“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them,” wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on her Facebook page. “We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. That’s why today I’m announcing that Facebook is investing $100 million to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where our employees live and work.”
The firm estimated that more than 140 million businesses use Facebook’s apps every month for day-to-day operations such as hiring employees, contacting customers, finding customers, and more.
“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,” Sandberg explained.
Facebook said the grants are available for as many as 30,000 eligible small businesses in around 30 countries. The company said it will start accepting applications in the coming weeks.
“As the COVID-19 outbreak escalates, our focus has been on keeping people safe and informed by making sure everyone has accurate information, supporting global health experts and stopping misinformation. Our thoughts, like everyone’s, are with our loved ones and our communities and all of those impacted around the world,” Sandberg also wrote.
She noted that as the coronavirus crisis continues—and as people start to shelter in place to avoid exposure or exposing others—it will further risk small businesses, owners, and employees.