Facebook launches €4.7m grant scheme for Irish SMEs

22 Sep 2020

Image: © Denys Prykhodov/Stock.adobe.com

The Facebook grant and ad credit fund aims to help support Irish SMEs that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.

Today (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 the company 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 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 the 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 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 company is also providing ad credits to help SMEs generate revenue through online marketing and sales.

Elsewhere, Facebook is working with local industry partners around the country to continue its virtual Boost with Facebook training programme.

Between March and June of this year, more than 10,000 people in Ireland viewed the company’s virtual training sessions. The webinar series featured experts from Facebook and sales and marketing organisations such as Core Media, Shopify and VidMob. The webinars are 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 such as how to take a business online, build resilience, and stay connected with customers in real time.

Ciaran Quilty, vice-president of global business group for Facebook 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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic