Facebook launches €4.7m grant scheme for Irish SMEs

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Facebook has announced a new grant and ad credit fund to support that have been negatively affected by the economic impact of Covid-19.

On Tuesday (22 September), Facebook announced that it will provide €4.7m in grant funding to more than 1,000 small businesses in Dublin, Cork and Meath, where Facebook has offices and its Clonee data centre.

The company said that the grant is a combination of cash and ad credits to help businesses as they rest, rebuild and recover operations that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses can check out the eligibility criteria and make applications here.

Facebook recently conducted a survey with the World Bank and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which revealed that cash-flow is a concern for the majority of SMEs.

More than half (54pc) of operational SMEs on Facebook in Ireland said that they expected cash-flow to be a challenge in the coming months.

Supporting SMEs

In a statement, Facebook said that the SME grant programme aims to help businesses by providing cash for essential bills such as keeping the lights on and helping to pay employees. The firm is also providing ad credits to SMEs generate revenue through online marketing and sales.

As part of its support for small businesses in Ireland, the company is also working with local industry partners around the country to continue its virtual Boost with Facebook training programme.

During the period of March to June, more than 10,000 people in Ireland viewed the company’s virtual training sessions. The webinar series featured experts from Facebook and leading creating, sales and marketing organisations such as Core Media, Shopify and VidMob. The webinar is still available to view at Boost with Facebook.

Facebook’s hub for SMEs also includes online training events, virtual network opportunities and resources covering a range of topics from how to take a business online, build resilience, stay connected with customers in real time.

Ciaran Quilty, vice-president of global business group for EMEA, said: “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 and are facing the challenge of a lifetime.

“We recognise that SMEs need cash, training, digitalisation assistance and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online. We also know that a little financial support goes a long way and we hope the grants and online training programme will help SMEs survive and recover through this crisis.”

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