Last week Facebook announced an initiative aimed at South African small businesses and SMEs as part of a $100 million Global Grants Programme. Locally, it would make an estimated R8.5 million available to SMEs in SA who were able to successfully apply for the COVID-19 grant.

At the time of writing applications are still open, but they are set to close quickly. More specifically they close at 18:00 on 5th September, with South Africa being one of 30 countries involved with this COVID-19 grant initiative.

“Aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19, this will help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected,” explains a press release regarding the initiative.

“Administered and managed by Deloitte South Africa, the grants will be provided as a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild, re-engineer and recover operations during this challenging year,” it adds.

Those small businesses and SMEs interested in applying can do so here at this portal, which will also list the criteria required for the application to be valid. Said portal is also available in languages outside of English, including isiZulu, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, Sepedi and Sesotho.

“We know small businesses are the engines of the South African economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has extended beyond a public health crisis to an economic emergency, with these small businesses most affected,” adds Nunu Ntshingila, regional director of Facebook Africa.

“We’re listening to the challenges these small business owners are facing right now and want to provide useful resources for them during this difficult and uncertain year,” she concludes. 

With many local SMEs suffering due to the global pandemic and national lockdown, hopefully this COVID-19 grant can reach those that need it.

[Image – Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash]