The Douglas County Sentinel has established a $100,000 fund to help local businesses get back to full strength by subsidizing their marketing through matching grants.

Area businesses can now apply for a grant to help them recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachael Raney, publisher of the Newspapers of West Georgia, said that at least 13 businesses have so far applied and been approved for the grant.

“We are excited about our advertising grant program and willing to invest to help subsidize local marketing through matching grants,” Raney said. “While your resources may be limited at this time, it is critical to communicate with your customers.”

The fund is open to all locally owned and operated businesses impacted by the coronavirus, whether they currently advertise with the newspaper or not.

Grant money can be used for local print newspaper, special product and digital advertising between April 20-June 30. Grants are available for a minimum of $200 and up to $5,000 of matching funds each month.

For example, if a business spends $200 in advertising, the newspaper will match this money with a $200 grant in additional advertising dollars, to equal $400.

Business owners can fill out an online application on the Sentinel website. Applicants will receive a reply within 48 hours. The link to apply for the grant is https://douglascountysentinel.com/live-content/form-advertising-match-program/.

“We understand that businesses are hurting, and we are, too,” Raney said. “So, if we pull together as a community, we can weather this. Together, we will stand stronger.”