Facebook Unveils $100 Million Commercial Financing Program

Facebook Unveils $100 Million Commercial Financing Program

The company cited a recent survey it conducted that found most small businesses are still struggling financially, with 60% stating they had some form of difficulty in paying business-related expenses and roughly a quarter reporting they are struggling to pay down loans or debt, bills, rent, and employee wages. As CNBC reports, “The program is the latest effort by Facebook to build its relationships and long-term loyalty among small businesses, many of whom rely on the social network to place ads targeted to niche demographics who may be interested in their services.” “The pandemic has been devastating for small businesses everywhere,” Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a news release. “Many have closed for good, and many of those who remained open have seen sales slump and staff laid off. And it has hit businesses led by women and under-represented communities the hardest.”

Facebook piloted a smaller version of the program in 2020 after hearing how much the company’s suppliers were struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Rich Rao, Facebook’s vice president of small business. Customers of participants pay Facebook the outstanding invoices at the same terms they had agreed to with the small business.

“We just heard first-hand the financial hardships that these suppliers were facing, and it was created really quickly and brought up as an idea and pitched to our CFO to say, ‘Hey, would we be able to help our suppliers with this?’” he told CNBC. “It was a very small pilot, but we did see that be very successful.” Facebook has committed $100 million to the plan and companies that are “certified as majority-owned, operated and controlled by racial or ethnic minorities, women, U.S. military veterans, LGBTQ+ people or individuals with disabilities” can submit outstanding invoices of a minimum of $1,000.

Commerce Department, Facebook, invoices, pandemic, Sheryl Sandberg, Small Businesses, trade finance

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