The focus might still be on Facebook’s new Timeline and media partnerships but today the world’s largest social network has announced it wil partner with National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to provide tools, resources and up to $10 million in Facebook Ads to help small businesses in the U.S thrive.

According to the joint press release, the effort is to help small businesses acquire and retain customers, assist them in building a community interested in their brand and extend the opportunities to reach new customers.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and we believe that Facebook can be a tremendous tool to fuel their growth and success,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer. “Our goal is to give small businesses a boost by helping them find customers the best way possible – through recommendations from friends.  We’re proud to be working with the NFIB and U.S. Chamber in this effort.”

The initiative hopes to increase the number of private sector workers, which have accounted for more than 64% of new jobs in the oasr 15 years, helping to drive the U.S economy forward. The effort will see Facebook, the NFIB and the U.S. Chamber provide webinars, marketing collateral, case studies and tips. This may see companies utilising Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to reach new customers.

The joint initiative will also see cross-country roadshows, which have been coordinated with state and local chambers of commerce, allowing business owners to meet with experts to ask them how to get the best results in attracting new customers via Facebook.

Facebook will provide $50 of free Ad credit to as many as 200,000 US businesses, starting in January 2012.