Facebook to provide $100M in grants to small businesses amid coronavirus pandemic

Facebook said it would launch a $100 million program consisting of grants in an effort to help small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

In the blog post announcing the decision, the tech giant said it would providing $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to aid small businesses.

There are "up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries" that Facebook said would be able to apply. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company said applications would start "in the coiming weeks," aiding with expenses such as rent costs, workforce costs, connecting with customers and more.

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Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expanded on the initial blog post, knowing that the marketing industry is going to see a substantial negative impact from the fallout of COVID-19.

"In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other," Sandberg wrote. "People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part too. 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 added the company will also work to "make it easier for businesses everywhere to find help and receive training and support from our teams," including making its Business Hub available to everyone and "creating new virtual training to support businesses operating in this new and unsettling environment."

The executive added the company would have more to say on how it is helping in the coming weeks.

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In addition to providing the grants, Facebook has taken other steps to help with the crisis. In late February, the company said it would crack down on advertisements that falsely promised a cure or prevention of the virus.

There have been 183,425 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning. Of that, 4,661 have happened in the U.S., with 145 countries around the world affected.

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