents felt Amazon had adapted well to help keep people safe, according to a survey by Magid. Amazon has invested $4 billion on COVID-19 related initiatives to keep employees safe and deliver for customers. Read more.

May 26
Amazon Web Services powers new effort from Airbnb to keep people connected
With Airbnb suspending in-person Experiences in light of COVID‑19, the company looked for ways to help its hosts continue to generate income, while also allowing guests to learn a new skill, safely connect with others, or pursue interests. The company leveraged AWS to create Airbnb Online Experiences, offering an array of activities like meditation with Buddhist monks, family-oriented magic lessons, and team-bonding activities like making coffee with a professional coffee taster. Airbnb has also partnered with local organizations around the world to develop Experiences to help those in isolation, such as older adults, learn a new skill free of charge.

May 25
Amazon Web Services helps mobilize COVID‑19 volunteers
Thousands of food pantries, shelters, employment agencies, and nonprofits are currently experiencing volunteer shortages, and social impact company VOMO has made its volunteer management platform, which is powered by AWS, free to any organization mobilizing volunteers during the COVID‑19 crisis. With VOMO’s volunteer mobilization and management technology, organizations can coordinate volunteering efforts and issue calls for assistance to a national volunteer registry. To date, more than 1,000 new organizations have joined the VOMO network during the pandemic, and AWS provided increased computational capacity to help scale and manage the surge in demand. Read more here.

May 24
Amazon Web Services helps clinics store patient data and manage volunteers
The Spark Team, a nonprofit that provides software to support humanitarian events, is using AWS to help free medical clinics store patient data and manage volunteer sign-ups for COVID‑19 test sites. The Spark Team’s volunteer management software has helped Remote Area Medical (RAM), a major nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics, staff COVID‑19 testing sites across the country where thousands of tests are being administered. RAM volunteers have logged more than 3,100 hours of service at these sites so far. To further support counties, states, hospitals, and other groups, the Spark Team is currently offering free use of their systems to help with testing sites.

May 23
Amazon Web Services helps UK charities process hundreds of donations a second
UK-based charities Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need worked with broadcaster BBC One to host “The Big Night In” to raise money for individuals affected by COVID‑19 and to highlight doctors and nurses on the front lines. With support from AWS, Comic Relief’s existing website, as well as its donation and business analytics systems, were able to quickly scale to process more than 350 donations per second. The three-hour event resulted in more than 700,000 donations that raised £27.4 million. The UK government has pledged to double that amount. AWS also provided Comic Relief with credits and remote technical support throughout the fundraising event. Find out more about how AWS is supporting governments, businesses, and nonprofits during the pandemic.

May 22
Meeting the Moment: a new series takes viewers behind the scenes to meet Amazon employees
Watch the first four episodes.

May 21
Will COVID-19 change the face of women entrepreneurship?
E-commerce could bring new opportunities for women entrepreneurs hoping to enter the economy in India, where women own just 10 percent of businesses. Read more from Shalini Puchalapalli, Amazon India’s Director of New Initiatives.

Meet an Amazon employee who inspires her peers while promoting safety

A woman wears a face mask and safety vest. On her vest, a green, crocheted heart pin is attached.

Brandy Bowers, a trainer in the learning department at Amazon’s fulfillment center in North East, Maryland, is working to inspire smiles while promoting safety among her colleagues during the stress of the pandemic. Each night, when she returns home, Brandy crochets hearts for her team and associates at the fulfillment center. Over the past few weeks, she’s crocheted more than 300 hearts in green yarn to signify the official American National Standards Institute color for safety, serving as a reminder that we’re stronger together. Meet more Amazon operations employees.

Amazon Web Services powers repository of images for COVID-19 research
AWS is powering the COVID Digital Pathology Repository (COVID-DPR), an online repository of whole slide images of COVID-19-related samples that enables international collaboration in the research community. COVID-DPR provides a centralized, cloud-based source for digital images of lung, liver, kidney, and heart tissues from patients infected with COVID19, as well as the closely related viruses SARs and MERs. The images, scientific notes, and metadata will be used as reference data for education, research, and future clinical trials. COVID-DPR is part of a joint collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, Octo Consulting Group, and others. More details.

A new shelter for homeless families opens on Amazon's campus amid the COVID‑19 crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting lives around the world, and families fighting homelessness are at particularly high risk with no safe space to call home. Mary's Place, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides shelter and services for women, children, and families, is supporting many people during this uncertain time. Read more and see photos of the new Mary’s Place center that’s opened inside one of Amazon’s corporate offices. “While I’ve long been excited for the new Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade in the heart of Amazon’s Seattle campus to open, I never could have imagined the shelter would open at such a critical time,” said John Schoettler, Amazon Vice President of Global Real Estate and Facilities.

Zoom grows on Amazon Web Services to help people stay connected
Zoom, a provider of business video and audio conferencing that runs primarily on AWS, is offering universal free access to its core conferencing technology for calls of up to 40 minutes and 100 participants. Zoom helps people around the world keep up with business, education, and social meetings as they stay safe at home. Zoom also provides teachers, administrators, and students with the resources they need to quickly spin up virtual classrooms, participate in online classes, and continue their education online. Find out more about how AWS is helping their customers scale during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

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