Now that we’ve all stopped hyperventilating in equal measures of panic and excitement about the chance to work from home in mismatched clothes while juggling apartment living with homeschooling and your partner’s need to work in silence, a silver lining has emerged.

A significant benefit of the COVID-19 lockdown is the new opportunity for more corporate employees to volunteer their time to help others.

Without the dawn and dusk trek to city centres, people have more time in their day. Scores of commuters can swap the daily trudge through traffic snarls and public transport crush with corporate volunteering activities.

Rather than wasting time on travel, they can bookend their day with a Zoom or Skype call with a small business owner to chat through a business plan, social media strategy or an HR challenge – without the need to encroach on personal time.

Online assistance removes the need for onsite visits, saving further costs.

In an article in Psychology Today: ‘In helping others you help yourself’ (May 30, 2018), Marianna Pogosyan PhD writes that research has found that doing good in ways big or small not only feels good, but also does us good.

Volunteering boosts wellbeing and lowers feelings of depression. It gives a sense of meaning and purpose. In fact, evidence from MRI studies suggest a neural link between generosity and happiness in the brain. The mere intent and commitment to generosity can stimulate neural change and make people happier, Pogosyan writes.

May 18 – 24 is National Volunteer Week, the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

Here at Help a Small Biz we thank all our generous helpers who have donated time to help bushfire impacted small businesses get back on their feet.

We give a special “Thank you’’ to our friends at National Australia Bank who have donated the skills of their 30,000 strong workforce and funds to Help a Small Biz so we can continue our outreach to bushfire-affected communities.

NAB Acting Chief Customer Officer Business & Private Banking Michael Saadie said: “SME’s are the backbone of the Australian economy and we know Australians want to help others in need,’’ he said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to connect the skills of our people with small businesses looking to get back on their feet.

“NAB is honoured to be partnering with Help a Small Biz to help bushfire-affected communities begin the road to recovery.’’

National Volunteer Week is also a great opportunity for businesses to consider helping others with their time, resources and funds.

Helping a small business can come in many forms, such as providing staff to create a social media strategy, give marketing advice or work through a business plan.

Your company can provide physical assets like equipment or materials.

It can also provide funds to a needy small biz as an umbrella gesture (eg: including a regional shop staff in your company’s counselling sessions) or cash.

Could your team help a small business in need?

To offer help, business employees complete this simple form.

Suitable businesses will then be paired with business “buddies’’ who will help address their needs so they can recommence trading and go on to thrive.

Visit or email [email protected] for more information.

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