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Facebook grants aimed at Detroit small businesses

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Small businesses in Detroit struggling to find the cash to survive the pandemic may be eligible to tap into newly offered Facebook grants.

Facebook has a place for people to discover digital gift cards for their favorite local U.S. restaurants and businesses.

The social networking giant is making $150,000 in cash and advertising credits available to small businesses in Detroit affected by the coronavirus, the company announced Tuesday.

The grants are designed to help businesses "keep the lights on and help pay their employees."

About 40 businesses will be selected for the grants. Businesses can see if they're eligible for the grants and apply on the Facebook for Business website.

"Small businesses are the heartbeat of their communities," said Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer in a post on the platform. "We are determined to help and we know the road ahead will require a lot more from all of us."

The Menlo Park-based company also said it is introducing a place to help businesses create and showcase digital gift cards and create fundraisers for their favorite local restaurants and businesses.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also is working to offer gift cards, the company said.

The company said its making it easier for businesses to communicate service changes to their customers through their Facebook Page, including Online Services, Delivery and Pickup and Other Changes to allow businesses that have modified operations to easily indicate those changes to customers.

ecarter@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter