Facebook Canada is offering nearly $3.5 million CAD in grants to help small businesses that are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 650 small businesses in cities where Facebook has offices will receive grants. This includes businesses in Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal and Vancouver.
Small business owners can apply for grants of more than $5,000 in cash and ad credits between May 26th and June 2nd. Facebook notes that businesses do not need to have a Facebook presence to apply.
In order to be eligible for a grant, a business must have between two and 50 employees and been in business for over a year. The business must also have experienced challenges due to the pandemic.
“We’re listening to the challenges Canadian small business owners face and want to do all we can to provide useful resources — including much needed financial support — for them during this challenging time,” said Garrick Tiplady, the managing director of Facebook and Instagram Canada, in an emailed press release.
This grant program is part of Facebook’s announcement from March that outlined that it was going to provide grants for 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries to support companies that have been impacted by the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
In addition to the grants, Facebook is running a free virtual training series in June in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to help small businesses adapt their services to online platforms. The first session will take place on June 3rd.
Facebook outlines that small business owners can also join the ‘Boost with Facebook Canada’ group where they can access peer and expert advice. They can also visit its Business Resource Hub, which offers advice on how to navigate the pandemic.
The social media giant has also added new ways for people to support small businesses. For instance, Facebook has expanded its Personal Fundraisers policy to allow individuals to fundraise for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Further, businesses can now share new gift card, food order, and fundraiser stickers in stories on Instagram. When users see gift cards or food orders, they can tap to make a purchase. There’s also a ‘Support Small Business’ sticker that lets users give a shout out to a business they love.
More information and details about eligibility requirements about the grants can be found here.