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Facebook pledges to give every employee $1,000 due to coronavirus

Published Mar 17th, 2020 5:33PM EDT
Facebook Coronavirus
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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  • The coronavirus is still spreading and many tech companies are taking decisive action to assist employees and help stop the virus from spreading.
  • Every Facebook employee will receive $1,000 cash from the company, which comes out to about $45 million in payouts.
  • Facebook is also setting up a $100 million fund to assist small business owners hit particularly hard by the coronavirus fallout.
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As part of a broader effort to alleviate the financial fallout from coronavirus-related quarantines and lockdowns, Facebook is giving every employee $1,000 in cash according to a new report from The Information.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly alerted Facebook employees to the new initiative via an internal memo sent out earlier today. As of now, there’s no indication as to when the funds will be distributed but it’s certainly an encouraging move from the social networking giant.

As it stands now, Facebook has just about 45,000 full-time employees. Doing the math, Facebook will be doling out $45 million to its workers as a result of the coronavirus. That’s no small figure, but keep in mind that Facebook can easily afford it without missing a step. During the holiday quarter of 2019, for example, Facebook generated $16.9 billion in revenue and $6.9 billion in profit. Throughout 2019, Facebook generated an impressive $70 billion in revenue.

Beyond the $1,000 cash, the report adds that Facebook employees will all receive an “exceeds” rating as part of their mid-year review. Consequently, Facebook employees with bonus structures built into their contract will be eligible for a lot more money in bonus payouts.

In addition to helping out individual employees, Facebook is also helping out small business owners impacted by the virus via a new $100 million program.

In a blog post announcing the initiative, Facebook said it will offer cash grants for upwards of 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. As Facebook notes, the cash grants are designed to help small businesses keep workforces going, pay rent, and of course, cover operational costs.

Applications for the aforementioned financial assistance will open up over the next few weeks.

Touching on the announcement via a Facebook post, COO Sheryl Sandberg said the following:

As the COVID-19 outbreak escalates, our focus has been on keeping people safe and informed by making sure everyone has accurate information, supporting global health experts and stopping misinformation. Our thoughts, like everyone’s, are with our loved ones and our communities and all of those impacted around the world.

In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part too. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis – especially as more and more people sensibly stay home. The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk to small businesses and to the livelihoods of their owners and employees.

We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. That’s why today I’m announcing that Facebook is investing $100 million to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where our employees live and work.

That’s just the start. We also want to make it easier for businesses everywhere to find help and receive training and support from our teams. We’ve made our Business Hub []—a resource for Facebook employees and health experts—readily available for all. We are also creating new virtual training to support businesses operating in this new and unsettling environment.

We want to do more. Teams across our company are working every day to help businesses. We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings – and will have more to share in the coming weeks – and we’re finding more ways to help people connect and learn to use technology through Blueprint, our free e-learning training program.

Whatever happens next, we will be working to help businesses weather this storm. Please keep safe and look out for those around you.

With many tech companies already offering employees the ability to work remotely, it will be interesting to see if any other companies follow Facebook’s lead and offer additional financial assistance.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.