The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on nearly everyone. Even The Walt Disney Company hasn’t been immune to the struggles that 2020 brought for many around the United States and the world.
Josh D’Amaro’s Parks, Experiences and Products division — including all of Disney’s theme parks and Disney Cruise Line — for example, lost billions in the fourth quarter alone.
Now, however, former Walt Disney Company CEO and current Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman, Bob Iger, and his wife, Willow Bay, are making a big difference for struggling business owners in California.
Per Fox Business:
Disney executive chairman Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, dean of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, have donated $5 million to help small businesses struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the gift during a COVID-19 news conference on Thursday.
“We are beyond grateful for your bold leadership,” Garcetti said of the couple, adding that the $5 million would help 1,000 of the “hardest-hit” businesses in every neighborhood of the nation’s second-largest city.
Californians have faced many challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including extended stay-at-home orders, continuous theme park closures, and other stringent guidelines set forth by Governor Gavin Newsom’s office as the virus rages on throughout the U.S.
All of these restrictions — regardless of one’s personal opinion about their necessity — have undeniably caused small businesses throughout California to struggle financially. Iger and his wife stepped up to the plate in a big way to fulfill a need.
Fox also pointed out that this isn’t the first time the couple has generously donated during the pandemic:
Garcetti mentioned that the couple had already donated $500,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, which supports small businesses and struggling families, at the beginning of the pandemic.
The small business grants, he said, have meant the difference between “folding up and pushing through.”
Bob Iger, arguably one of Disney fans’ favorite Chief Executive Officers in recent history, is set to step away from The Walt Disney Company to pursue other opportunities when his contract is up this year.
Iger brokered many major deals to expand Disney’s reach, including the acquisitions of both Marvel from Stan Lee in 2009 and Lucasfilm from George Lucas in 2012.
What do you think about Iger’s generous donation to help struggling California business owners?