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Facebook Launches $100 Million Small Business Assistance Program

By Rich Duprey - Mar 17, 2020 at 12:11PM

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Grants and ad credits will be available to tens of thousands of small businesses around the world trying to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook (FB -8.87%) is launching a global relief program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The social networking giant said it is establishing a $100 million aid program for 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries consisting of cash grants and ad credits. The money, which would average around $3,300 per recipient, could be used to keep workers on the payroll, cover rent, communicate with customers, or cover operational costs.

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Image source: Getty Images.

A global response

In the blog post announcing the program, 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."

Eligibility criteria for the grants have not yet been established, but the company will begin taking applications in the next few weeks.

Facebook's relief effort is much more broad-based and extensive than a similar program initiated by Amazon (AMZN -3.52%) recently. The e-commerce giant said it was establishing a $5 million small business relief fund, but only for businesses in the area of its Seattle headquarters. Amazon has also offered to deliver COVID-19 testing kits for free in the Seattle area.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted on her profile account other efforts the social networking platform was taking to assist businesses, pointing to a "Business Resource Hub" on Facebook that offers businesses pointers for coping during the outbreak. She also said it was looking at ways to expand virtual training for businesses.

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