In the face of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has offered financial relief to small business owners world wide.
The social networking company has pledged $100 million, in the form of cash grants and ad credits, to small businesses affected by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The company has also given each of its employees $1,000 bonuses.
Facebook intends for the aid to be used to pay workers who cannot come to work, help with rent and utility costs, enable businesses to connect with more customers, and contribute to overhead costs.
Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote the following statement on Facebook addressing the efforts:
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis — especially as more and more people sensibly stay home,” she says.,
“The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk to small businesses and to the livelihoods of their owners and employees.”
Up until this point, Facebook had been fighting the spread of disinformation by offering free ad space to the World Health Organization and banning posts promoting false cures.
Applications will be made available via their Business Hub, a resource for Facebook employees and Health experts that has now been made available to the public, in the coming weeks.
Sandberg also noted that Facebook is “looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings for the public, and help people [..] learn to use technology through Blueprint, [Facebook’s] free e-learning training program.”
Click here to visit the Facebook Small Business Grants Program website.
Currently there are 472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 39 on Vancouver Island.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
Earlier this week, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be temporarily banned by March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 372,557.
Nearly 16,500 people have died from the illness and 101,371 have made a full recovery.