Facebook said today it will provide €4.7m in grants to over 1,000 small businesses in Dublin, Cork and Meath, where Facebook has offices and data centres. 

The company said the grants are a combination of cash and ad credits to help SMEs as they "reset, rebuild and recover operations" during the Covid-19 crisis.

A recent survey - conducted by OECD, the World Bank and Facebook - revealed that cashflow is a concern for the majority of SMEs.

54% of Irish SMEs on Facebook said they expected cash flow to be a challenge in the coming months. 

Facebook said its SME grant programme aims to help businesses by providing cash for essential bills and helping to pay employees. It will also provide ad credits to help SMEs generate revenue through online marketing and sales. 

The company is also working with local industry partners around the country to continue its virtual "Boost with Facebook" training programme. 

During the months from March to June, it said that over 10,000 people viewed the company's virtual training sessions. 

Ciaran Quilty, VP of Global Business Group for EMEA at Facebook, said the Covid-19 crisis is more than just a public health crisis, it is an economic crisis.

He said that small businesses in particular have been most affected and are facing the challenge of a lifetime. 

"We recognise that SMEs need cash, training, digitalisation assistance and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online. We also know that a little financial support goes a long way and we hope the grants and online training programme will help SMEs survive and recover through this crisis," Mr Quilty added.