As the COVID-19 outbreak escalates, our focus has been on keeping people safe and informed by making sure everyone has accurate information, supporting global health experts and stopping misinformation. Our thoughts, like everyone’s, are with our loved ones and our communities and all of those impacted around the world.
In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part too. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis – especially as more and more people sensibly stay home. The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk to small businesses and to the livelihoods of their owners and employees.
These are unprecedented times, making things incredibly challenging for us all, and especially the small businesses which are the lifeblood of our economies. In EMEA, we know that the measures being put in place to keep everyone in our communities safe will be particularly challenging for smaller businesses, especially those who rely on custom in their local area. To help small businesses everywhere, in this difficult time, we are therefore creating a $100 million grant program to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where our employees live and work, to support them through this period of uncertainty when things are tough. “Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA
That’s just the start. We also want to make it easier for businesses everywhere to find help and receive training and support from our teams. We’ve made our Business Hub – a resource for Facebook employees and health experts—readily available for all. We are also creating new virtual training to support businesses operating in this new and unsettling environment.
We want to do more. Teams across our company are working every day to help businesses. We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings – and will have more to share in the coming weeks – and we’re finding more ways to help people connect and learn to use technology through Blueprint, our free e-learning training program.
Whatever happens next, we will be working to help businesses weather this storm. Please keep safe and look out for those around you.