As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe from a public health and economic standpoint, Facebook has stepped up to offer relief to small businesses suffering financial loss. The number of U.S. unemployment claims increased by more than 3 million in just one week, and numerous small businesses, nonprofits and other companies are losing money due to quarantine mandates. In response, Facebook recently announced that it plans to provide grants to small businesses to help them rebuild revenue as the economy slows. Below, examine Facebook’s offerings for small businesses and elaborate on how small businesses can apply for aid from Facebook.
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How Does the Facebook Small Business Grant Program Work?
Facebook’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg announced on March 17 that the company would offer financial support to small businesses affected by COVID-19. Specifically, Facebook is giving $100 million in ad credits and cash grants to 30,000 small businesses in more than 30 countries. The grants will also apply to news publishers.
As for eligibility requirements, recipients include small businesses in countries where Facebook operates. Though the company hasn’t provided specific details on eligibility yet, you can stay up to date by following Facebook’s business website here. The company’s business hub comes with various resources for small businesses, including a Resilience Tool Kit and a Quick Action Guide. In addition, Facebook is creating virtual training to help businesses navigate the economic effects of the coronavirus. Applications for Facebook small business grants aren’t currently available, but the company says it will release more details in the coming weeks.
Alternative Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
If you own a small business that’s been financially impacted by COVID-19, you should explore Facebook’s recently announced small business grant program, but even if your business doesn’t qualify for these small business grants, you can still apply for governmental support to protect your business and your employees.
Under the coronavirus stimulus package, known formally as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program allocates $350 million toward eligible small businesses, independent contractors, sole proprietorships, self-employed persons, nonprofit organizations and veterans organizations. Recipients can qualify for coronavirus small business relief loans that are 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. The program also defers loan payments for six months, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) forgives loans if employers keep all employees on payroll for at least eight weeks. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also offers a helpful guide and small business checklist here.
Another program that supports businesses suffering from coronavirus-related financial loss is the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides assistance to small businesses looking to rebuild revenue, and it’s available in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Under the program, eligible businesses can receive a cash advance of $10,000 and a loan of up to $2 million. You can see a full list of eligible applicants here.
Also on the federal level, businesses may also qualify for SBA express bridge loans, 504 loans, microloans, Community Advantage loans, the SBA 7(a) program and the Express Loan Program.
Tips on Protecting Your Small Business During COVID-19
- It’s important to take precautions to protect your business and workers against financial loss. As the country braces for a recession, the federal government is offering numerous COVID-19-related relief programs to help sustain individuals and companies. If you or someone close to you has contracted the virus, you may also qualify for several benefits within the coronavirus stimulus package.
- If you’re interested in consulting a financial advisor, SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool connects you with up to three advisors in your area. After you complete a short questionnaire about your financial situation, the tool will connect you with advisors within minutes.
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