Small businesses are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic and some bigger companies like Facebook are stepping in to help.
The social media giant has invested $40 million into small businesses across the country with 50 percent of it earmarked for small businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans.
Maxine Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Facebook, told Cheddar Friday that the social media giant knows small businesses owned by people from marginalized communities are going to be impacted the worst.
"This is a very, very difficult crisis the world is going through and unfortunately when things get bad for some, they get horrendous for others," she said. "We are a data-driven company. We know that businesses owned by minorities, by women, small businesses are going to suffer the most when things are hard."
Williams said it was important for Facebook to set aside money to directly aid minority business owners because they are the "intersection of a lot of the pain".
"These are going to be the businesses that are going to be most likely industries that are hardest hit. These are going to be industries where those businesses also had a harder time getting access to capital," she said. "We knew that, yes, we needed to give to all, but you needed to particularly look at where the pain would be the most."
The coronavirus has disproportionately impacted black and brown communities, from lack of Paycheck Protection Program relief for small business owners to the greater share of COVID-19 fatalities, and Williams said larger companies should look into ways they can uniquely provide help for the afflicted populations.
"A business like Facebook, we could do things as we have done, like launch these Data For Good projects where we are able. Taking data, working with research units, where they get the data for privacy reasons, aggregating, and making heat maps that show where you might see outbreaks coming," Williams said.
The tech firm also built a COVID-19 center within its app and on Instagram, where users can find reliable information, and Facebook also implemented promotions at the top of user news feeds that will direct them to different resources they can use amid the pandemic.