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The Importance of Supporting Local Newspapers and Small Businesses

In recent years, both small businesses and newspapers have faced significant challenges. The economic downturn has taken a toll on these essential pillars of our communities, leaving many newspapers struggling to stay afloat. The closure of local newspapers has had a profound impact on both residents and local businesses. On average, two newspapers are closing every week, resulting in job losses, decreased publication frequency, and limited access to vital information. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Community News & Small Business Support Act has been introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort to provide relief to both newspapers and local businesses.

Local newspapers have always played a crucial role in keeping communities informed. According to a recent national study conducted by the independent research firm Coda Ventures for America’s Newspapers, 79 percent of Americans read or use local news to stay informed about their cities, counties, and communities. Readers rely on their local newspapers to feel connected, make informed decisions on local issues, find places to go and things to do, engage with their community, and be better citizens. Contrary to popular belief, this need for local news spans across all age groups and extends to both print and digital formats.

Despite their importance, local newspapers are facing numerous challenges, including financial constraints and the need to adapt to the rapidly changing media landscape. The Community News & Small Business Support Act, introduced by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, aims to address these challenges by providing tangible support to local newspapers and small businesses. The legislation includes several measures that will benefit both parties.

For local businesses with fewer than 50 employees, the proposed legislation offers a five-year non-refundable tax credit. This tax credit, amounting to up to $5,000 in the first year and up to $2,500 in the subsequent four years, is based on their spending levels with local newspapers and local media. The study conducted by America’s Newspapers revealed that six out of ten American adults use newspaper advertising to make purchasing decisions. Newspaper readers are almost twice as likely to purchase products from various advertising categories, including automobiles, home furnishings, and home services. The legislation aims to assist local businesses in advertising to consumers, thereby stimulating economic growth in communities.

The legislation also includes provisions to support local newspapers directly. A five-year refundable tax credit will be available to local community papers with fewer than 750 employees. This tax credit would cover 50% of journalists’ compensation in the first year and 30% of compensation (up to $50,000) in the subsequent four years. The objective is to incentivize local newspapers to invest in their newsrooms, ultimately enhancing the quantity and quality of news coverage in communities. It is important to note that these tax credits are exclusively available to local newspapers, ensuring support for the very institutions that play a vital role in our communities.

The introduction of the Community News & Small Business Support Act by Reps. Tenney and DelBene highlights the significance of local newspapers and small businesses in our society. Their support for this legislation demonstrates a commitment to fostering stronger communities and promoting economic growth. However, they cannot accomplish this alone. We need to stand with them and advocate for the enactment of this legislation.

You can make a difference by reaching out to your senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress and urging them to support this legislation. By becoming actively involved and voicing our support, we can contribute to the continued success and growth of local newspapers and small businesses. The tax credits provided by this legislation are temporary but crucial. They offer a five-year window for the newspaper industry to address challenges posed by Big Tech and other technological advancements. By standing together and emphasizing the importance of local news, we can ensure increased access to hometown news that we all rely on, while also bolstering local businesses through stronger advertising platforms.

To contact your legislators, visit Let us work together to support the Community News & Small Business Support Act and secure a brighter future for local newspapers and small businesses in our communities.

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