I’ve spent the last 22 years delving into the murkier corners of big business for my Your Problems column. It can be dispiriting work. The daily laments from customers have persuaded me that if corporate Britain has a conscience, it’s been smothered by terms and conditions that stack the odds in favour of traders. When companies have bestirred themselves to right a wrong, it’s because the prospect of a headline persuaded them. The coronavirus crisis has exposed the essence behind the glossy PR. While some firms – such as Sports Direct and Wetherspoons – may appear to have been ruthless in attempts to safeguard their profits, big-name brands from fashion labels to distilleries have diverted stocks and skills to helping combat the pandemic. And while insurance companies have raced to rewrite their terms and conditions to avoid payouts, small traders, whose income has dried up, are finding inventive ways to support local communities. When I put out a call for examples of altruism in adversity, my inbox was transformed from protests to plaudits. Here are some of the heroes who are turning a crisis into an opportunity to serve. Transport Companies from airlines to boat hire have seen business evaporate… Read full this story
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