Since the start of the global pandemic of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, many states have issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for all residents forcing all non-essential businesses to close down until the virus has been properly contained. As a result, small business owners have been struggling to keep their doors open and stay afloat through the economic fallout.
Companies like Facebook and Google have been stepping in by providing grants to entrepreneurs struggling with their expenses amid the virus pandemic.
Facebook announced it will be providing $40 million in grants to 10,000 small business owners all over the country who have been affected by COVID-19. This is part of an existing initiative of $100 million that the company is providing toward coronavirus relief.
The majority of the grants will be distributed through cash and some ad credits for business services on the platform. Businesses need to have an active Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp profile to apply for funding. New York City and Seattle are among the first cities to receive funds within the next week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses everywhere,” wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a Facebook post published Thursday evening. “Suddenly and, through no fault of their own, many simply can’t do business, and for others it has become much, much harder because customers are doing the right thing and staying at home.”
The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, has also announced that the company will be donating over $800 million toward COVID-19 relief. The $340 million will be directed toward Google Ad credits and a $200 million investment to be used for small businesses to access capital.
“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities,” said Pichai in a statement. “Together, we’ll continue to help our communities—including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits—to navigate the challenges ahead.”