Facebook made a huge announcement on Wednesday that the company plans to allocate $40 million of the total $100 million reserved for its small business grant program. The $40 million will go to 10,000 black-owned businesses within the U.S. who qualify for the program.
The grants are said to consist of $2,500 in cash in addition to a $1,500 Facebook ad credit. Facebook is also taking steps to help people find black-owned businesses easier by implementing a feature in the Businesses Nearby platform which will highlight businesses owned by black Americans.
To be eligible for the Facebook grant program, business must be majority black-owned and they must operate a for-profit enterprise business model with 50 or more employees. The company must also have been in operation for at least one year prior to the date of the grant application.
What it means
Another crucial stipulation about companies who are looking to qualify for this grant is that they must have experienced difficulties with running their business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies must also plan to use the money gained through the grant to support their community and business efforts.
To make the grant program possible, Facebook is partnering with two corporations in The Association For Enterprise Opportunity and Accenture. These two associations will be the primary judges of the grant program to decide on who wins and who loses.
Facebook has been making a lot of big moves towards the arena of supporting black business this year. In June, the company allotted $200 million from the $1.1 billion in the supplier diversity program to support black-owned businesses through the end of 2021.
Facebook’s recent announcements are all good news for black-owned businesses across the U.S. since an estimated 41% of all black businesses on Main Street were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released about the newly announced initiatives, Facebook’s global chief diversity officer Maxine Williams said the following: “We realize critical support for Black entrepreneurs is needed now, helping these businesses stay alive and thrive is a way to promote economic justice and equality.”
She continued by saying “Many people don’t even know what businesses in their community are run by Black entrepreneurs, this will provide a way for consumers to find and support them.”
What to expect
Facebook is one of the latest companies to show outward support for black-owned business during the increase in social justice riots all across the country. Earlier in the month, Facebook also announced it would be hosting a $25 million grant program for black content creators on the Instagram and Facebook platforms.
That grant program will provide aspiring black content creators with education, funding, community activities, and development resources so they can build their audience across all Facebook apps. It will be interesting to see the results in action and the world is definitely watching to see what major companies like Facebook do next.