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As small businesses all over the world face uncertainty with the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to escalate, Facebook has stepped up to the plate by pledging $100 million USD to 30,000 businesses in the 30 countries where Facebook operates.

It’s called the “Facebook Small Business Grants Program” and it includes cash grants and Facebook Ad credits to help keep small businesses afloat. It’s also one of the first notable commitments from a leading global company to this cause.

Regardless of how this pandemic plays out in the coming weeks and months, this initiative is much welcomed news for many small businesses who have been forced to close with many more employees losing their jobs.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, stated on Tuesday (March 17) in a post on Facebook that “Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities” and that the social media giant wants to “do our part” to help with the “enormous challenge in front of us.”

The program will help small businesses with any number of issues from operational costs, to connecting with more customers, to rent assistance, and with keeping the small business workforce going strong.

“Whatever happens next, we will be working to help businesses weather this storm. Please keep safe and look out for those around you”, Sandberg said.

At the moment, information in relation to eligibility is sparse and applications aren’t open just yet, however you can sign up to receive updated alerts. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available and if Living Online can assist with your application please be sure to get in touch with us.

In the meantime you can access the Facebook small business resource hub, a secondary initiative from Facebook designed to help businesses everywhere navigate these difficult times and minimise downtime.