Newspaper Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Missouri Press Association is collecting resources we think will be useful to you in these trying times.

Google announces Journalism Relief Fund

Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times. Today, it plays an even greater function in reporting on local lockdowns or shelter at home orders, school and park closures, and data about how COVID-19 is affecting daily life.

But that role is being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19. The Google News Initiative wants to help by launching a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally. The funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and will range from the low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.

Starting today, publishers everywhere can apply for funds via a simple application form. We’ve made this as streamlined as possible to ensure we get help to eligible publishers all over the world. Applications will close on Wednesday April 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. At the end of the process, we’ll announce who has received funding and how publishers are spending the money.

The PPP provides up to $349 billion in loans to small businesses to help them pay their employees during the Coronavirus crisis. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months; but loans will be forgiven if they are used to cover payroll costs and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made. Employee and compensation levels have to be maintained.

An updated (4/15) FAQ from the National Newspaper Association is here. New guidance is coming daily from the federal government on how the Payroll Protection Program is supposed to work. One new stipulation is Treasury Department’s decision that the borrowers have to begin spending the loan money within 10 days of receipt of the funds.

Click here for an SBA summary of the program
Click here to view a sample application form

As you would with any other business lending decision, do not hesitate to reach out to your local lender or accountant with questions and to ask for advice. They are the best equipped to answer questions about how your business can best utilize the loans being made available through this emergency funding.

Linked here is a graphic comparison of SBA loan options put together by the Missouri Bankers Association.The American Bankers Association has an explanation on the Treasury’s guidelines for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program here. Applications will begin April 3.

A spreadsheet of SBA lenders in each state is here. SBA divides Missouri into Kansas City and St. Louis regions.

As you would with any other business lending decision, do not hesitate to reach out to your local lender with questions and to ask for advice. They are the most knowledgeable to answer questions about how your business can best utilize the loans being made available through this emergency funding.

Coronavirus Emergency Loans Checklist (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

News Media Alliance Guide to CARES Act

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (Small Business Administration)

We also want to encourage you to visit America’s Newspapers’ website for the free webinars they are making available. These webinars cover a range of topics and many of them focus on how you can generate revenue. You can access the webinars here:

Solutions from NNA for problems created by COVID-19

MPA Hotline Attorney Jean Maneke has revised her legal opinion concerning the publication of legal notices during the time of crisis caused by the coronavirus. Please use the linked opinion for your future reference.

You can also find it here:

During the pandemic, Missouri Press Association has had numerous calls in regard to newspapers which have faced a financial crisis in maintaining operations during this period of shut-down of many businesses and the diminution of advertising that has resulted from the current crisis.

This memorandum is an attempt to address questions newspapers have posed regarding their operations, including changing frequency of printed issues or attempts to move publishing online.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jean Maneke at (816) 753-9000 or MPA Executive Director Mark Maassen at

Missouri Public Notice Legal Opinion

A message from National Newspaper Association

NNA has issued a position paper to help Congress understand the urgent need to help community newspapers through the uninvited business interruption caused by COVID-19.

Congressional leaders are this week putting together an extension of the Payroll Protection Program loan assistance. More than 70% of small businesses have applied for these loans — the money may run out.

Congress also can help by requiring federal advertising dollars to be directed to local communities where they are most needed.

Now, your industry needs your help. Please take a look at our position paper (here), and get it into the hands of your entire Congressional delegation — senators and representatives. You don’t need a long cover letter. Just tell them: help! Newspapers are doing their parts in the communities. Congress must support this work.

You can also find the position paper here:

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