Business // Large US Companies Offer a helping hand – Ford, GM, Walgreens & Google

Ford & GM announced that it will be offering a payment protection plan for customers who lose their job, Walgreens will offer free minimal health care to their customers who lose their job & Google wants invest $100 Million.

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Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. are offering payment protection plans to help reassure consumers who may be putting off buying a new car because of worries about losing their job.

The offers come as auto sales have been battered by the recession and tight credit, reaching their lowest levels in 27 years.

Ford said Tuesday it will cover payments of up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if consumers lose their jobs. The program runs until June 1.

Hours later, GM said it will make a similar offer. GM’s new CEO, Fritz Henderson, said the company will make up to nine car payments of $500 each for customers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems on Tuesday launched an initiative to offer free health care services, for minor conditions, to all of its current and future patients who lose their jobs after March 31 and have no health insurance.

Google has launched Google ventures which the Wall Street Journal reports will invest about $100 million in the next 12 months, will be run by Bill Maris and Rich Miner. Maris has been an executive at Google for about a year and Miner came to the company in 2005 when Google bought Android, the mobile software company he co-founded.

It’s good that some companies are taking ‘initiative’ now, but is it too little too late

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