Payments providers are rallying support for small businesses, especially restaurants and hospitality merchants, contending with the effects of the coronavirus and urgent calls for social distancing.
Just Tuesday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos and other nonessential businesses, such as personal health and beauty businesses, to close for 30 days.
Shift4 Payments LLC, an Allentown, Pa.-based provider, is suspending online ordering fees, gift card fees, and some fees for its SkyTab point-of-sale device, as restaurants are left only with takeout and delivery service following several state bans on dine-in service. Fees will be waived for three months. SkyTab is Shift4’s mobile ordering and pay-at-the-table device, which is well-suited to curbside pickup, the company says.
“We understand the difficulties facing the entire Shift4 family and we are here to do what we can to help,” Jared Isaacman, Shift4 chief executive, said in a release. “Restaurants and hospitality businesses have been especially hard hit by this situation, so many of the fees we have waived focus on the unique challenges facing these businesses.”
Relief is aimed at other merchants, too. Tempe, Ariz.-based Alt Thirty Six Inc., which provides digital-wallet services for legal marijuana dispensaries in four states with others expected later this year, is waiving transaction fees for cannabis deliveries until April 20.
“In the wake of the growing public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), it’s now more important than ever to take precautionary steps to limit the spread of contagion and reduce the risks of exposure to ourselves and our communities,” Ken Ramirez, Alt Thirty Six chief executive, said in a statement.
In related news, merchant funding and payments provider Kabbage Inc. launched HelpSmallBusiness.com to enable consumers to purchase online gift certificates as a way to help small businesses coping with cash-flow gaps stemming from the Covid-19 impact.