Facebook Earmarks $100M To Help Small Businesses In Time Of Crisis

Trying to prevent the global economy from falling off a cliff, Facebook has allotted $100 million for small businesses around the world.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the [COVID-19] crisis … especially as more and more people sensibly stay home,” Sheryl Sandberg said in a new blog post.

Promise of the funds comes as governments worldwide are planning economic relief efforts of their own in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis is threatening to cripple entire industries, while sending many in recessions, and perhaps even depressions.

Stateside, the Trump Administration is pitching a national stimulus package that could reportedly exceed $1 trillion.

Facebook plans for the money to reach 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries around the world.

In addition to the funding, Sandberg said Facebook plans to make it easier for small businesses to secure whatever resources they need during the crisis.

That includes a Business Hub where owners can reach out to health experts and Facebook employees, as well as forthcoming virtual training programs.

“We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings … and will have more to share in the coming weeks,” Sandberg said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook joined other U.S. tech giants in committing to work together to help the country survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with Microsoft, Twitter, Google, Reddit and LinkedIn, Facebook said it was committed to “combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.” 

Trying to help local officials address the rapid spread of COVID-19, Facebook also expanded access to its local alerts to more municipal governments, state and local emergency response organizations and law-enforcement agencies.

Ultimately, Facebook’s response to the global pandemic could help to improve its reputation among consumers at home and abroad. A recent Knight Foundation and Gallup study found that  U.S. consumers hold some decidedly unfavorable views about Facebook and other tech companies.

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