As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities around the world, Facebook said it would be offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for “up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate.”
In a blog, Facebook said, “We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.”
Facebook said the grants will be available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. That would be an average of $3,333 per business. It could help businesses experiencing a sharp drop in traffic, but it’s a fraction of Facebook’s typical revenue. The company generated $21.08 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone.
Some of the fund will be delivered directly as cash grants.And some of it will be provided as advertising credits to use on Facebook’s gargantuan ad platform.
Facebook will begin accepting applications in coming weeks. The company said the program can help businesses with rent and operational costs, maintaining workforce and connecting with customers.
Facebook has long prided itself on being a place where small businesses can market their services at an affordable price by targeting a small, relevant group of users. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the marketing industry is bound to take a big hit as a result of the coronavirus fallout.
“This is not going to business as usual, and the marketing industry is certainly going to see a real impact. I don’t think anyone knows how big,” she said.