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Facebook to give $2.5 million in grants to Austin's small businesses

Businesses must have two to 50 employees, have been in business for more than a year and call Travis County home.

AUSTIN, Texas — Facebook, which has two offices in Downtown Austin, is giving out $2.5 million to small businesses in the city that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of small businesses are struggling to stay open and pay their employees. This grant from Facebook could make a difference. Katherine Shappley, the head of Facebook Austin, told KVUE the tech giant is going to help around 600 businesses in town.

The Facebook Small Business Grants Program just launched within the past week. On average, she said businesses can expect to receive $2,500 cash and $1,500 in ad credit on Facebook. To ensure the money is going to those who need it most, there is a certain criteria businesses have to meet.

They must have two to 50 employees, have been in business for more than a year and they must call Travis County home. 

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“We know that small businesses are being hit the hardest at this time, and we just know that we can play an even bigger part,” said Shappley. “We talk to small businesses each and every day and we know that even just a little bit of financial support can go a long way.”

Shappley said they’re putting an emphasis on women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

“About 50% of the grants will go to businesses that are owned by minorities and women because we know that those groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the implications from a health and economic standpoint,” said Shappley.

There’s also a new way for the community to get involved, and that’s through a digital gift card that’s available on Facebook. Businesses can create fundraisers that allow customers to donate to them to keep them afloat.

Businesses have about another week to apply. Here's a step-by-step video that helps demonstrate how to complete the application.

WATCH: Small businesses find issues with loan process 

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