East Texas businesses can now apply for a grant to help them recover from impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. M. Roberts Media, the parent company of The Marshall News Messenger, has established a $1 million Community Marketing Fund to help local businesses get back to full strength by subsidizing local marketing efforts through matching advertising dollars.
“We know area businesses and workers have been significantly impacted; we have, too,” said Stephen N. McHaney, president of M. Roberts Media. “But we know that helping each other is how a community can weather a crisis like this. We want to do everything we can to help our community get through the pandemic and get back to work. With these matching grants, we can help local businesses tell their stories as they rebuild.”
“This is another way the News Messenger is stepping up to help local businesses survive during these tough times,” said Jerry Pye, publisher of The Marshall News Messenger.
Businesses operating in Marshall and area markets can apply for a grant of up to $15,000 at mrobertsmedia.com/communitygrant/ . Justin Wilcox, chief revenue officer for M. Roberts Media, said applicants will receive a response to their application within two to three business days.
The fund is open to all locally owned and operated businesses impacted by the coronavirus, Wilcox said, regardless whether they are current advertisers. Grant money can be used for local print and online advertising in the News Messenger and on marshallnewsmessenger.com between April 1 and June 30.
The program comes as area leaders have been calling on residents to support local businesses to keep them afloat during this difficult time. McHaney said the grants aim to do that as a means of keeping the community strong.
“As a family owned business for three generations, we have learned that the only way to pull through the hard times is to stand with our partners and customers,” he said. “We are proud to offer this assistance to the local businesses that form the backbone of the communities where we publish.”
In addition to the News Messenger, M. Roberts Media owns and operates the Longview News-Journal, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Victoria Advocate, Panola Watchman and Kilgore News Herald. It also owns M. Roberts Digital, a full-service marketing agency serving East Texas and Victoria; commercial printing and distribution services; events production and marketing; and other products serving South and East Texas.