NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eighty-four percent of small business owners say they are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their business, and a majority (58%) are very concerned, according to a recent poll from MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This poll provides the first view of the small business landscape from their own perspective. To help small businesses weather the economic fall-out and immediate challenges of COVID-19, MetLife is offering several resources to both small business owners and their employees.
“MetLife and the Chamber of Commerce have been releasing the quarterly Small Business Index for three years, and our recent poll on the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses is the first time overall business optimism has dropped significantly,” said Todd Katz, executive vice president, Group Benefits, MetLife. “We recognize the financial and emotional upheaval the coronavirus is having on the country, particularly small business owners and their employees. MetLife is making resources available free of charge to small businesses to help them navigate these difficult times.”
Effective today, MetLife is making the following available to our small business customers:
- Financial Wellness. Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees can now access COVID-19-related guidance on cash flow issues, IRS taxpayer relief, government legislation, market volatility and asset allocation through MetLife’s PlanSmart® Financial Wellness planners. For 90 days, small business owners and their employees will have phone access – at no cost to them – through our alliance with Ernst & Young LLP, the U.S. firm (EY), to credentialed EY financial planners.
- Overall Wellness. Overall individual health and well-being is a top priority during a crisis. To help our small business customers address these needs, MetLife is offering a dedicated COVID-19 hotline provided by LifeWorks. Through the hotline, small business owners and their employees will have access to services including immediate emotional support, research and referrals along with guidance and resources to cope with COVID-19. The hotline is available to all customers with fewer than 500 employees through September 30.
- No rate increases. MetLife will not increase rates on any Group Benefits products for customers who have fewer than 500 employees for June 1, 2020, through September 1, 2020, renewals.
Additionally, MetLife is making the following available for all customers and their employees:
- Financial Wellness Hub. This dynamic new financial wellness microsite is designed to guide employees at all companies and in all circumstances as they actively manage stress, navigate life choices, and manage their finances in this volatile environment. The hub, which will expand over time, helps consumers think about what they need to do now and how they can prepare for the future.
- Legal document access and review. Through the end of July, MetLife Legal Plans will provide free document review and consultation to all employees, regardless of whether or not they are signed up for the service, of employers that offer MetLife Legal Plans. Employees can access our network attorneys to get answers to questions related to legal issues they may be facing and have attorneys review estate planning documents or insurance forms.
These customer offerings follow MetLife Foundation’s announcement on March 31 that it is committing $25 million to the global response to COVID-19 in support of communities impacted by the pandemic.
“We know that people are struggling. Employers of all sizes want to help their employees get access to tools and resources to better manage their financial and emotional stress,” said Meredith Ryan-Reid, senior vice president, Financial Wellness & Engagement, MetLife. “We are committed to helping employees address their current needs and feel more confident about the future.”
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (MetLife), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.