COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has directly impacted millions in the UK already and will no doubt have an effect on all of us at some point over the coming months, whether or not we catch the virus ourselves. This is why we were heartened to hear about the Facebook Small Business Grants Program that has just been announced, which aims to help provide a little financial support to small businesses at this challenging time, through cash grants and ad credits.
Facebook announces small business grant program
At this unprecedented time of uncertainty during the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses - especially smaller businesses - are concerned about the impact on their employees, their clients and their overall financial situation.
What is this grant?
On Tuesday 17th March, Facebook announced that they would be providing some financial support. Sheryl Sandberg; who is the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook posted on her account 'we've listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We've heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can't come to work. That's why today I'm announcing that Facebook is investing in $100 million to help 30,000 businesses over 30 countries where our employees live and work'. This works out to roughly £85.3million and £2,845 ($3,333) per small business.
How this will help
This might not sound like a massive amount, but it will provide a big help for small companies that rely on a constant steady income from clients, who during this pandemic might have had to cut their own costs, and don't have much to fall back on. The money is intended to help with rent, operational costs, maintaining a workforce and connecting with customers, and the ad credits are to be used towards facebook ads, as in these times of uncertainty, it is vital for small businesses to ensure that they remain visible to their target audience to maintain a robust pipeline.
Facebook has also announced they are making their Business Hub, that is usually for employees and health experts, available to all, to provide training and support.
Who is eligible and what to do
Right now, Facebook has said that they will begin taking applications in the coming weeks. You can also opt to sign up for emails that will be sent out with current updates on when you can apply, as well as information about when the grants and ad credits will be available.
Stay in touch with clients
Showing you are still putting in the effort to work proactively by sharing information with your clients through social media really helps you stay connected and forge positive business relationships. Include how you are keeping safe and how you will handle enquiries and any issues that clients may be experiencing, to reassure your customers that you are still open for business and ready to help.
And lastly, please support your local businesses
Now more than ever it is important to support your local small businesses. Consider popping into your local cafe or restaurant (even if it is takeaway only), buy groceries from independent retailers, butchers, grocers and fruit and veg shops. A lot of these smaller businesses have shorter supply chains, so have essential goods available for sale where the supermarkets have empty shelves. Carry on working with smaller businesses through your own business, help keep small businesses open and in return they will do as much as they can to provide help back. Small businesses are also more likely to be personal and direct with their clients, they will be more likely to consider the current situation and your budgets being cut. Don't stop everything in a panic - keep going and remember, careful planning now will help your business emerge from this crisis with a healthy pipeline and a positive future. This current time of difficulty will end.
Hydra Creative are providing our clients with targeted advice and information, and are continuing to work hard for our clients. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with web design & development, video production, graphic design, SEO & PPC and digital marketing. Or if you are an existing client, give us a call on 0114 2509 578 if you are worried about the current situation and want some digital marketing advice. Our office is still open and now more than ever we will support you.