Facebook giving $100 million in grants to SMBs impacted by coronavirus

The $100 million earmarked for Facebook’s SMB Grants Program includes cash grants and ad credits for small businesses around the world.

Facebook for Business

Last month, Facebook announced it was putting $100 million toward a new grants program to financially support as many as 30,000 small businesses spread across 30 countries. We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions from the global outbreak of COVID-19, wrote Facebook on its Facebook for Business site, So we are offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

The grant money will be available for personnel costs, business location rental fees, operational costs, and Facebook ads. Facebook has not opened the application process yet but said on March 17 that applications would be available in the coming weeks. Until then, businesses are encouraged to sign-up for updates about the program on the Facebook Small Business Grants site.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis, wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on her public Facebook page, We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. 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 Post by Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook’s charitable move is more than a helping hand for small businesses. During Facebook’s January 29 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg noted the role SMBs play on the platform: There are now more than 140 million small businesses that use our services to grow – the vast majority of which use our services for free, said Zuckerberg, Having small businesses succeed is not only key to creating broad economic growth where everyone can support themselves; it’s also important to maintaining healthy communities.

Supporting SMBs has long been one of Facebook’s core business strategies. While the company’s earnings call was wrapping up the fourth quarter of 2018, Zuckerberg said a top priority for 2019 was to keep building its business by, Supporting the millions of businesses – mostly small businesses – that rely on our service to grow. Last year, Facebook earned nearly $70 billion in ad revenue – a number that could take a significant hit if Facebook’s SMB advertisers are unable to survive the pandemic. A March 19 Goldman Sachs survey of more than 1,500 small business owners found that 96% have already been impacted by COVID-19, with 51% confirming they would only be able to operate for 0-3 months under current conditions. Only 13% were confident their contingency plans would meet their business needs.

In addition to the Small Business Grants Program, Facebook has made its Business Hub available to all businesses and plans to create virtual training programs to help SMBs navigate the uncertainty of today’s economic environment.

If you’re a small business facing possible shut-down because of disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, be sure to sign up on the Facebook Small Business Grants Program page now so that you are alerted when the application process has opened.

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Akvile DeFazio is the President of AKvertise, a social media advertising agency. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter Ads. Follow @AkvileDeFazio