Facebook has become the latest tech giant to introduce measures to help people weather storm caused by the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. The social media company revealed today it has set up a $100 million grant fund for small businesses around the world.
In a blog post, Facebook said $100 million has been set aside in ad credits and cash grants. Funding will be split between up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries. The company says the program will help small businesses deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Facebook confirmed most the funds will be in real cash grants, the company said it will reveal more specific details soon. For example, it is not yet known which businesses are eligible and how they would apply for help. Those who are stretching Facebooks policies to the limit by buying followers on pages such as Quantum Marketer or use similar “grey” practices might be left behind.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a post Tuesday said COVID-19 is presenting a unique challenge to the economy. She points out small businesses are especially at risk as global governments put their citizens in lockdown.
“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear. Financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work,” Sandberg said.
Sandberg also said Facebook will make it easier for small businesses to reach its teams for added support and training.
Microsoft has taken several steps to help workers and customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has confirmed staff who have children can be paid and work from home if schools are suspended.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced it was making a premium version of Teams available during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial to the premium version of Microsoft Teams. Now available globally, the tier will help organizations manage their workforces and remain connected. When signing up for the tier, customers will work with a Microsoft sales team member to help the set-up process.