Facebook Small Business Grants Programme

Helping small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

Facebook’s Small Business Grants Programme provided $100 million USD in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses in over 30 countries that were negatively impacted as a result of closures and restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We assisted Facebook with the design and administration of the Programme across the EMEA region.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. One of the cohorts that felt this impact the most was small business owners. Many businesses, that took years to build, were shut at a moment’s notice. As a result, their survival was put into jeopardy.

In order to assist small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in their survival, we worked with Facebook to help small businesses across EMEA receive vital funding as they recovered from the impact of restrictions imposed by COVID-19. The EMEA programme ran across 18 countries and 12 languages. It was designed to ensure funding was provided to applicants that required it most and help them ‘keep the lights on’ during the worst times of the pandemic. The EMEA programme was part of a global initiative by Facebook to support small businesses. Deloitte is proud to have supported Facebook with this endeavour.

A key principle of this programme was providing much needed assistance to successful businesses that applied. This allowed us to apply a key tenant of our Purpose and make an impact that matters. At all times we wanted to make the process as easy as possible for the applicant. Our focus groups, made up of various internal and external stakeholders, designed an evaluation matrix to help provide grant funds to impacted businesses. In a small way, we helped to alleviate some of the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted on these businesses.

We worked in collaboration with Facebook to administer the Facebook Small Business Grants Programme. This included the design of the application, evaluation of applications, application communication and payment of grants. As part of this programme we teamed with Quest Computing Limited who provided the grant application infrastructure. A key success of this programme was the way in which team members from across Deloitte worked in partnership with one another to ensure that successful applicants got the funding as quickly as possible. Further, we knew that these businesses were facing financial struggles that they had never experienced before. As a result, it was crucial that these grant funds were distributed as quickly as possible to ensure they reached the people that needed it the most.

The impact of this programme was most keenly felt by the small businesses we were able to assist. We received feedback from a number of successful applicants showing that this grant funding went some way to helping them stay in business. Small business owners are a key part of communities.

By supporting the businesses we know we were also supporting the localities in which they operate. It was a pleasure for Deloitte to assist in a small way to alleviate the impact of the pandemic in these unprecedented times. We would like to thank Facebook for the opportunity to work with them on this programme and help support small businesses across EMEA.

Deirdre Carwood

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