Facebook Malaysia launches Small Business Grant, to offer RM 3.2 million in grants for local businesses

Facebook Malaysia will be launching their Small Business Grant programme, where approximately RM3.2 million in grants will be used to support over 300 local small businesses. 

According to the State of Small Business Report, an ongoing study by the World Bank, OECD and Facebook into small businesses, nearly 58 percent of SMBs surveyed in Malaysia said they are concerned about cash flow in the coming months. SMBs are the backbone of the nation’s economy and account for 38.9 percent of the nation’s GDP, 48.4 percent of employment and 17.9 percent of Malaysia’s export business. 

“Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy and Covid-19 pandemic has hit them the hardest. We are acutely aware that supporting them now and in the future is critical for the economy of the country and that’s why we’ve pulled together resources and continue to build digital tools to support small businesses navigate through the next normal and emerge stronger from the pandemic,” said Nicole Tan, Country Director of Facebook Malaysia.

Each grant amounts to RM9,400, which includes RM5,900 in cash and RM3,500 in optional ad credits. Applications are open from October 6 to 12. Businesses do not need to have Facebook presence in order to apply.

To be eligible, the business must have between 2 and 50 employees, been in business for more than one year and experienced challenges due to the pandemic.

For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply for a grant, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants

The State of Small Business Report also showed that small businesses have made serious efforts to go digital by moving operations online, with 44 percent of operational SMBs on Facebook reporting that 25 percent or more of their sales were made digitally in the past month. 

In order to help businesses as they speed up their transformation to tackle the change in consumer behaviour, Facebook continues to create new digital tools for them to adopt and shift online:  

  1. Facebook Shops: Shops to help businesses of all sizes to set up free storefronts that consumers can easily access across both Facebook and Instagram, wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them
  2. Facebook Business Suites: A new cross-app interface to help businesses manage their pages or profiles across our apps using our free and paid tools, all in one place. It allows them to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts in one place. They can also easily see what’s working and learn what’s resonating with customers with Facebook and Instagram insights. 

The partnership between Philips and local retailer, Senheng Malaysia to leverage on Collaborative Ads campaign to increase in-store sales of its products is an example of digital adoption to address changing consumer behaviour. When the MCO took effect, Philips and Senheng had to quickly pivot to e-commerce, shifting the focus of the campaign to online sales.

Philips and Senheng uploaded its catalogue of products available at Senheng and utilised the collection ad format to automatically display the products people would be most interested in based on individual preferences. When people clicked on mobile, Senheng’s online store opened within the app to offer a seamless shopping experience.

By shifting focus to ecommerce with Facebook Collaborative Ads, Philips successfully increased sales with Senheng. The online campaign reached 1.3 million people, 4.6 times increase in purchases versus previous campaigns and more importantly, they were able to stay connected and engaged with their clients despite social distancing requirements. 

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