COVID-19 Relief Funds For Small Businesses
Advertising platforms and the federal government are stepping up during these unprecedented times by offering a number of grants, loans and other COVID-19 relief funds for small businesses who have been impacted by this health crisis. Here’s a quick break-down of what type of relief is being offered to help small businesses and others during this COVID-19 global pandemic.
Facebook’s Small Business Grant
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses to help during this challenging time. The program will be available for eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Facebook plans to distribute the funds to as many as 30,000 small businesses. The program is intended to help with the following:
- Paying your workforce
- Paying your office rent
- Covering other operational costs
- Connecting with more customers
Facebook says they will begin taking applications in the coming weeks. They encourage businesses to sign up to receive more information when it becomes available; you can do so here.
Yelp Relief for Affected Businesses
Yelp is offering $25M in relief to support independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses. The funds will be provided in the form of waived advertising fees, as well as free advertising, products and services. These businesses that remain open will get free access to the following Yelp page upgrade features:
- Business Highlights
- Call to Action
- 3 months of free access to Yelp Reservations
- 3 months of free access to Yelp Waitlist
- $100 in free search advertising for restaurant clients that offer delivery and/or takeout
Go here to learn more about the relief for local restaurant and nightlife businesses. Beyond restaurants and nightlife businesses, Yelp is also offering “support for independent local advertisers in other categories that are struggling to pay their bills during this difficult time.”
In addition to advertising, local business owners rely heavily on local SEO to drive business. Here are some helpful tips for local businesses on how to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Thanks goes to the MOZ team for these.)
U.S. Small Business Administration – Disaster Loan Assistance
The US SBA is offering $350B in loans to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Portions of the loan will turn into grants and will not need to be paid back for items like payroll, leases/rents and utilities.
Specifically the SBA has rolled out the Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan. Small business owners across the U.S. are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The advance will provide financial relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Go here to apply.
In addition to the Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan, the SBA is also offering up to $2 million in assistance via standard SBA Disaster Loans. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. For questions, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google Funding and Grants for Businesses and Crisis Response
Google has committed to providing $800+ million to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontlines. This includes:
- $340M in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Check your notifications within Google Ads for this credit.
- A $200M investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital.
- $250M in ad grants to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies globally provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities.
- A pool of $20M in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage our computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19.
- Direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices.
Read the full details on what Google is doing to support small businesses and others during this pandemic.
If you need tips on SEO or paid search as it relates to your business specifically, drop us a line and we will get back to you soon. Until next time, stay well.