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Stronger Newspapers are good for local businesses

Urge Congress to pass the Community News and Small Business Support Act

A bipartisan bill, the Community News and Small Business Support Act, has been introduced in Congress to help both newspapers and local businesses that have faced economic challenges in recent years.
Local newspapers make a difference in their communities, and that’s why Claudia Tenney, a New York Republican, and Suzan DelBene, a Washington Democrat, introduced the bill.
According to the bill authors, hometown news, unlike national media, is non-partisan and fundamental to the fabric of our local communities.
However, local newspapers, like other small businesses, continue to face significant economic challenges. On average, two newspapers are closing each week in the United States. 
The act would save local reporting jobs in community newsrooms by allowing local newspapers to maintain newsroom staff through a series of payroll tax credits. Here’s how it works:
•A five-year refundable tax credit is available to local newspapers and other local media to use for the compensation of journalists. The credit may be used on compensation up to $50,000 a year.
•The credit covers 50 percent of compensation, up to $25,000, in the first year and 30 percent of compensation, up to $50,000, in the subsequent four years. 
•A local newspaper may claim up to $25,000 per journalist in the first year and up to $15,000 per journalist per year in the next four years.
The act strengthens main street businesses by allowing businesses that invest in local newspaper advertising a non-refundable tax credit based on their advertising investment. The more they advertise, the stronger their business.
•This five-year non-refundable credit provides businesses with fewer than 50 employees up to $5,000 in the first year and up to $2,500 in the subsequent four years to spend with local newspaper and local media.
•The credit covers 80 percent of advertising costs in the first year and 50 percent in the next four years. To receive the full $5,000 in the first year, a business will have spent at least $6,250 on advertising in local newspapers and local media. 
The act fosters healthier communities by increasing access to information that reflects hometown values.
More local reporting means more access to hometown news citizens rely on, and stronger newspapers mean stronger advertising vehicles for local businesses.
We encourage you, our readers, to contact legislators and urge them to enact this legislation. For Rock County, our federal legislators are:
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 425 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510,
202- 224-3244
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, 720 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510,
202- 224-5641
U.S. Rep. Brad Finstad, 1605 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, 202-225-2472

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