Mike Beatty

Mike Beatty is the publisher of the Venice Gondolier and president of Adams Publishing Florida.

These are difficult times, and difficult times demand bold measures. That’s why we at Sun Coast Media Group, SUN Newspapers and YourSun.com are offering more than $2.5 million in free ads and advertising match packages to small and medium-sized businesses through the end of September.

We will match an advertiser’s investment up to $1,000 a month. This advertising match program will allow local business owners to run larger ads or run their ads more often to catch the attention of potential customers.

As the global and national economic impact of COVID-19 started to become clear, our team at Sun Coast Media Group knew we had to do something. Something local, but something big.

We knew we needed to support our loyal advertisers, but also support as many small and medium-sized businesses as possible. Whether they ever advertise with us or not.

We put our heads together and decided to infuse the markets we serve from Venice to Punta Gorda with a campaign of free ads reminding area residents that most local businesses are open for business. That is just the start.

The more we talked about it, the more it became clear we needed a strategy that would do more than a few hundred free “We’re Open for Business” ads. We needed a real economic stimulus that will impact the local economy by increasing the number of shoppers walking in the doors of local businesses and spending their hard-earned dollars during a challenging time.

Sadly, I had some previous experience with a similar stimulus program. In 2011, following a catastrophic EF-5 tornado that damaged or destroyed hundreds of businesses in my former community of Joplin, Missouri, my team rolled out a $1 million recovery program designed to get businesses back on their feet and get their doors open.

While the current situation we face is very different, the economic challenges for the owners of small and medium-sized businesses are very much the same.

Since announcing this program less than a week ago, hundreds of Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota County businesses have opted into the program. If you are a local business owner, reach out to your SUN Newspaper multi-media advertising executive for program details and to get started. If you don’t have an established relationship with us, let’s get one started. Contact your local Sun Coast Media Group advertising sales manager to take advantage of this stimulus program.

In DeSoto County, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda call Lissa Craig Ford at 941-205-6412, or email her at Lissa.craigford@yoursun.com.

In Englewood and North Port, call Liana Lazaridis call 941-681-3013, or email her at Liana.Lazaridis@YourSun.com.

In Venice and Southern Sarasota County, call Carol Moore at 941-207-1214, or email her at Carol.Moore@YourSun.com.


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