Facebook will award more than $8.5 million in grants to more than 2,100 small businesses in Seattle struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The company is also introducing tools to help businesses create digital gift cards and create personal fundraisers for their businesses and customers.
The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant says the coronavirus has negatively affected 96% of small business owners across the United States. It says only half of small businesses have cash on hand to survive for more than four weeks.
The grants in Seattle are part of $100 million the company is awarding to small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates. Businesses must have between two and 50 employees, been open at least a year and have experienced challenges due to COVID-19.
As of April 6, Washington state had 8,682 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 394 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. King County had 3,460 cases and 226 deaths.