Facebook has announced the launch of a $100 million grant program aimed at supporting small businesses around the world affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Facebook Small Business Grants Program will provide cash grants and ad credits to up to thirty thousand small businesses in more than thirty countries to help them weather the disruptions resulting from the growing global crisis. Eligible companies will be able to apply in the coming weeks for funds that can be used to maintain their workforce, help with rent, connect with more customers, and/or cover their operational costs.
The company also publicly launched a Business Resource Hub that provides business-focused information about how to cope with the effect of the pandemic as well as a "quick action guide" and a "resilience toolkit" featuring best practices and a self-assessment tool.
"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," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing the $100 million commitment. "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."