By Tia Lynn Ivey
Morgan County small businesses may be eligible for a grant from Facebook, the largest social media outlet in the world.
Since Facebook opened a new data center in Stanton Springs, Georgia, the company has decided to allocate nearly a quarter of a million dollars to Georgians, including $100,000 earmarked for small businesses in Morgan County.
“Facebook has announced that small businesses in Morgan County will receive a share of $100,000 designated to support 25 small businesses locally,” said Mitch Leff, president, Leff & Associates, LLC.
According to Facebook, the four counties which invested into Stanton Springs to make the Facebook Data Center possible, will benefit from the $100,000 designated for small businesses in the area. Small businesses in Morgan, Jasper, Walton and Newton counties may be eligible for the funds. Facebook’s grant program is giving preference to businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans.
As Facebook’s Global Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams said, “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.”
“This is a critical injection to help local small businesses who need it most, so they can keep the lights on and help pay their employees,” added Leff.
Interested small businesses must hurry to apply as Facebook is hoping to award the money by the end May.
“Businesses should apply as soon as possible,” said Jeff. To find out more about the program and how to apply, visit: Facebook.com/grantsforbusiness. Morgan County small business should click on “The Newton-Area” tab to find out local information.
According to Leff, “As of last week, 96 percent of U.S. small business owners were already feeling the impact of coronavirus, and as this pandemic continues in the weeks ahead and many states extending shelter-in-place orders, it is important to get support to small businesses quickly. Fifty percent of small businesses in the US have less than 27 days cash buffer on hand and Facebook is hoping these tools and grants can help small businesses who need it the most,” said Leff. “This announcement is part of Facebook’s commitment to help small businesses around the world including with the creation of the Business Resource Hub to help businesses cope with disruptions and keep their customers connected.”
Facebook is aiming to first help the communities in which their own employees reside.
“In the U.S., we’re working with Ureeka, a third-party partner for distributing these grants starting with the 34 locations where our employees live and work,” said a press release from Facebook. “We know that many businesses, especially small businesses, are impacted by the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve listened to businesses to understand how we can support them, and are working to provide as much support as possible that meets their needs.”
Other Facebook initiatives to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic include Digital Giftcards, Fundraising Tools, and Business Changes. According to a Facebook press release, “Facebook is also introducing a place for people to discover digital gift cards and create person fundraisers for their favorite local restaurants and businesses. Businesses who are interested in creating digital gift cards can visit facebook.com/business/boost/gift-cards to learn how to sign up with one of our partners. Using Facebook Fundraising tools (found at facebook.com/fundraisers), business owners can now create fundraisers for their business and ask their customers for support during this critical time. With Facebook’s Business Changes, the company is making it easier to help businesses who have been impacted to COVID-19 communicate service changes to their customers through their Facebook Page including Online Services, Delivery, Pickup and Other Changes.