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Noah Berger / AP

The purpose of the "Community Boost" program is to help provide more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the modern economy.

Why it matters: The investment in small businesses is part of broader push in communities across the board since Mark Zuckerberg released a new mission for the company earlier this year to build a more global community.

Details of the program:

  • The Facebook Community Boost team will visit up to 30 US cities, including, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Des Moines, Greenville, and Houston, in 2018.
  • Facebook employees will help small businesses establish online profiles on mobile, beginning with Facebook properties: Facebook, Instagram and Messenger/WhatsApp.
  • It will train people on digital skills, which will eventually include better video and photo-taking skills, as well as other programming.

Facebook has made a concerted effort to help small businesses: Since 2011 Facebook says it has invested more than $1 billion dollars on teams, technology, tools, support and research to help small businesses. Here's why:

  • Businesses have indicated to Facebook that they want more digital training more than anything, according to Facebook VP of Small Business Dan Levy. "For years, if a business owner wanted to create a video commercial, it would cost tens of thousands of dollars," says Levy. Small businesses have indicated that they've been intimidated to create videos. We want to help them with that." Today, more than 4 million small businesses on Facebook create videos.
  • Small businesses are also an important part of Facebook and Instagram's growing advertising community: Facebook says it's main app has roughly 6 million advertisers and Instagram has over 2 million. The company has touted its success in getting small and medium-sized businesses to advertise on its platform with easy-to-use self-service advertising tools.
  • Facebook has been investing in small business training for years, but they are ramping up digital literacy resources now given how quickly the landscape is changing. For example, more than 1 million small businesses have taken advantage of Facebook's free online learning hub, Blueprint and more than 70 million small businesses use Facebook Pages each month. The company says it recently created a digital marketing curriculum that will help train 3,000 Michiganders in digital skills development over the next two years.

Go deeper

43 mins ago - Health

DeSantis to bar Florida schools from mandating masks

Photo: Michael Reaves via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday he will issue an executive order "very soon" barring local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to school next month, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has led to a spike in new infections across the U.S., triggering another round of debate about COVID guidelines in schools.

Trump's tax returns must be released to Congress, DOJ says

President Trump at the end of a rally to support Republican Senate candidates at Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, Georgia on December 5, 2020. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

The Treasury Department "must" release former President Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, the Department of Justice said in a memo Friday.

The big picture: The DOJ memo comes after a long dispute between the committee, which first sought to obtain the former president's returns two years ago, and Trump, who fought to keep his finances private.

CDC: Delta variant may cause mild COVID among fully vaccinated people

A storefront sign in Los Angeles reminds people masks are for everyone. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

About 74% of 469 COVID-19 cases associated with large gatherings held in Barnstable County, Mass., from July 3 to 17 were among fully vaccinated people, according to data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The data bolsters emerging evidence that vaccinated people have high viral loads and may transmit the Delta variant as easily as those who are unvaccinated.