As small businesses such as restaurants and gyms are forced to close their doors for an indefinite period of time, Facebook has stepped up with an offer that may keep them from going under and their employees from losing their jobs.
The grants will provide a total of $100 million in “cash and ad credits” to 30,000 eligible businesses in the more than 30 countries where Facebook operates. That averages out to $3,333 per business.
The cash could be used to cover rent, operational costs, payroll and connecting with customers. The ad credits would counteract the possible effects of the pandemic on marketing budgets, said COO Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook has always prided itself on affordable, highly targeted marketing opportunities for small businesses, but “the marketing industry is certainly going to see a big impact,” she said.
In addition, Sandberg said that Facebook is looking at ways to expand virtual training in our new work-from-home environment.
Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, have certainly had their share of scandals in recent years. And there’s undoubtedly some self-interest at work here, since small businesses account for the majority of their advertising revenues. But it’s in everybody’s interest to save small businesses — the backbone of our economy and our society. We believe Facebook has done the right thing, and all of us will benefit.
To sign up for updates about when the program will start accepting applications, go to Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program page.
Also, check out Facebook’s new Business Resource Hub for small business support, tools and guides during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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