Regardless of how COVID-19 pandemic plays out in the coming weeks and months, it’s already been brutal for small businesses, with some of them forced close for public safety, while others are taking a big hit in both revenue and access to credit .
So Facebook announced today that it’s creating a $100 million grant program for small businesses. Applications aren’t open yet, but the company says this will include both ad credits and cash grants that can be spent on operational costs like paying workers and paying rent. It will be available to up to 30,000 businesses in the the 30-plus countries where Facebook operates.
Facebook has also created a Business Hub with tips and resources for businesses trying to survive during the outbreak..
“We want to do more,” said COO Sheryl Sandberg in a Facebook post. “Teams across our company are working every day to help businesses. We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings – and will have more to share in the coming weeks – and we’re finding more ways to help people connect and learn to use technology through Blueprint, our free e-learning training program.”
In addition, the company announced today that it’s partnering with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association to offer a total of $1 million in grants for U.S. and Canadian newsrooms that need more resources to properly cover the pandemic. These individual grants will be up for up to $5,000.