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As fear over the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to grow, some businesses are stepping forward to assist those who are most vulnerable in society.

One such business is Stress Autos- a vehicle sales company based in Barrackpore.

Started by 20-year-old Kareem Ali less than a year ago, the company has stepped forward to offer meals to less fortunate students who are now at home due to the closure of the nation’s schools.

In an interview with Guardian Media, Ali said growing up in Barrackpore, he noticed some of his friends in school depended on the school feeding programme.

Their need made an impact on him and when heard the announcement that schools would be closed for one week, his mind immediately went back to that time.

“I wasn’t always the most generous person, but over time when I realised that life is about much more than you, “ Ali said.

So on Friday night, Ali decided to provide meals for those who need it the most.

Yesterday, Stress delivered 550 meals within the Barrackpore and Penal areas.

With yesterday’s announcement that schools will remain closed until April 20, Ali said he is not sure if he will be able to keep his programme running but he said he will try.

He also wants to do another programme to donate masks, gloves, Lysol, immune system boosters, clean water and toilet paper – using funds from his company’s sales to purchase the items.

And his motto for the duration of his charity drives are simple: leave your cameras and your egos at home.

Another business owner, Ashleigh Wittet, who runs Errands 360 is offering to run errands for senior citizens for free in the coming weeks.

Wittet said she will do grocery shopping and delivery, pick up medication and any other errands that senior citizens may need so they don’t have to venture out and put them at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“I know realistically they are saying the virus affects the elderly more than anyone else. Because I am pretty young, it’s better for me to take the risk, they are more susceptible to it. I just want to help them out, I would rather they not put themselves in danger, “Wittet said.

S&S Supermarket is also assisting those who may be unable to get to any of their three branches Mayaro, Rio Claro and Princes Town as panic buying grips the nation.

The company has launched an online system, allowing customers to virtually select their items and then delivering those items, free of charge, to the customers home.

Riad Rampat, marketing analyst with S&S said the company knows that a lot of people are scared to venture out to get their essential grocery items as they try to avoid contracting the virus.

Yesterday was the first day of the new system and Rampat said the supermarket has already had about 150 orders come in for delivery.