The News Virginian will award up to $100,000 in matching advertising grants between now and June as part of a company-wide initiative by parent company Lee Enterprises. The grants, in the form of advertising credits, will be available to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.
The grants will provide matching marketing credits of between $250 and $15,000 for use in The News Virginian’s print and digital products, said Publisher Peter Yates in a letter announcing the program. The awards will be made in April, May and June.
“Since our inception, The News Virginian has partnered with local businesses across our region to deliver their message to customers in both times of prosperity and in times of great challenge,” Yates wrote. “While the COVID-19 virus has created change and difficulties for us all, the ability of our local business community to market to their customers remains essential to their, and all of our, sustainability and recovery.”
The program will build on other News Virginian initiatives, such as the Buy Local gift card program.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen record-setting trends in both page views, and users who are accessing our content both in our printed newspaper, and at www.newsvirginian.com,” Yates said. “These audiences present a tremendous opportunity for our local business community to get their messaging out to local residents each and every day.”
The program will be available in each of Lee Enterprises’ 77 markets, according to a company news release.
“For 130 years, our company has partnered with local businesses to deliver their message to the people they serve, both in times of great prosperity and in times of great challenge,” said Ray Farris, Lee operating vice president and vice president of advertising. “While COVID-19 has created obvious difficulties for all of us, the ability of businesses to market to their customers remains essential to their sustainability and recovery.”
Businesses may apply for a grant at newsvirginian.com/pages/local-marketing-grant.html.