Facebook offers financial aid to employees and small businesses

Facebook Inc. has undertaken two major business initiatives to help two of its most important constituents: Employees and small businesses.

Facebook FB, +0.66% Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an internal company memo early Tuesday that every employee will receive a $1,000 bonus to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report in The Information. (Workday Inc. WDAY, -1.83% on Monday said it will pay lower-level employees a cash bonus equivalent to two weeks pay.)

Corporate cash bonuses come amid a push in Congress to assist Americans in need of financial aid during the health crisis. Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., last week proposed the federal government send a check worth between $1,000 and $6,000 to every American who earned less than $65,000 last year. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Monday said Washington should “send $1,000 checks to each American.”

See also: Romney, other lawmakers call for sending $1,000 checks to Americans as part of coronavirus response

Separately, the social-networking behemoth announced a $100 million program to help small businesses as more restaurants, bars, shops, and gyms are closed to stanch the spread of coronavirus.

“We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19,” Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday. “We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.”

Grants will be available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries to pay for rent and operational costs, among other things, Facebook said. That would be an average of $3,333 per business. Facebook hauled in $21.08 billion in its most recent quarter.

See also: Facebook stock plummets after earnings beat estimates, but not by enough

Facebook, which will begin accepting applications in coming weeks, has teamed with small businesses to help them market to billions of people. The marketing industry is bracing to take a big hit from the economic fallout of COVID-19, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Bloomberg News in an interview Monday.

Facebook shares are up about 2% in afternoon trading.