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Over the past two weeks, America has seen a previously unfathomable spike in unemployment claims, with 6.6 million alone last week. Hardship is striking much of the country, and there’s one group facing a perfect storm of damaging circumstances that you might not have thought about: freelancers.
By Gallup’s estimate, as much as 29 percent of the U.S. workforce lists freelancing as their primary job. Freelancers power not only Uber and Lyft, but much of the media, marketing, and entertainment we love. According to a new report by Freelancers Union, 76 percent of freelancers have lost work as the result of COVID-19, and 91 percent expect to lose income.
While the $2 trillion CARES Act passed last week intends to extend unemployment benefits to freelancers, it’s been nearly impossible for freelancers to apply for benefits so far. I have one freelancer friend who called the New York unemployment line 50 times. The line went dead 47 times, and the other three times, he got a busy signal.
At this moment, freelancers in need have nowhere to turn.
At Contently, helping freelancers has always been a core part of our mission. We’re officially partnering with Freelancers Union to raise emergency grants for those in need via the Freelancers Relief Fund.
The fund will provide grants of up to $1,000 for freelancers facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. Applications are open, and the goal is to get money in the hands of people in need as quickly as possible.
We’re aiming to raise $50,000 for the fund in April. We’ll be donating $5,000 for every $200,000 that brands pay to freelance creatives on our platform, and an additional $5,000 for every content strategy deliverable we sell. But if you’re in position to help out, you can chip in by donating as little as $5 or $10. (And if you’re interested in becoming a partner, email me at [email protected]).
We know there are so many important causes to support right now, but if you’ve read this far, we hope you’ll consider making a small donation. Without our creative class, the world would be a far less beautiful, interesting, and entertaining place.
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