Facebook Inc. recently released its latest Global State of Small Business Report, which showed that, despite falling closure rates, businesses are still struggling financially when it comes to paying down things like loans, debt, bills, rent and more. In fact, the report revealed that 60% of small businesses are having some form of difficulty in paying business-related expenses, and access to capital and liquidity are crucial lifelines to their ongoing success.
The company said it has spent time talking to small businesses across the country to understand their needs, and it remains committed to helping them navigate and recover from the pandemic.
As a result, Facebook is introducing two new ways for diverse businesses to access capital more easily: the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program, which lets eligible small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) apply for Facebook to buy their invoices for immediate cash flow, and a new small business funding resource that connects small business owners with responsible lenders, relevant communities and information to help scale or manage their businesses. Learn more about these programs below.
Facebook Invoice Fast Track
Following a successful pilot with Facebook diverse suppliers, the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program has expanded to tens of thousands more minority, women, veteran, LGBTQ and disability-owned companies. For a low, fixed fee, eligible businesses can get cash immediately for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers for but would otherwise have to wait months to get paid — time and capital they can now use to invest in the recovery and growth of their companies. Facebook said it will fund up to $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis and, is operating the program in partnership with Supplier Success LLC and Crowdz. (Learn more about the Facebook/Supplier Success deal here: https://mbnusa.biz/detail/supplier-success-helps-facebook-launch-mbe-focused-receivables-program).
“We know how important working capital is to SMBs, and this is especially true when they are due money from their customers for work that they've completed,” said Jason Trimiew, director of global supplier diversity at Facebook. “Getting that cash today instead of months later can be the difference-maker for keeping employees or suppliers paid or investing in growth opportunities.”
We’re expanding the program in partnership with some of the leading business development and advocacy organizations supporting diverse entrepreneurs, and communities including the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc., Women's Business Enterprise National Council, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, National Veterans Business Development Council, Disability:IN and U.S.Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Facebook said small businesses, like Wright Stuff Chics, Quester, Yardstick Management, SupplyHive and Veear Projects, have already participated in the pilot program and have reported that the Facebook Invoice Fast Track has helped them do everything from keeping their businesses open to supporting their growth.
“When you're an entrepreneur and you have a passion for what you do, but yet you don't have the working capital to do that, it ends up causing so many levels of stress,” said Lisa Dunnigan, co-founder of The Wright Stuff Chics, a business based in Georgia that creates swag for educators. “We've been able to keep our staff members on with this program, and we've also been able to really keep our doors open.”
Small Business Funding Resource
As part of its continued efforts to help SMBs access resources and the support they need to thrive, Facebook launched a new experience on its platform that connects small businesses owners with grant and loan opportunities, educational business resources and thriving SMB groups.
Our initial funding partners included in this experience are mission-driven organizations focused on providing resources to owners from underserved communities that often face systemic barriers that limit their access to capital. The inaugural set of partners include Community Reinvestment Fund, Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund, California Rebuilding Fund, California Community Foundation, St. Louis Community Foundation, Greater Washington Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
“The pandemic brought to light the gaps in access to funding that have always existed for underrepresented business owners. We wanted to make a commitment to building tools that made information and inclusive funding partners easy to find and understand” said Ronnie Cameron, product manager, social impact at Facebook. “We’ve been able to engage with some amazing organizations like the Community Reinvestment Fund, in order to connect business owners to the right sources of funding."
"We're thrilled that Facebook is helping connect small business owners with resources and capital through their platform," said Patrick Davis, senior vice president, Strategy for Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. "The pandemic has changed the small business landscape and it's more important than ever before to make sure businesses — particularly those that are historically under-resourced — have the tools they need to recover and grow. Facebook has recognized the importance of purpose-driven lending, and Community Reinvestment Fund, USA is proud to be supporting this crucial small business resource."
Business Page Admins can access this experience on Facebook by clicking on Business Resources and Small Business Funding.