New legislation to support local newsrooms and local advertisers has been introduced in the 118th Congress. The Community News & Small Business Support Act was introduced by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-1), both members of the Ways and Means Committee.
The bipartisan legislation supports two institutions critical to sustaining hometown communities: local news organizations and small businesses. Much like the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which was introduced in the 117th Congress, the Tenney-DelBene Act makes refundable tax credits available to local newspapers of up to $25,000 per journalist in the first year and up to $15,000 per journalist in the next four years.
The Act also makes non-refundable tax credits available to local businesses that advertise with local newspapers of up to $5,000 in the first year and $2,500 in the next four years.
America’s Newspapers, along with other leading media organizations, has led the call for support of the local news industry through legislative efforts. All current members of America’s Newspapers will qualify for the tax credits proposed under the Tenney-DelBene Act. National news outlets are not eligible for these tax credits.
“Thank you to Congresswoman Tenney and Congresswoman DelBene for their dedication to both local news and small businesses," said Dean Ridings, CEO of America's Newspapers. “We could not have imagined having such strong congressional advocates, from both sides of the aisle, in our corner. In addition to the congresswomen, we would also like to thank all of the organizations that have supported America's Newspapers in these efforts, including the News/Media Alliance, the Rebuild Local News Coalition, dozens of state press associations and more."
“I am proud to be part of the America’s Newspapers team that worked hard to make this happen,” said Cameron Nutting Williams, regional publisher and chief revenue officer of Ogden Newspapers. Williams, who serves as president of America’s Newspapers, said this legislation will benefit local newspapers across the country, as well as their advertisers. “When newspapers are shuttered, that hurts local communities, leads to citizens being less informed by credible sources and hurts Main Street businesses. This legislation will provide much-needed support to local newspapers and businesses.”
Hometown news, unlike national media, is non-partisan and fundamental to the fabric of our local communities. The Community News & Small Business Support Act:
“As the former owner and publisher of the Mid-York Weekly, a local weekly newspaper, I understand how essential it is to support local newspapers and provide our communities with locally-sourced news,” said Tenney, the bill's sponsor. “The Community News and Small Business Support Act ensures that local newspapers can continue to deliver vital news stories that matter most to our communities while allowing for our small businesses to grow and our communities to stay informed. I am thrilled to introduce this bill alongside Congresswoman DelBene and will continue to advocate for local newspapers and small businesses.”
“In today’s digital world, access to trustworthy and reliable news is more important than ever. Local journalists and newspapers play a critical role in increasing involvement in civic institutions, identifying government corruption and decreasing polarization. Yet, this industry is struggling more than ever to keep the lights on,” said DelBene, the bill's original cosponsor. “The legislation we are introducing today would provide much-needed support for newspapers so local journalists can continue their invaluable work.”
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