In March, Facebook announced it’s plan to award $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses struggling due to COVID-19 and its effect on the economy. In the original announcement, Facebook said the goal was to help small businesses offset costs including rent, operational costs, workforce retention, and connecting with their customer base.
They’ve just recently released more information on these programs and how small businesses can participate. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.
Who is Eligible?
The program is open to up to 30,000 small businesses in more than 30 countries. To qualify, each business must meet the following requirements:
- Be a for-profit company
- Employ between 2 and 50 people
- Been in business for over a year
- Experienced challenges related to COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
Facebook is currently doing a rolling release for applications across the U.S. New York City and Seattle were the first to be eligible starting on April 18. Companies in San Francisco were eligible to begin the application process on April 20. On April, 22, more areas of the county will be opened to eligibility.
Businesses will have 2 weeks to send in their applications. Decisions will be made within a few weeks after the application window closes. Facebook has not released a guideline on how long decisions will take to be made.
You can check to see if your local area is now eligible, by clicking the See Available Locations link in the Who’s Eligible section.
If you are in an area that is eligible to apply, you’ll be directed to a new page to begin the application process. For those located in areas not yet eligible, you’ll have the option to enter your email address to receive future updates.
How Can Funds be Used?
If you are eligible for the cash grants and/or ad credits, you may be wondering how you can utilize these funds. Facebook has created this program to assist with a variety of costs and expenses. Just a few of the ways you can use funds include:
- Assist with rent
- Cover operational expenses
- Keep workers employed
- Connect with customers
How to Get Started
Even if these grants and ad credits are not available in your area today, it’s a good idea to start planning ahead and gathering the information you’ll need for the application. Here’s how the process will work.
Step 1: Check to see if grants are available in your area by clicking here.
Step 2: Verify your business is eligible and meets the guidelines listed above.
Step 3: To apply, you’ll need to supply at least one of the following documents:
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
- Business license
- Official registration
- Proof of incorporation
- Partnership documents
- Contact information
- A brief summary of your company
Step 4: Prepare a short write statement on how the funds will be used.
Step 5: Submit the application.
Following application submission, Facebook may reach out for additional information or to have various questions answered before notifying grant recipients that they have been award funds. You can find more information about the application process here.