Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, speaks at a press conference in London on … [+]
Facebook is announcing a $100 million grant program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of the grants will be distributed in cash, with some ad credits for business services. Businesses do not need to be on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp to apply.
“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them,” writes Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday post. “We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. That’s why today I’m announcing that Facebook is investing $100 million to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where our employees live and work.”
The social media giant estimates that more than 140 million businesses use their apps every month to help with day-to-day operations like finding new customers, hiring employees and engaging with their communities. Facebook also estimates over 200 million people visit an Instagram Business Profile every day.
“In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part, too,” Sandberg writes.
Some examples the company highlighted include Unashamed Imaging, led by Anesha Collins, a Florida-based wedding photographer that is using Facebook Live and and IGTV to update concerned clients, and Heavenly Soap, led by Patti Gibbons, which is making up for lost revenue by pushing for more online sales via Facebook as well as emailing customers directly.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis—especially as more and more people sensibly stay home. The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk to small businesses and to the livelihoods of their owners and employees,” Sandberg writes.
To further aid struggling businesses around the nation, last week the company also announced their Business Hub, which features resources and recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and keep their business on track. It also includes direct access to credible and accurate information about Covid-19 to help businesses stay informed.