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Facebook To Help Small Businesses Hit By Coronavirus With $100 Mln Programme The social networking company said the grants will be for up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries that it operates in.

By Debroop Roy

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Mark Zuckerberg

As the world tries to steady itself amid what is being seen as a long battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), social networking company Facebook has come up with a programme to help small businesses who would potentially be impacted due to the globally recognized pandemic.

"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 $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time," the company said in a blog post.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said the grants will be for up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries that it operates in. It said it would start taking applications for the programme in the coming weeks.

Among other things, the company said these grants would keep the workforce going strong, help with rent costs, connect with more customers and cover operational costs.

Separately, Facebook has also provided a virtual toolkit and quick-action guide where businesses can find a list of best practices and tools to protect from interruptions as well as plan an emergency response. Through groups, the company is helping these entities connect with similar businesses across the world to discuss and discover tips to deal with the current situation.

Supporting Small Businesses

Founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has long been vocal about how the company has been able to give a platform for small businesses to flourish.

Facebook has been lending support to start-ups in India with the company announcing in July that it would collaborate with venture capital funds to accelerate growth of small and medium businesses. The VC Brand Incubator Program, touted to be the first in a series of programmes by the US tech giant, intends to help build a foundation for growth of SMBs with timely skilling and guidance.

WhatsApp, the messaging service that Facebook owns, had said in November that it will provide $500 each of ad-credits to 500 start-ups through a pact with StartUp India.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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