Ogden Newspapers, the family-owned publisher of more than 40 dailies and numerous weeklies, is putting up $1 million in matching grants to help revive its local businesses with more advertising power.
Newspapers in the company’s markets from Hawaii to Ohio can apply for the grants to help them recover from the devastating loss of business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just two days in from the announcement of the grants, Ogden has received 824 applications from local businesses, Cameron Nutting Williams, regional publisher of Ogden Newspapers, told America’s Newspapers.
“It has been an incredible response and really speaks to the pain small businesses are feeling right now,” she said. “Some of their stories about how they've been impacted are absolutely heart wrenching. We're planning to launch a project to tell their stories as well. It’s been stunningly sad for small communities that were already struggling.”
In announcing the grant program, Ogden Newspapers CEO Robert Nutting said, “A community newspaper is only as strong as the community it serves.”
Businesses in markets Ogden serves can apply for a matching grant of a minimum of $200 up to $15,000 at ogdennews.com/community-grant. Applicants will receive a response to their application within one to two business days, Ogden said.
The fund is open to all locally owned and operated businesses impacted by the coronavirus, whether or not they are current advertisers. Grant money can be used for local print and online advertising in their local Ogden newspaper between between April 1 and June 30, 2020.
Perry Nardo, general manager of Ogden flagship newspapers The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in West Virginia, said the grants are intended to help local businesses strengthen their brand as they rebuild.
“These are difficult times for our Ohio Valley, and by offering this $1 million grant program, we’re hoping that we can help local businesses tell their story as they work to keep their doors open,” Nardo said. “We live here, and we work here. We know businesses and workers are hurting — we’re hurting, too. But if we can pull together as a community, we can weather this storm.”
In an Intelligencer article announcing the grants, Erikka Storch, president of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, thanked the Nutting family, owners of the Ogden Newspapers, for a program she said would help small local businesses as they work through a difficult time.
“What a wonderful and giving initiative by the Nutting family. I’m sure all locally owned and operated businesses in each of the company’s markets will benefit from this generous act,” she said.
“As a family-owned business operating for almost 130 years, we have learned that the only way to pull through the hard times is to stand with your partners and customers,” Robert Nutting said. “We are proud to offer this assistance to the local businesses that form the backbone of our communities.”