Weeks after Facebook announced it would put $100 million into a program to offer grants to small businesses around the world, the Menlo Park-based company announced Tuesday that $15 million of that funding will be set aside for Bay Area small businesses.
"As thousands of small businesses throughout the Bay Area struggle mightily, Facebook has generously invested in a $15 million bulwark against this storm. I am deeply grateful to Facebook, and to our many community partners who have generously supported our community through Silicon Valley Strong," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a press statement.
Facebook's $100 million investment is intended to support 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries, which could mean splitting a large amount of money into many small pieces. It's still not clear how the funds will be divided; if split equally, it would provide about $3,300 to each small business recipient.
Facebook intends to prioritize small business grants for eligible minority, women and veteran-owned businesses across the U.S. "due to the disproportionate negative impact that COVID-19 will have on these businesses, their employees, and the communities that they serve," said Facebook's Global Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams.
Eligible businesses need to have between two and 50 employees, have been in business for over a year, have experienced challenges from COVID-19 and be in or near a location where Facebook operates. In the U.S., that includes about 28 counties or metropolitan areas, according to the grant program website.
Funds can be used for rent and operational costs as well as customer outreach, among other work.
The company is encouraging small businesses to use Facebook and its other platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to interact with customers.
Access more information about the grant program here.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.