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Hollihan, WNA support local business at state capitol

By Press Times Staff

BROWN COUNTY – Local businesses are the backbone of a community – especially here in Northeast Wisconsin.

Mom-and-pop shops are owned and operated by fellow community members who support the local economy – yet many may not realize or acknowledge their true impact.

The same could be said for hyperlocal media.

The Press Times shrives to be the newspaper of the community – covering and writing about topics and people that make Brown County great.

Assembly Bill 762 is a classic two needs, one solution scenario. 

Under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees and less than $10 million in revenue would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $5,000 for advertising placed in Wisconsin-based media, including newspapers, radio and television stations and online news sites.

Press Times General Manager Mike Hollihan recently joined the Wisconsin Newspaper Association to speak in front of the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Ways and Means in support of the bill, which offers much-needed financial relief to local media and small businesses that have been pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The best way for local businesses to reach (their) intended audience is through local media,” WNA Executive Director Beth Bennett said. “The tax credit created by this legislation will make additional advertising dollars available to enhance local business messaging. Local advertising dollars will, in turn, sustain local journalism.”

Hollihan said AB 762 is a win-win scenario for small businesses and local media.

“Many locally-owned businesses barely survived the pandemic,” Hollihan said. “Several area businesses coming through the other side of the pandemic are focusing on making payroll and meeting day-to-day operations, and don’t have the additional funds for advertising. The longer local businesses lack monies to spend on local advertising, the more Amazon gains its foothold. These local businesses need this money now, and this bill helps provide that.”

The bill has gained support from several other state trade associations, including Wisconsin Community Papers, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, Wisconsin Dental Association, Wisconsin Grocers Association, Wisconsin Independent Businesses, Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

To date the proposal has also received bipartisan support, with 15 lawmakers signing on as co-sponsors.

The bill is now moving through the Senate’s Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue – as Senate Bill 834.

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