As we navigate our new reality, we turn to social media more and more frequently to ensure we are connected to our friends, family, and other people or places we love. In the world of COVID-19, Facebook has released a series of new updates that seek to assist users during this time.

First off, Facebook has announced it a $100 million grant program that aims to provide aid to 30,000 small business in 30 nations. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, said of the program:

“In the US, we are committing $40 million to support 10,000 small businesses in 34 locations where our employees live and work. Those local businesses can go to facebook.com/grantsforbusiness to see the eligibility for applications, which will start in the US next week.”

 

In addition to the grants, Facebook has another update to assist small businesses that may be struggling with social distancing practices.

Facebook has introduced a new virtual gift card feature that allows users to find digital gift cards for their favorite local restaurants and businesses. To access this feature, users should see a special News Feed prompt appear when they open Facebook that says “Support Local Business” with a button to visit the gift card registry. This feature allows users to support their local businesses even if their doors are unable to be open at the moment.

Businesses that would like to register for the gift card program can do so here.

 

Facebook’s next update allows business owners to create personal fundraisers on the platform to help maintain their livelihood while sales might be slower than normal.

 

Lastly, Facebook is offering Pages the option to create temporary changes to their operations due to COVID-19.

Facebook says of the update:

“Businesses that have changed how they operate, like fitness studios offering virtual classes or restaurants offering delivery instead of dine-in service, can easily indicate those changes to customers. Businesses that are subject to closures can share that they are temporarily closed.”

To access this feature, Pages can go to Page Settings > Page Info > Hours > Select “Temporary Service Changes”.

There, options include “Temporarily Closed” or other specifications under “Open with Service Changes,” such as:

  • Online Services
  • Delivery
  • Pickup
  • Other Changes

 

Which of these changes will be most beneficial for you? Let us know in the comments.

As always, stay safe and healthy!