Sheryl Sandberg On Facebook’s Role In Small Business Support And Voter Registration During The Pandemic

With more than 180 million businesses relying on its social media platforms every month, Facebook
FB
has a crucial role in helping small businesses change course and stay connected with customers during the pandemic. 

At Forbes’ first-ever Small Business Summit held virtually on Friday, COO Sheryl Sandberg discussed how Facebook has “doubled down” on product launches for small businesses and how Congress can do more to help them survive coronavirus. 

Digital migration is “definitely an accelerating trend and it’s here to stay,” Sandberg said. “Businesses were already moving online, but what we found during this period is businesses are migrating much more quickly.”

To bolster that shift over the last few months, Facebook has launched Facebook Shops, an app where businesses can create online stores to sell directly to the consumer, and Facebook Business Suite, a “one-stop shop where you can manage all your pages, your profiles and your messages across Facebook and Instagram and messenger.” 

Sandberg also said fundraisers — typically used on the social media app for nonprofits in honor of users’ birthdays — are available for small businesses now. 

“I never thought we would do fundraisers for small businesses,” she said. “But people said to us they know small businesses are so important to their community, and they want to fundraise.”

The social media giant committed $200 million of its own cash for two grant programs dedicated to small and Black-owned businesses. 

“We’re working on getting the money out the door as soon as we can, because there is no time to waste in a crisis like this,” Sandberg said. 

Aside from determining what Facebook can do to