Facebook announced that they would be awarding up to 30,000 grants to eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where they operate. Because Facebook has a large presence in Altoona, Iowa, these grants are available to any business in Polk County. Facebook believes that for small businesses, a little financial support can go a long way, so they are offering a $4,000 grant for the recipients in the US ($2,500 cash, $1,500 in optional ads credits) to help during this challenging time. To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Be a for-profit company
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for over a year
- Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
Gather Your Documents
To complete your application, you’ll need at least one of the following documents:
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
- Partnership documents
- Business license
- Proof of incorporation
- Official registration
The application for a Facebook grant will ask you to share your contact information, brief summary about your business, and how you would use the cash grant.
Plan How to Help Your Community
In your application, help Facebook understand how you would use your grant funds to make an impact on your business or in your community. For example, you could use the grant to continue paying employees, or to provide critical services through pickup and delivery methods.
What to Expect After you Apply
After applications become available in your area, you will have approximately 2 weeks to apply before the application deadline. In Polk County, the applications are open from April 11 9:00 AM until April 28, 2020 10:59 PM (CDT). Facebook will then need a few weeks to review your application, ask follow up questions, and select their finalists before announcing grant recipients.
The Application Process
Step 1: Go to the Facebook Grants Page
Begin the application process here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
Step 2: Click on ‘See Available Locations’
Once the window pops up, choose the location of the United States and the city/area of Altoona, IA / Polk County.
Step 3: Continue to Partner Site
Click the continue button at the bottom of the page, which will open up a page with Ureeka, the partner Facebook is using to collect applications.
Step 4: Register
Click the ‘Register’ button in the top right corner of the page and create an account. You can either use your Facebook, Twitter or G-Suite account to create an account, or register using your name and email.
Step 5: Fill out Eligibility Profile
The next step is to determine if your business is eligible for the grant. It is important that you answer these questions correctly the first time, because you cannot change the responses once they’re saved.
The questions you need to answer are:
- Is your company headquartered in an eligible US state or territory? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- Where is your company headquartered? (must choose ‘Altoona’ for Polk County)
- What zip code or postal code is your company headquartered?
- The application will list only the eligible Polk County zip codes
- Are you the founder or business owner of the company you’re applying for? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- Is your business for-profit? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- How many employees does your business have? (must be between 2 and 50 to be eligible)
- Has your company been established for at least one year? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- Can you provide proof that your company has been established for at least a year via legal documents (Incorporation, FEIN, Partnership, Official Registration, Business License)? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- Will the grant help your business offset the impacts of COVID-19? (must answer “yes” to be eligible)
- Does your business promote any of the following? (must answer “no” to be eligible)
- Products, services, or activities that are illegal
- Tobacco and Related Products
- Illegal, Prescription, Recreational Drugs, or Unsafe Supplements
- Weapons, Ammunition, or Explosives
- Adult Products or Services
- Penny Auctions
- Multilevel Marketing
- Third-Party Infringement
- Payday Loans, Paycheck Advances, or Bail Bonds
- Discriminatory Advertising
- Social Issues, Elections or Politics
- State Lotteries
- Cosmetic Procedures and Weight Loss
- Real Money Gambling
- Are you, a member of your household (whether or not related), or any of your immediate family members an employee of either Facebook, Inc. or Ureeka, Inc.? (must answer “no” to be eligible)
Step 6: Apply for the Small Business Grant
If your business is eligible for the Facebook small business grant, the next screen will have information about it. Click more, and then “Apply” on the next page.
The application has six parts:
- Contact Information
- Company Profile
- Company Background
- Use of Grant
- Business Proof
- Terms & Conditions
Fill out your business’s contact information
Fill out your company profile, including your address and website. You will also need to create a 200-word introduction of your business that will help Facebook determine the success of their grant to your company. “They ask: We want to get to know you and your business so we can learn how to help you get through this.”
Facebook is interested in the demographic information of people applying for their grant. It is not mandatory to answer these, but they ask questions about race, gender and other minority statuses.
Use of Grant
This is how you plan on using the $4,000 grant, if awarded. You will be asked how you plan to use the grant to help your business manage through COVID-19, and how you would use the grant to make an impact on your local community.
You will need to come up with another 200 words to describe your situation, which is vital here, because this is likely how Facebook will be determining who receives the grant.
This is a required section to provide your FEIN and upload proof that you have been in business for over 1 year. Forms of proof include Proof of Incorporation, FEIN, Partnership, Official Registration, or a Business License.
Terms & Conditions
Once you have completed the other areas of the application, you must agree to the terms and conditions of the grant. After that is complete, you are ready to submit your application.
The Next Steps
After you submit your application for the Facebook small business grant, they have stated that it will take approximately 2 weeks to respond and determine any winners of the grants.
Facebook has not announced how many grants are going to be awarded in each geographic area, but this will hopefully deliver some much needed relief to the Des Moines community because of the corona virus outbreak.
If you are a small business owner and have questions or need help navigating the application, feel free to reach out to the Webspec team. We’re here to help out in any way we can.