PAPILLION, Neb. — The Facebook's Sarpy County data center launched last year. Now Facebook is helping the communities they're directly involved in with COVID-19 relief grants. The first grant will provide direct relief to local non-profits. The second grant will provide direct relief to Sarpy County businesses and other businesses belonging to the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce.
Facebook added $100,000 directly to the Midlands Community Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund.
"When you receive that type of donation you become humbled, you grow honored and then you're like what can I do. So you start reaching out to nonprofit organizations and saying what is the need right now," Midlands Community Foundation executive director Tonee Gay said
The foundation is using this money to help with food insecurity, helping students receive proper technology as they learn from home and mental health services.
"We're going to continue to give back to the community because we know these nonprofits are being hit hard. We want to make sure that hardship is lessened in any way we can," Gay added.
The Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce received $250,000 to help Sarpy County businesses with COVID-19 relief.
"The $250,000 is really giving us the opportunity to respond to the need of the impact on the businesses from the COVID-19 crisis in a much quicker fashion," Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce president and CAO Karen Gibler said.
Small businesses can apply for the grant starting June 1 on the Sarpy Chamber website. To be eligible for the grant, businesses have to have 50 employees or less, belong to the Sarpy County Chamber or be located in Sarpy County.
The amount of money each business can receive will depend on how many businesses apply. Distribution of the money is expected to start by July.
"We're really hoping the first week of July that they can have a check in hand," Gibler said.
The Sarpy Chamber has not yet determined if already receiving state or federal small business grants affects eligibility for the Facebook grant. Those decisions will come once the chamber has an idea of exactly how many businesses apply.
Applications will be open June 1. There is no deadline set to apply but the money is expected to go quickly.