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Facebook Supports Black-owned and Diverse Small Businesses

By Diana Doukas, Policy Programs Manager, Economic Impact, Facebook

Earlier this month, Facebook published the latest findings of its Global State of Small Business report, in collaboration with The World Bank and The Organization for Co-operation  and Development. We continue to see a challenging picture for SMBs as they work to weather the economic storm. A considerable portion of SMBs, about a third, have reduced employment in response to the pandemic, and nearly half of surveyed businesses in the US expect to face cash flow challenges over the next few months.

Minority-owned businesses have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study highlighting the deep toll Covid-19 has had on Black-owned small businesses, with 41% shutting down between February and April. At Facebook, we are working tirelessly to do what we can for small businesses during this incredibly difficult period; and we’ve placed an emphasis on investing and building tools to help amplify minority-owned businesses on our platform.

We’re inspired by businesses like Thrifty Gents, which focused mostly on entertainment planning prior to the pandemic. When the stay-at-home orders were put in place, founders Joey and Casey didn’t know if the business would survive, but after a week it was obvious their community had rallied behind them. They were flooded with online orders for custom floral bouquets, which was previously only a small part of their business. They pivoted quickly and now offer arrangements made-to-order online. To support their community, they’ve also taken to Facebook Live every Sunday to give back by raffling off gift cards from other local businesses. As an LGBTQ-owned business dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ youth in their small town, Joey and Casey are heavily involved in local LGBTQ+ organizations. For pride, they donated a portion of their floral sales to the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance last June.

In June, Facebook doubled-down on our initial $100 million small business grant program with an additional $100 million investment to support Black-owned businesses, creators and non-profits in the U.S. Working with our partners, Accenture and AEO, we will choose more than 10,000 U.S. Black-owned businesses to dedicate $40 million of this $100 million grant. 

We have also launched other initiatives to continue our support of Black-owned businesses on Facebook, with plans to expand to more types of diverse businesses and other points of discovery in the coming months.

Business Nearby: Earlier this month, Facebook introduced a way to make it easier for people to support Black and diverse entrepreneurs, small businesses and local shops. Businesses can designate themselves as Black-owned on Facebook and people will be able to discover them through Business Nearby. To increase the visibility of Black-owned businesses, they will remain at the top of Business Nearby.

Protecting Privacy and Keeping People Safe: As we enable discovery, we also want to make sure we continue to protect privacy and keep people and businesses safe, so Page admins can choose to skip, edit, or remove diverse-owned business information at any time and diverse category labelling will not appear publicly on a Page.

Black Business August; Elevate & Celebrate. Throughout the month of August, we’ve celebrated and supported Black businesses from across the country with a mix of training, small business panels and external speakership on topics like access to capital.

Businesses are still in clear need of access to support during these trying times. Our Global State of Small Business report told us cash flow and lack of demand remain the most common ongoing challenges for business leaders during the pandemic. Facebook will continue to expand on products that help people discover small businesses and provide financial support to help alleviate the immediate cost pressures.

We are determined to work towards our longstanding commitment across our company to support black and diverse communities.

 

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