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Coronavirus Update: Facebook Offering $15 Million In Grants To Help Bay Area Small Businesses

MENLO PARK (CBS SF) -- Facebook on Tuesday offered details about a new plan to make $15 million in grants available to Bay Area small businesses, partnering with the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to make the announcement.

Facebook had previously shared plans to invest $100 million into helping small businesses in the over 30 countries where the company operates via a post by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in mid-March. The new announcement provided more localized information for Bay Area small business owners to act upon.


Small business owners can visit the Facebook page set up for the grants to determine their eligibility and sign up to receive additional details on the program, including an email notification for when the application process opens later this week.

The press release issued by the company included quotes from all three mayors to the Bay Area's largest cities regarding the grants.

"We must do everything we can to support our small businesses and their employees during this difficult time," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. "This funding will provide important financial assistance to many small business owners throughout the Bay Area, and we are grateful to Facebook for their work to help 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," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "I am deeply grateful to Facebook, and to our many community partners who have generously supported our community through Silicon Valley Strong."

Facebook also said that it would be working to put a specific focus on providing grants to eligible businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans.

"Within our overall US SMB grant investment, we are prioritizing 50 percent of grants to eligible minority, women and veteran-owned businesses due to the disproportionate negative impact that COVID-19 will have on these businesses, their employees, and the communities that they serve," said Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams.

The company has also introduced a new gift card feature on the Facebook website as well as expanding Facebook's fundraising function to include small businesses.

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