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Google and Facebook pledge ad grants for SMEs during COVID-19

Both Google and Facebook have pledged to offer funding to small businesses as part of a help package to give financial support during the disruption caused by COVID-19.  

Google has unveiled a $340 million ad grant program to support SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of Google’s grant program is to “alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with customers”. This program is part of a larger global plan they have put in place to assist businesses affected. 

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated in a recent post “As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organisations and governments, and health workers on the front line of this global pandemic.”

Google coronavirus ad grant

What we know about the Google grant programme so far:

  • This program will see ad credit automatically appear within active Google Ads accounts
  • There is no sign-up/application process
  • The ad credit are to be rolled out in phases, beginning in late May, and will be available to use until the end of 2020.
  • Advertisers will need to have spent with a Google Ads account in 10 out of 12 months in 2019, and in either January or February of 2020.
  • The size of the ad credit will vary based on past spend and where the account is set up.
  • The ad credit can be used across any of the Google products and ad formats within Google Ads; including Search, shopping, Display, Video and App campaign types. 
  • As Google Premier Partners, our Google team has disclosed that, with the ad credit being automatically added, this has resulted in many hurdles to overcome to ensure fairness in the credits. With that in mind, it is believed that advertisers should start to see ad credits appearing in accounts by the end of Q2 2020. 

Facebook coronavirus ad grant

Facebook has also announced they will support small businesses by offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credit. This will help up to 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries. The goal of this initiative is to keep companies’ workforces strong, help with their rent costs, connect with more customers and to help cover operational costs. 

There are some predefined criteria in order for the small business to be eligible. These are:

  • 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

At present, Facebook offers you to sign up to receive future updates about the Small Business Grants programme, so if you believe you fit within the eligibility requirements, we would suggest you sign up to keep updated. At the time of writing (8th April 2020) the programme is expected to be launched in the UK in the coming weeks – just get in touch if you need support with your application, and we will work together with our Facebook agency representatives to guide you through the qualification process.