The NOGO List was formed as a way for consumers to see what companies have been up to -- good or bad, moral or immoral -- and make informed decisions about which companies deserve their business. We believe these actions should be public, and should not simply disappear with the next news cycle.
Our goal is to present as accurate a picture of each company as we can, so that consumers can make their own decisions. The NOGO list can be used on its own, or as a starting point for further research. Use it however you like.
Create your own personal NOGO list, and sleep better with the knowledge that you are supporting companies aligned with your values.
And, if you see that we are missing a company that belongs on this site, please submit it. We review all submissions and will include them on the site as soon as we can.
The NOGO List started with the COVID-19 crisis of 2020.
As COVID-19 grew into an economic calamity during the first quarter of 2020, the federal government passed the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27th, this act provided a $350B pool of funds to be distributed as Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Loans were 100% forgivable if used for payroll costs. These loans were a lifeboat for myriad small businesses that were forced to close during the quarantine period enforced in most states.
However, this pool of funds was depleted within a week, leaving many small, local businesses who had applied for loans out in the cold and forcing them to furlough employees or even shut down completely. More than 30 million Americans filed for unemployment during these frantic first few weeks of the crisis.
At the same time, news started to roll in about large, well-funded or even publicly funded companies that had taken large loans, often millions of dollars. Many of these companies found loopholes in the law, inserted thanks to D.C. lobbyists during the rushed assembly of the CARES act. For example, restaurant chains with hundreds of locations employing thousands of workers were able to apply -- so long as each of their locations had fewer than 500 employees.
After news of these loans went viral, some of these large companies decided to pay back their loans immediately. This could be seen as a noble act, but paying back the loans also served to underscore the fact that these companies did not need these loans to begin with.
The team behind The NOGO List was tired of seeing the endless list of headlines calling out large corporations who had taken advantage of the CARES act. With no real consequences on the horizon for these companies, we wanted to create a simple tool that would allow consumers to take matters into their own hands. Since then, we have expanded The NOGO List to include other negative actions taken by companies that have harmed their employees or customers.
The NoGo list is not a review site. We are not concerned with the quality of service or product that a company provides in and of itself. Rather, we are concerned with companies' behaviors as as citizens of their communities and of the world, though we do recognize that these concerns sometimes overlap.
The NoGo list is also not a list of companies that have disrupted and hurt industries through innovation or otherwise. Innovation often means existing companies or entire industries get left behind. These paradigm shifts can sometimes be painful to lots of people and cause workers great hardship. However, it is not part of our mission to highlight these cases.