As it became known, Facebook is going to introduce new measures to support businesses whose activities were forced to be suspended in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. So, last month it announced the launch of a grant program in the amount of $ 100 million to help 30,000 small and medium businesses in 30 countries. Now Facebook has provided more details on how this program will work.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook has allocated $ 40 million to support 10,000 US small businesses in 34 locations. To find out if an enterprise can count on applying support measures to it, you can go to facebook.com/grantsforbusiness. The launch of this program will begin in the US this week. The remaining 60 million dollars will be allocated at the next stage of the program, the beginning of which has not yet been announced.
To facilitate grant issuance in the USA, Facebook works with the Ureeka small business support platform.
In addition to grants, Facebook is introducing new tools to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19 keep in touch with customers through Facebook.
The main innovation is the gift card list, where people can find digital gift cards for their favorite local restaurants and businesses.
The new list of gift cards will be available on Facebook through special news feeds, as well as through the function menu.
By purchasing a gift card, the client demonstrates his support to the affected enterprises, which currently can not conduct business. This will help entrepreneurs in the coming weeks to fulfill financial obligations, otherwise many of them risk losing their business.
The gift card registry was launched in the United States last week for selected users and will be distributed nationwide in the coming weeks.
Facebook notes that Instagram is also working on a similar registry.
Companies wishing to register in the gift card registry and located in the regions where they are provided can register here.
In addition to this, Facebook is also adding a new option that will allow business owners to contact their customers for support by creating personal fundraisers on Facebook. This option will provide businesses that want to stay afloat in the COVID-19 pandemic with the opportunity to seek support from their local communities.
And finally, Facebook also adds new page options that will allow affected businesses to report temporary changes in their activities in connection with COVID-19.
According to Facebook, companies that have changed the way they provide their services, such as fitness centers offering virtual classes, or restaurants offering food delivery, can easily communicate these changes to their customers. Enterprises that are subject to closure may report that they are temporarily closed.
Any changes will be reflected on the business page in page previews in applications and in search results.
Annotations will help users quickly understand whether certain companies continue to work or if their work is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, but resume when it is possible.
Businesses can access this function by going to “Page Settings” – “Page Info” – “Hours” – “Temporary Service Changes”. There they will be able to indicate their objects are “Temporarily Closed”, or select one of several options in the section “Open with Service Changes”, for example: “Online services”, “Delivery”, “Pickup”, “Other changes”, etc.
Companies that choose Other Changes are encouraged to publish messages about special schedule dedicated to serving older people, access to purchases using gift cards and other similar parameters.
The above support measures will help many enterprises during this difficult time for everyone. The current global shutdowns of enterprises will have tremendous economic consequences, and although many businesses are now unable to keep working, some of them still find ways to survive and save their income, offering options for the provision of their services that are appropriate for the current conditions. As we can see, Facebook supports small and medium-sized businesses and provides us an opportunity to help local entrepreneurs, especially those who suspended work during the pandemic, through gift card registries to cope with the economic situation and minimize the financial damage that many people and companies will feel in the coming months. If you have a favorite store or restaurant – now you have a great opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to him. By acting together and supporting each other, we will be able to mitigate the impending blow to the economy and help businesses survive.