In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an outpouring of support of small businesses in the form of resources and free software. The reality is, local enterprises and entrepreneurs with fewer resources and reserves will be hit hardest by the restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, only 3.4% of the population worked remotely, but that number has quickly been eclipsed as millions of businesses are forced to run their businesses remotely.
SaaS (software as a service) companies, in particular, have stepped up big with free temporary access to premium services, extended freemium periods, deals, and discounts to help small businesses weather the toughest weeks of this crisis.
With quarantine and social distancing practices, many are forced to close their doors and work from home, if possible. Many of the offers below work towards equipping you and your employees to work in a virtual environment – safer and more efficiently.
Tips for Using Free Software Available During Coronavirus Crisis
Free is one of those words that makes it hard to say no, but you won’t need or use most of the software and tools on this list, so now is not the time to sign up for everything. Here are some tips on getting the most out the free and discount software offers available for April 2020 and beyond:
- Mark your calendars on the day you sign up for a free service or software and set an appointment to cancel it two days before it expires if it automatically switches to the paid version.
- If you need others in your organization to have access to the software, verify how many users can use the one account or if they will each need their own free account.
- If the word “trial” is used, it is a clear indicator that you will need to pay to continue to use it after the trial period, even though that period may be extended due to the crisis.
- Many companies are offering software free only to healthcare and school organizations, so even though this list is specifically for small businesses, digging deeper, you might find more specifications that may exclude you from using the software or service.
- Don’t switch all of your business processes over to free software you might not want to commit to. This is an excellent opportunity to try out some new things, but don’t start building your workflow on temporary systems until you can commit to pay for and keep them.
Free Software and Deals for Small Businesses During April 2020 in Response to COVID-19
MOST NOTABLE FREE SOFTWARE OFFERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
SUMO Software Fund – SUMO and its partners are providing $1M worth software free to physical businesses impacted by COVID-19. If your brick-and-mortar business (e.g., restaurants, teachers, yoga/fitness instructors, hospitality workers, NGOs, etc.) has been affected by the pandemic, fill out an application or share this with an eligible business in need.
Amazon – Announced two new offers that enable you to use Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon WorkDocs for up to 50 users at no charge through June 30, 2020. The WorkSpaces offer is available beginning on April 1 and will include Standard, Value, and Performance bundles. The WorkDocs offer is available immediately. Together, WorkSpaces and WorkDocs provide remote workers the ability to securely use the applications they need, while collaborating on documents with their colleagues around the world.
GoDaddy OpenWeStand – GoDaddy launched a new site, OpenWeStand, to support small businesses during the ongoing crisis. The site contains various resources, and also a facility to connect business owners and entrepreneurs to one another.
Apple has made its professional-grade software for video editing and music making – Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X – free with a 90-day trial. Usually, Final Cut Pro X has a 30-day trial, which has now been extended to 90 days, and works even if you’re already on a 30-day trial. And Logic Pro X, which didn’t have any sort of free trial so far, now gets the 90-day trial option as well.
Support.com – Individuals working or studying from home may encounter challenges with connectivity, security, and systems access, and need help troubleshooting tech problems with their devices. Support.com will immediately make its remote tech support service, TechSolutions, free to anyone who needs it.
Bill.com – Free 90-day subscription for new customers impacted by COVID-19. The cloud-based service automates the processing of bills, generates invoices, send/receives payments, and manages cash flows.
Wave – Free financial software solutions (accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing) for small businesses to help with cash flow and reduced paid services where possible to active customers.
Kabbage – With a free account through Kabbage Payments, and you can start sharing your custom gift certificate URL on your website, through social media, and in other communications. And your business will also be searchable on the site by industry and location.
ONLINE LEARNING, TRAINING & COURSES
Moz Academy – Now through May 31, Moz Academy is free for the Moz community. Just log in to your moz.com account (or sign up for free if you don’t have one). Use the code “wegotthis” at checkout to redeem your training.
Linkedin – 16 free learning courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools, and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.
CMC Academy – The educational arm of the annual Content Marketing Conference is opening members-only access to everyone for free. Instantly access all the keynotes, sessions, and workshop recordings from 2017 to 2019 along with a treasure trove of content marketing books, guides, maps, templates, sample plans, tool talks, certification programs, and more.
openSAP – Enterprise software company, SAP, has opened access to a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs). All classes are accessible through the openSAP platform and span topics, including RPA, data science, machine learning, ethical AI, and the IoT.
Skillshare – 2 free months of Premium access to hundreds of courses for a variety of topics and tools, including many in digital marketing, wellness, business, and creative arts.
Ahrefs – Free access to their Blogging for Business course.
Nikon School – Jump in on free photography courses during April that cover and some advanced topics useful to any marketer-creator.
Pluralsight – Free access to all courses during April for high-quality technical training skill-building for creatives.
SOFTWARE & PLATFORMS
Zoho – Free suite of Remotely apps until July 1. There are 11 apps in all, including ones for online meetings, training sessions, storage, project management, and word/spreadsheet tools.
PandaDoc – New Free eSign plan gives companies unlimited users, unlimited document uploads, unlimited eSignatures, and payment processing so you can accept a credit card, PayPal, or ACH payment the moment your doc is signed.
Easy.jobs – Free access for one year if you need to recruit and hire. This remote solution for attracting quality talent, fast is giving away access to their Startup Package (typically $19.99/month!) for free for the rest of 2020. Check out their remote hiring guide while you’re on their website.
Hootsuite is offering free access to its software until July 1, 2020. Additionally, you also get access to its library of social media courses and other essential tools.
Shopify – Offering 90 days extended free trials of its software along with other support. Also, they are adding gift card options to all new and existing plans.
Foxit Software PhantomPDF Online – Foxit Software has made its cloud-based PDF editor, PhantomPDF Online, available for free through September 30 so you can create, edit, save and compress PDF files, among other features.
Emailgistics – Emailgistics is providing its SaaS email management solution for free until the end of June, to help improve team inbox collaboration in Microsoft Office 365.
Vector Grove – 2 months free on Vector Groove plans by using promo code VGSUPPORT. Get over 1.2M royalty-free vectors and graphics with unlimited downloads per month.
RedmineUP – Project management software with a Free Small plan for 10 users until the end of the year.
Igloo Software – Free access to their digital workspace solution, the Business Continuity Bundle for new customers until July 6, 2020.
GForge – Free 12 months for organizations new to GForge’s project collaboration and management software.
Workable – Free use of the new video interviewing software for all customers, and access to a library of COVID-19 response content for use by HR professionals and business leaders.
Really Simple Systems – Free three-month subscription to their CRM ‘Starter Plan’ solution for new subscriptions between now and May 31, 2020. The Starter plan includes up to 1,000 customer accounts and unlimited users.
TechSmith – Free licenses to Snagit screen capture software and the TechSmith Video Review software through June 30, 2020.
COMMUNICATION & COLLABORATION
3CX – Business communications software free to all businesses for three whole years – and unlimited users. Make and receive calls, see the status of colleagues, chat, schedule conferences, and access the corporate phone book.
Loom – Through July 1, 2020, Loom will remove the recording limit on the free plan (from 25 to unlimited), cut the price of Loom Pro in half (from $10/month to $5/month), and extended all trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days.
Wildix Smart Working – Unified communications firm Wildix is giving away six-month subscriptions to its smart working software that includes audio and video conferencing, text chat, fax & SMS capabilities, and more.
Google Hangouts Meet – Advanced Google Hangouts Meet features, usually reserved for G Suite Enterprise customers, will be free for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until July 1. Users will be able to organize meetings with up to 250 attendees and live-stream content to as many as 100,000 people.
Intermedia – Free Video Conferencing for all of 2020, and Pro Video Conferencing until 2021.
Discord – Chat app for Windows or your browser that lets you communicate over voice, video, or text, Discord is free with enhanced Go Live streaming service so that it can now support 50 simultaneous users rather than 10.
Panopto – Free three-month access to capture and distribute video content for businesses, universities, colleges, and schools.
8×8 – Free video meetings to all users while offering80+ local dial-in numbers (11 toll-free) from 55+ countries and meetings of up to 50 participants without any time restrictions.
Ribbon Communications – Free Work@Home licenses are available until June 30, 2020, for organizations that need to switch their operational model to an all-remote workforce using communication and collaboration solutions.
Jamm – Free audio-visual communication tool used by remote and distributed teams. You can quickly record videos or do a live call with your team. Available for three months.
Nimbus Note – Free Business Version for 920 days. Nimbus Note lets you organize all aspects of your business into individual workspaces and notes.
Threads – Free access to their collaboration tools and Pro/Team plans for all users through July 1, 2020.
FREE SOFTWARE FOR VPN
Hide Me VPN – They increased the data transfer limit attached to its free accounts from 2GB to 10GB. The free plan includes five worldwide locations and support for all major operating systems.
Surfshark VPN – Giving away six-month VPN plans to small businesses (up to ten employees), in a bid to help them weather the storm.
Ghostery Midnight – Free three-month subscriptions to third-party tracking protection service, Midnight. Users can rid themselves of ads and tailor blocking preferences. Interested parties should use the following code at checkout: WORKATHOME
IT, CYBERSECURITY & PASSWORDS
DomainTools COVID-19 Threat List – DomainTools is providing a free list of high-risk coronavirus-related domains, which logs domains the company believes pose either an existent or forthcoming threat. The list is updated daily and is available for CSV download.
Dashlane – Password manager Premium and Business subscriptions free for the next three months.
1Password Business – 1Password has extended the 30-day trial on its enterprise password manager 1Password Business to six months.
OneClick – Free remote access to instantly available IT solutions for home offices with the Basic Starter Package for the next three months to assist those working remotely.
Commvault – Free (no obligation or sales calls) Metallic Endpoint Backup and Recovery with unlimited Microsoft Azure backup storage for up to 1,000 endpoint devices in the U.S. and Canada through September 1, 2020.
Tigunia – 6 months of free access to their remote access software with all the tools, skills, and support you need to roll out a remote work initiative, no strings attached.
We will update this list periodically as more offers are announced.
The coronavirus crisis is a story with an unknown ending. What is clear is that the human impact is already tragic and that we must act immediately to protect ourselves and our communities while addressing unique business challenges and risks.
Share what you know and help where you can.