March 17, 2020 / 1:13 PM / 12 days ago

Facebook to award $100 mln in cash grants, ad credits to small businesses

FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said Tuesday it plans to award $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries to address the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The majority will be in cash grants and Facebook will disclose more details soon about how businesses will be able to apply for assistance.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a post Tuesday that the economic disruption poses a severe risk to small businesses.

“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,” Sandberg said, adding that Facebook is also going to make it easier for small businesses to get training and support from its teams.

Facebook said companies will be able use cash to pay rent, cover operational costs or run advertising on Facebook.

Many tech firms are taking steps to help small businesses that are facing a dramatic economic fallout as restaurants are forced to stop eat-in service and hundreds of millions of people around the world remain in their homes.

Uber Technologies Inc said Monday it would waive the delivery fee for the more than 100,000 independent restaurants across United States and Canada on Uber Eats and would launch daily dedicated, targeted marketing campaigns :to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski

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