Facebook Announces $40 Million In Grants For U.S. Small Businesses Impacted By Coronavirus As Part Of $100 Million Grant Program - Forbes

Facebook Announces $40 Million In Grants For U.S. Small Businesses Impacted By Coronavirus As Part Of $100 Million Grant Program - Forbes


Facebook Announces $40 Million In Grants For U.S. Small Businesses Impacted By Coronavirus As Part Of $100 Million Grant Program - Forbes

Posted: 02 Apr 2020 04:22 PM PDT

Facebook has announced that it will give $40 million in grants to 10,000 U.S. small businesses that have been negatively affected by coronavirus. The companies span 34 cities, but those in New York and Seattle will be the first to receive funds next week. This is part of the $100 million grant program announced on March 17. The majority of the grants will be distributed in cash, with some ad credits for business services. Businesses do not need to be on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp to apply.

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and according to a recent Goldman Sachs survey of over 1,500 small businesses, 96% say they have already been impacted by COVID-19. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses everywhere," wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a post published Thursday evening. "Suddenly and, through no fault of their own, many simply can't do business, and for others it has become much, much harder because customers are doing the right thing and staying at home."

As part of this announcement, the social media giant has also provided more details about the grant application process, which will start next week, as well as new tools and a collaboration with small business partner Ureeka to invest in eligible minority- and women-owned businesses.

Facebook estimates that more than 140 million businesses use its apps every month to find new customers, hire employees, engage with their communities and conduct other day-to-day operations. The company also approximates that more than 200 million people visit Instagram Business Profiles every day. 

Businesses utilizing its platforms include Manic Mermaid, a Tacoma-based art gallery that's been closing sales and online orders using Facebook Live, and PandA Homestead, a Capron, VA, farm that has barely been able to keep up with the demand for deliveries of eggs, broilers, pork and blueberries placed through Facebook. 

"In this challenging time, when information is changing daily, we are listening to and learning from scores of small businesses to understand what they need now and what they will need down the road," wrote Sandberg. 

To that end, the tech behemoth is also rolling out various tools to further support local businesses, including custom digital gift cards, the ability to create fundraisers and easier ways for businesses to communicate service changes to their customers.

"These are rolling out today in the U.S. and our teams are working hard on bringing these tools to more countries, as we know they can be a lifeline for businesses to quickly get the capital they need until it is safe to open their doors again," wrote Sandberg. 

Last month, Facebook also launched its Business Hub, featuring resources and recommendations to help small businesses stay connected and on track. It also offers direct access to credible information about COVID-19 to help businesses stay informed. 

"Small businesses are the heartbeat of their communities," wrote Sandberg. "We are determined to help and we know the road ahead will require a lot more from all of us."

 

How to apply for one of Marion County’s small business grants - Statesman Journal

Posted: 03 Apr 2020 03:51 PM PDT

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News you may have missed March 23-27. Wochit

This story was updated at 3:17 p.m. on April 3.

Applications for Marion County's small business grants will be available beginning at noon on Tuesday, April 7 through Willamette Workforce Partnership.

The grants are up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees in the county that are experiencing economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications will be available at www.willwp.org.

Completed applications will be accepted from noon on April 9 until noon on April 10, and the grants will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Marion County on Wednesday approved dedicating $200,000 in lottery funds dedicated for economic development to the program.

"We are poised and ready to quickly get funding support into the hands of businesses that need it most, that perhaps don't have other options during these unprecedented times," Willamette Workforce Partnership executive director Kim Parker-Llernas said.

"I appreciate the commitment of the Marion County's commissioners and am glad we can serve our community in this way."

To learn more about the grants, contact Marion County at (503) 373-4300 or by email at BusinessRecovery@co.marion.or.us.

The original story

The smallest businesses in Marion County will get immediate access to emergency funding to keep going.

Marion County Commissioners on Wednesday approved $200,000 of lottery funds earmarked for economic development for grants of up to $5,000. The money will be distributed to owners of businesses with five employees or fewer that don't have easy access to credit and are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money will be administered by Willamette Workforce Partnership on a first-come, first-served basis within five days and is aimed at businesses like barbers and tattoo parlors.

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Coronavirus: Oregon State Penitentiary employee tests positive for COVID-19

Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis said the county chose Willamette Workforce Partnership as they administered a similar program with the state recently.

Marion County's economic development lottery funds typically go towards grants to stimulate business, but also have been used for things like rescuing and continued operations of the Oregon Garden in Silverton.  

But with the current crisis, the county is using it to benefit businesses directly.

"Marion County is incredibly fortunate to have the economic lottery funds that we have to be able to support small businesses in this way and it's good to be able to provide this," said Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Jason Schneider. "But again, it's also short-term.

"This is just the beginning of six months to a year and potentially longer of difficulty. This is really a first attempt at triaging some of the situations for small businesses."

Small restaurants and food businesses are a category of businesses that stands to benefit from the program.

Brandy Burgess moved her bakery, Brandy's All City Sweets, from the Reed Opera House to the former Sugar Sugar location at 335 State Street.

Barely 10 days passed from the day she opened until social distancing recommendations went into effect. Though temporarily closed except for special orders, Burgess still has to pay the deposit for electrical service at the new space as well as other start-up costs. 

A grant like this, she said, "could help tremendously. I don't know at this point what the future holds. It could keep me going for a few months."

Jonathan Jones and Maura Ryan own Epilogue Kitchen & Cocktails on High Street. They closed the restaurant voluntarily the day before Governor Brown's mandate out of concern for their staff and customers.  

A few thousand dollars from a grant, Jones said, would help them pay rent and wages to their small staff.  

"Right now that 5K could keep my people paid for another month," Jones said.

As of March 20, there were 76,000 new unemployment claims in a one-week span in Oregon and 3.2 million had filed across the nation as businesses struggle to keep going during the current economic crisis.

Many of the smallest, family-owned businesses were started and operated with independent capital.

Nicole Klein purchased Canyon Paws Grooming in Stayton in January. She said it wasn't clear if she was required to shut down by the state, but business dropped so much she did in mid-March.

She didn't take took out a loan from a bank to buy the business.

"I don't really want to have another loan," Klein said. "I'm still paying the lady back that I bought all the equipment from. I don't really want to go back."

Open or closed?: Some Salem restaurants offer take-out while others shut down temporarily

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NJEDA small business COVID-19 relief program reaches grant limit (updated) - NJBIZ

Posted: 03 Apr 2020 09:59 AM PDT

The millions that the Murphy administration set aside to help keep afloat small businesses slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic has been depleted.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority ran out of money early Friday for its $5 million Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – roughly an hour after the application went live.

"Due to high demand, this funding is exhausted, but submitting your application will ensure that if additional funds become available for this round of grant funding, you may be eligible," reads the application page.

The funds were exhausted by 10:16 a.m. – that is, the exact point at which more businesses submitted applications than there were funds available – with 10,000 applications coming through, a number that ballooned to 16,000 as of 1:30 p.m., according to EDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

Grant approvals will be announced early next week, with checks to be electronically deposited by later in the week, Sullivan said.

NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan gives testimony during a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies on July 29, 2019.

NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan gives testimony during a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies on July 29, 2019. – AARON HOUSTON

Last month, lawmakers authorized the EDA to move $5 million of its own money to help smaller businesses that have either closed or will close soon as their customer base and revenues plummet amid the outbreak. Businesses with up to 10 employees are eligible, and grants vary in size from $1,000 to $5,000.

The agency anticipates awarding between 1,000 and 2,000 grants, depending on how many employees are at each company. Overflow applicants would effectively be wait-listed, and the first in line for any future grant programs out of the EDA.

"We were expecting to be oversubscribed, but didn't think even in our wildest imagination, did we think it would go as quickly as it has," Sullivan said at a Friday afternoon press conference in Trenton with Gov. Phil Murphy.

Applications are open through 9 a.m. on April 10, according to Sullivan, but "if it gets, incredibly, insanely oversubscribed we'll probably close it prior to Friday."

Another EDA program, the Small Business Emergency Loan Program, is a $10 million pool of money that provides loans of up to $100,000 a year for companies with revenue up to $5 million a year.

A sample application will be available on Monday and the application will go live a week later on April 13, which Sullivan said will grant businesses time to properly prepare submissions.

The grant and loan programs are part of a larger $40 million state aid from the EDA, which includes loans and loan guarantees, and hundreds of billions of dollars in grants, low-interest and forgivable loans, and other tax credits.

Businesses in the Garden State have either closed entirely by order of Murphy, or seen steep drops in patronage as millions of New Jerseyans opt to stay inside, all in an effort to avoid in-person contact which could carry the risk of spreading or contracting the virus.

Friday's state aid program is not the only one dealing with headaches for business owners.

The U.S Small Business Administration's applications went live for its $349 billion of COVID relief loans that same day, but in the preceding 24 hours many major participant banks said they were left widely unsure about many details of the programs.

And New Jersey's unemployment system has been repeatedly hounded by technical issues and staffing shortages, as the state's labor department handles record numbers of unemployment applications.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 12:46 p.m. EST on April 3, 2020 to include the time that applications for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority's Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program hit its max, and what that number was.
This article was updated at 2:53 p.m. EST on April 3, 2020 to include further details about applications for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program and comments from NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.

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