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Our recommendations for local businesses during the current public health situation

As Coronavirus brings uncertainty to you, your business and local communities, we are committed to supporting you through this challenging time.
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How we are supporting local businesses through the lockdown

Local businesses like yours are vital to their communities and we are committed to supporting you through the nationwide lockdown. We are doing this in three ways:

1. Devoting additional space in all our newsbrands to highlight the creativity, generosity and bravery local businesses are showing during this difficult time through our #supportlocal initiative.

2. Creating special advertising and marketing solutions designed to help small businesses through this challenging time.

3. Offering expert advice to businesses - whether they are continuing to trade or not - on how to most effectively talk to the community, and get back on their feet once normal business resumes.

Here are 10 useful tips for your business: 
Place your phone number and email address prominently in your advertising, and include details about any delivery service that you offer.
If there have been any changes to your opening hours or public access, make this clear in your advertising. Even if there has been no change, remind customers of them anyway.
Include your professional credentials, customer testimonials, hygiene ratings and special offers in your advertising.
Communicate any changes in working practice that you’re making to safeguard customers’ wellbeing, or any offers to support them emotionally and financially, to increase perceptions of your business as a proactive and ethical brand.
Demonstrate social conscience with messaging that shows what you are doing to be of help to the community.
Be on the front foot with communications, preventing any speculation or misinformation about your business that could have a negative impact.
Consider how you could use video to showcase your offer remotely, e.g. estate agents can do virtual tours of homes and retailers can demo their products.
Keep customers updated on the status of any events you are running - if they are cancelled, if they are running virtually or even if they are continuing to go ahead.
Be thoughtful on tone-of-voice. Maintain empathy, be honest and avoid anything that may come across as insensitive. Be cautious about being overly optimistic.
Keep customers updated on stock that might be in high demand, e.g. hand sanitiser, toiletries or non-perishable food items.

 Why continue to advertise

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, locals still need your products and services more than ever, and should be made aware that you are able to help them during this critical period. So you need to publicise the fact that you are still trading, otherwise people may assume that you are not.

We want to be as flexible as we can to keep your business visible during this time. Please contact us to discuss your current challenges, as we have created special solutions for the situation that will give you additional exposure at a reduced price.

We're a trusted source of important information in your community

Increase in visitors to our online health pages from January to the third week of March1
Increase in total unique visitors between February 2019 and February 20202
Audiences trust our content 3x more than content on social media3
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Sources: 1 & 2 Google Analytics, compiled by JPIMedia, Mar, 2020; 3 YouGov/ Local Media Works, 2018
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