Facebook will make a virtual stop in Tampa Thursday as part of its Boost with Facebook tour, which is hoping to help small businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, in partnership with the Associated Industries of Florida, is a free, virtual meeting that will host hundreds of small business owners, entrepreneurs, job seekers and community groups from the Tampa area.
The program will provide digital skills training to small businesses and individuals to boost their online presence. Topics include how to manage online presence with Facebook Business Suite and how to create ads from a Facebook page.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will speak at the event, along with Tom Feeny, President and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida and Audra Nasser, owner of Tampa-based company Dinner Done.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, I used Facebook Live every week to reach out to citizens with the latest and most up-to-date information,” Castor said in a news release. “This virtual Boost with Facebook event will aid small business owners as well as entrepreneurs to leverage social media to reach and grow their customer bases.”
Those attending will also hear from two Facebook experts on how to use the platform effectively to improve outreach.
Registration remains open for the event, which will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Small businesses across Florida have taken a hit from the pandemic. According to the Global State of Small Business Report, 16% of Florida small businesses are not operational and 54% of minority-owned small businesses in Florida are reporting lower sales. A quarter of local small businesses are also predicting lower demands for their services and products.
In 2011, Facebook launched the Boost with Facebook initiative to help educate small business owners about tools on the platform that could aid in outreach.