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Facebook Steps in to Help, Invests $40 Million into Small Businesses, Earmarks 50% for Marginalized Owners

May 11, 2020 / Nilesh Kumbharkar
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  • Facebook has invested $40 million into small businesses across the country.

  • 50 percent of the fund earmarked for small businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans.

  • Facebook implemented promotions at the top of user news feeds that will direct them to different resources they can use amid the pandemic.


Small businesses are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic and some bigger companies like Facebook are stepping in to help.

The social media giant has invested $40 million into small businesses across the country with 50 percent of it earmarked for small businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans.

Maxine Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Facebook, told Cheddar Friday that the social media giant knows small businesses owned by people from marginalized communities are going to be impacted the worst.


This is a very, very difficult crisis the world is going through and unfortunately when things get bad for some, they get horrendous for others, We are a data-driven company. We know that businesses owned by minorities, by women, small businesses are going to suffer the most when things are hard.

- Maxine Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Facebook.


Williams said it was important for Facebook to set aside money to directly aid minority business owners because they are the "intersection of a lot of the pain".


Read More: Non-Bank Lenders to the Rescue of Small Businesses, as Big Banks, Struggle to Meet PPP Demand
 

"These are going to be the businesses that are going to be most likely industries that are hardest hit. These are going to be industries where those businesses also had a harder time getting access to capital," she said. "We knew that, yes, we needed to give to all, but you needed to particularly look at where the pain would be the most."

The coronavirus has disproportionately impacted black and brown communities, from lack of Paycheck Protection Program relief for small business owners to the greater share of COVID-19 fatalities, and Williams said larger companies should look into ways they can uniquely provide help for the afflicted populations.


A business-like Facebook, we could do things as we have done, like launch these Data For Good projects where we are able. Taking data, working with research units, where they get the data for privacy reasons, aggregating, and making heat maps that show where you might see outbreaks coming.

- Maxine Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Facebook.


The tech firm also built a COVID-19 center within its app and on Instagram, where users can find reliable information, and Facebook also implemented promotions at the top of user news feeds that will direct them to different resources they can use amid the pandemic.
 

Read More: Google Cloud's PPP Lending AI Solution to Help Quickly Process Loan Applications from Small Businesses During Covid-19
 

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Over 2 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger every month to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook is defined by our unique culture – one that rewards impact. We encourage people to be bold and solve the problems they care most about. We work in small teams and move fast to develop new products, constantly iterating. The phrase “this journey is 1% finished” reminds us that we’ve only begun to fulfill our mission. As we evolve our journey to bring the world closer together, we stay true to the same core values to guide the way we work and the decisions we make every step of the way: be open, be bold, move fast, focus on impact, and build social value.