The Southern Illinoisan announced Tuesday the launch of a local business stimulus program, which will offer matching marketing credits to local businesses to help them navigate the changes brought on by COVID-19.
The local business stimulus program comes on the heels of the highly successful local marketing grant program, in which The Southern provided more $85,000 in advertising support to local businesses.
"Things have changed, and our local businesses have lived this change over the past few months," Terra Kerkemeyer, publisher for The Southern, said in a letter to businesses. "Their customers are looking to do business with them in new ways, asking for new services and looking for new ways to connect every day. That’s why we stand ready to build on our commitment to help our businesses succeed with our local business stimulus program. With our large local audiences and world class digital services like text marketing, website design and managed email and search campaigns, we can put together the right combination to help our businesses not only tackle change, but thrive in it."
The program will be available to locally owned and operated businesses and will provide matching advertising credits for use in print and digital products, as well as the company’s broad suite of digital services such as website design, text marketing, managed email marketing and more.
Grants will range from $250 to $15,000 each month, and will be awarded in August, September and October. Applicants may apply online at https://bit.ly/SouthernStimulus.
"During these changing times, we believe each of us can do our part to help our community come through the other side of this pandemic, stronger and more able to tackle the challenges that lay ahead," Kerkemeyer said. "We ask that you continue to support our local business community in the weeks and months to follow."