Facebook is bringing its Community Boost program to Phoenix this summer to help small businesses grow and equip people in their communities with the digital skills necessary to compete in today’s economy.

The free program, launched in St. Louis on March 26, delivers on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s promise of increasing Facebook’s efforts to support small businesses. In order to make a lasting impact, Facebook is partnering with local organizations in every city it visits.

“We’re excited to bring Facebook’s Community Boost to Phoenix this summer. At this event, we’ll provide a wide range of training for small businesses and kick off partnerships to train underemployed and unemployed workers over the coming months with the digital skills they need to be more competitive in today’s economy,” said Aneesh Raman, Global Policy Team at Facebook. “We chose the Phoenix area because of its diverse community and we heard from local partners that there is a need for more digital skills training.” 

Facebook is working to understand the needs of individuals and communities, so the company can personalize its programs. In a recent survey, small businesses and job seekers indicated there is a gap between the digital skills they have compared to what they need to succeed:

• 84% of small business managers believe that digital advertising is an important skill for growing their business, but only 13% of managers rate themselves as excellent in this area.

• Phoenix ranks 21st out of 100 MSAs for average level of digital skills, 72.9% of jobs demanded at least medium digital skills [source]

Community Boost was designed to address these gaps by delivering digital marketing and social media curriculum directly to small businesses within the community.

Rachel Trimble is the owner of Phoenix-based Restyle Junkie, a small business and contractor that specializes in cabinet refinishing, distressed wood and DIY tutorials. Trimble says both her business and brand have been positively impacted by Facebook and Instagram. Through Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, Trimble has become a local DIY expert. On Facebook, she received close to 6,000 followers through a single page boost, and she attributes close to 80 percent of her business growth and sales to Facebook. 

“I’m actually shutting down my brick and mortar store in north Phoenix this month due to the online success I’ve had via Facebook, Instagram and my website, which has allowed me to reach more people through DIY webinars versus in-person classes,” Trimble said. “I’m excited to have Community Boost come to Phoenix so more small business owners can benefit from learning valuable digital skills.”

Since 2011, Facebook has invested $1 billion to help small businesses and communities across the United States and beyond. The company’s Community Boost program will visit 30 U.S. cities in 2018. 

To share your thoughts and stay up to date with the latest city announcements, news and program schedules visit facebook.com/communityboost.