Facebook Inc. has disclosed plans to offer $100 million in grants and ad credits, as the novel Coronavirus ravages around the globe.
In order to address the economic impacts of the pandemic, Facebook will make the grants and ad credits available for up to 30,000 Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in over 30 countries.
It was gathered that the majority of the beneficiaries would get a cash grant.
Facebook will disclose any moment from now, how businesses can apply for the assistance regarding the offers.
In a post made available to the public, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said the economic disruption poses a severe risk to small businesses.
Sandberg’s post read, “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.”
Sandberg said companies would be able to use cash to pay rent, cover operational costs or run advertising on Facebook. She added that Facebook was going to make it easier for small businesses to get training and support from its teams.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus.
The new cases brought the total confirmed cases in Nigeria to 8. Four of these cases are in the Centre of Excellence, Lagos State, while one is in
Amid Coronavirus spread, Facebook to offer SMEs $100 million funding
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
“Of the five new positive cases, 3 of them arrived from the United States of America while 2 came in from the United Kingdom. We are still collating information from the travellers, but we know that two of the cases of the US are Nigerians, a mother, and 6-week old baby, making this baby the youngest case of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“The third case is an American tourist who crossed the land border and became the first covid19 case that did not arrive by air. The two cases from the United kingdom are both Nigerians,” Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire was quoted as saying.
For context, the $100 million Facebook said it has earmarked for small business owners represents 1.4% of the company’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2019. The social giant didn’t disclose how businesses can apply to receive the funding or ad credits, saying it will announce more details “as they become available.” The program will be available in over 30 countries.
According to Facebook, more than 140 million small businesses use its services for marketing, the vast majority of which do not pay anything.
COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the program in a Facebook post. “We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them,” she wrote in part. “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 also has added information to its Business Resource Hub site about managing business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. That will include “new virtual training to support businesses operating in this new and unsettling environment,” according to Sandberg.
In addition, the Facebook Journalism Project announced that it will offer $1 million in grants to U.S. and Canadian local news organizations covering the coronavirus crisis, in partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association (LMA). The fund will provide grants of up to $5,000 to local newsrooms to “help cover unexpected costs associated with coronavirus reporting.” Organizations can apply for the grants at this link.