Facebook unveils 3-month initiative to support small businesses

Facebook has launched a three-month initiative to provide free resources, education and training to help small businesses, especially those owned by the people of colour.

As part of the ‘Season of Support’ initiative, Facebook announced #BuyBlack Friday in the US — harnessing the energy of the year’s biggest retail day to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses and their communities.

“Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses,” said Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook.

“But we know that millions of people want to help. More than 3.5 million people on Facebook in the US have joined new groups created to support Black-owned businesses since March”.

Starting October 30, Facebook will introduce features in its main app that encourage people to create posts supporting Black-owned businesses.

“We’ll be offering interested businesses a toolkit to get involved, so they can amplify #BuyBlack through their own channels,” Sandberg said in a statement on Thursday.

To help people #BuyBlack for the holidays, the social network will also introduce The Facebook #BuyBlack Friday Gift Guide later this month, which will showcase products from US Black-owned businesses across categories from beauty to home to fashion.

“Our Businesses Nearby tool will help people find local businesses, including those that have chosen to self-designate as Black-owned”.

Facebook in June pledged $200 million to support black-owned businesses and organisations in the US, along with several other initiatives to support black communities.

The commitment is part of a broader $1.1 billion investment by Facebook in Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the US.

“We’re also creating a new space in the Facebook app called Lift Black Voices and we’re building a more diverse and inclusive workforce so we can better support communities around the world,” Sandberg has said.