Story at a glance

  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company reserved $20 million in grant money for businesses run by women, minorities and veterans.
  • She also announced the new Facebook Shops initiative to help keep small businesses stay in operation during the pandemic.

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief of operations (COO) at Facebook, announced on Wednesday that the social networking giant is giving $20 million to small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans across the U.S.


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Speaking to Jim Cramer on CNBC, Sandberg said that the $20 million donation will come from the $100 million small business grant program the company announced in March.

A recent Facebook survey found that, because of the coronavirus pandemic, 31 percent of small businesses have stopped operating and another 11 percent think they may go under if economic circumstances do not change. Citing the findings, Sandberg noted that businesses run by minorities and veterans are some of the most sensitive to volatile economic headwinds. 


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“We know when crises hit, the most vulnerable get hit the hardest,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg discussed Facebook’s other initiative aimed at helping small retailers: Facebook Shops, an e-commerce platform that creates a virtual store on Facebook or its subsidiary Instagram. The goal of the platform is to keep people connected, according to Sandberg. 

“Anyone can start selling or interacting with customers online because that’s what it’s going to take to get companies through this crisis and keep people employed,” she said.

Published on May 22, 2020