Colorado Press Association: Support local news while helping businesses, individuals and democracy

A bill currently before the Colorado House Business and Labor Affairs Committee would give tax credits directly to small businesses for advertising in local news and tax newspapers that subscribe to or donate to the news. local. After the past two years of economic blows and the erosion of democracy, this bill would provide significant relief to businesses, consumers and local news outlets – ranging from print and online newspapers to television programs. information on radio and television.

According to Coda Ventures’ 2022 Colorado Market Research, 81% of adults in Colorado read their local print or digital newspapers monthly and these are the most trusted sources of information. We depend on these media, as well as radio and television newscasts, to keep us informed about our communities.

No one else consistently and reliably informs us about local schools, safety, business openings, events, weather-related school and business closures, city council and council meetings. school board, and more. No one else reliably holds local officials accountable. Without these trusted institutions, our news diets and Facebook feeds would consist of (mostly polarizing and depressing) national news, rants from that crazy uncle, and breaking news about what a friend ate at breakfast. -to eat lunch. Local news not only keeps us informed, but also connects us to each other.

This same survey showed that local news advertising is effective; it’s great for business. Seven in 10 readers have taken action in the past month after seeing an ad in a local print or digital newspaper. These ads are some of the most powerful drivers for online searches and in-store purchases.

A survey found that 85% of people agree that “seeing a brand or product in New Brands gives me more confidence than it does.” Several third-party studies have shown that advertising in news brands is more effective than advertising on search engines and social media.

Nonetheless, when the pandemic hit, advertising was one of the first things small businesses had to cut. These tax credits will help them rebuild and expand their customer base through one of the most effective tools available: local news advertising.

But these tax credits do more than help new consumers and small businesses. They strengthen the institutions that are at the heart of the democratic fabric. Numerous studies have shown that local news decreases corruption, lowers the cost of local government, strengthens democracy, and brings in far more dollars for the public than is spent. We all have a vested interest in keeping local news vibrant and healthy.

This bill is not a handout from the government to the media. It allows individuals and small businesses to support local news that they believe best meets their needs. In doing so, they help us all stay better informed and connected, and they strengthen our democracy.

To learn more about the bill and how you can support it, you can visit the Colorado Press Association website at

Tim Regan Porter
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Tim Regan-Porter is the CEO of the Colorado Press Association, representing approximately 150 print and digital news organizations statewide. Tim lives in Denver with his wife, Leila, and daughter, Rosemary June. He was an editor and publisher of local and national magazines and newspapers and spent a decade in the early days of web development.