Team Lopez: Facebook has announced a major small business grants programme for small businesses in London. We have received the following information from Facebook’s Public Policy Manager which may be helpful to local businesses:
This week Facebook has announced a major small business grants programme for small businesses in London. Please help us spread the word to businesses in Hornchurch and Upminster. Applications are now open, as reported in the Evening Standard.
The COVID-19 crisis is more than just a public health crisis - it's an economic crisis. Small businesses in particular have been most affected, with 68% of UK respondents to our State of Small Business Report telling us that sales had dropped by more than half.
Over two million UK small businesses use Facebook to grow their business and almost 1 in 4 businesses said that Facebook had helped them to hire more people. We know our business grows when UK small businesses grow - and it is because of that partnership that we announced a $100 million grant program to support up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries earlier this year, focused on those cities where we have major offices.
Our London team has continued to grow throughout this year - we had over 3,000 staff based in London staff at start of 2020 and the plan is to have added 1,000 more in London by the end of the year. More than half work on engineering and product development - for example working development of global safety and security tools and lead in our enterprise products like Workplace and Facebook shops. We have invested for a capacity for 6,000 staff in London by the end of 2021.
In London we will be providing almost £5m in cash grants and ad credits to hundreds of small businesses in London to help them rebuild, re-engineer and recover operations.
Businesses can go to www.facebook.com/grantsforbusiness to see whether they're eligible and for more details about the program.
We recognise that small businesses need training, digitalisation assistance and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online. So alongside this, Facebook have also teamed up with Be the Business, the government-backed productivity movement to help small businesses across the UK rebuild and recover. The campaign is aimed at reaching every micro business and SME in the UK, amounting to a total of 1.4 million businesses. Over the next year, through our programme, Facebook and Be the Business aim to directly engage 250,000 businesses across the breadth of the UK.
Our programme provides tailored support anywhere/anytime in three ways:
- Nationwide regional training events launched in late July. More information can be found here - https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/uk-boost-online
- Promotion and delivery of tailored recovery content via a messenger helpline bot which can be accessed here - https://www.messenger.com/login.php?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.messenger.co…
- Ongoing peer to peer and technical community support via curated Facebook groups.
We've already hosted our first successful regional events in the North West and South West, with local businesses gaining valuable digital training.