Over the years, you relied on Facebook to promote your business and find loyal customers. You spent money on Facebook ads and boosted posts. And now Facebook puts a hand out for small businesses in trouble. The social media giant has recently announced several plans to safeguard SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a US $100 million grant program.
Facebook Reacts to the Plight of Small Enterprises
In a message posted on her Facebook account, COO Sheryl Sandberg said:
“In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other. 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 […]”.
To support these statements, the Facebook Team has already prepared a few tools and grant funds for small businesses. We will detail each of them below as far as we have information about them.
1. Facebook Business Hub
The Business Hub is a recently added area that contains helpful information and tips for small business owners who are struggling to keep their companies afloat. Among the helpful information you will find here, we recommend:
- Ways to keep in touch with the customers in this period;
- A toolkit with best practices to protect your business from interruptions;
- A quick-action guide for emergency response and minimising downtime;
- Recommendations for Facebook business groups from around the world that you can join.
2. Grant for Media Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Facebook also pledges to support US and Canadian media outlets that struggle to provide accurate and up to date coverage on the new Coronavirus pandemic. These grants will reach maximum $5,000 per news organisation.
This is an example of Facebook being proactive in fighting false news and attempts to manipulate the public, especially in these difficult days, when people are extremely worried or even panicked.
3. US $100 Million Grant Program for Small Businesses
We are finally touches on what really interests you. So far, Facebook has opened a page where it provides the most basic information about this grant fund. What we know right now is that the grant will be distributed to up to 30,000 businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook operates.
There are no further details available so far, as this is a very recent initiative that is coming together as you are reading this. However, you can sign up to receive updates about this grant fund and how to apply for it when the time comes.
4. Facebook Blueprint
This section of Facebook for Business already contains courses about managing your business and your social media marketing strategy. However, the Facebook Team is currently working on adding new courses teaching professionals and entrepreneurs how to adapt to working from home.
Just as you’ve taken advantage so far of the marketing and advertising capabilities of Facebook, now you should use it to become prepared for the coming months. The situation is very complicated and no one can say when things will return to a semblance of normality.
Thus, we encourage you to stay up to date with the announcements made by Facebook about its US $100 million grant fund and apply for it. We wish you the best of luck in winning one of these grants!