Helping low-income neighbors

Yesterday the White House announced that it partnered with 20 internet providers to offer high-speed plans for $30/month or less.

High-speed internet is now considered a necessity, just like food, shelter and clothing. These low-cost plans will benefit those who also qualify for other government programs like food stamps and special heating oil rates.

Should companies wait for government programs to offer assistance to low-income citizens? I don’t think so. AT&T could have done this on its own years ago.

Should companies offer discounts only on necessities? No, and many of them already have discounts on “luxuries”. Movie theatre chains have long offered discounts to students and seniors, assuming that most members of these groups have lower income.

Are you a plumber? A website designer? A college consultant? Could you cut your rate in half for one low-income client? The answer is probably yes.

Some people volunteer at the soup kitchen once-a-month, and never offer low-income people a discount on their services.

Maybe it’s time for professionals to rethink how they can help their neighbors.

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