Park Hill Donor Ponies Up Thousands For Newspaper Ad Blitz For BIPOC-Owned Businesses; Urges Others To Join
By Cara DeGette
It may be one man’s answer to that age-old query, Where’s the beef?
Or it may just be part care for the community, part support for a newspaper — plus a hefty dose of support for minority-owned mom-and-pop businesses.
A longtime Park Hill resident is ponying up thousands of dollars to subsidize six months worth of advertising in the Greater Park Hill News for two local BIPOC-owned businesses.
The donor, who has asked to remain anonymous, says he hopes others follow suit.
“It’s a very local action,” he said. “I don’t know that Black-owned businesses have really taken advantage of advertising. I care about the community, and I care about the newspaper, and I just thought that this is an opportunity to have some advertising.”
In a way, the donor said, the action could be viewed as a type of reparation, a creative way to support minority-owned businesses.
“It’s a little extension between those who have been fortunate and those who have less,” he said.
Several months ago the donor approached newspaper Manager Melissa Davis with the concept. Details for the new BIPOC ad grant program were finalized after some discussion. The donor will pay a total of $2,520 for display advertisements in the newspaper for two minority-owned businesses in northeast Denver. The 1/8th-of-a-page ads will appear monthly for six months. The first recipients of the ad grant will be announced in next month’s issue.
The owners will work directly with Davis and the newspaper’s design team to create display advertisements for their businesses. With a distribution of 13,000 copies, the GPHN reaches an estimated 40,000 readers every month. The ads from the grant are designed to reach potential customers who may not otherwise know about the businesses, as well as existing customers who may want updates and reminders about the businesses.
Maya Wheeler, executive director of the African Chamber of Commerce of Colorado, was heartened to hear about the BIPOC ad grant program.
“A lot of mom-and-pop businesses are so focused on day-to-day activities to keep afloat that they don’t focus on or think about advertising,” Wheeler said. “Often they don’t have the time or the money.”
Park Hill and surrounding neighborhoods are home to dozens of BIPOC and minority-owned businesses (see a partial list on page 8). Wheeler likened the concept of helping business owners see the value of advertising to the old adage of giving someone a fish for dinner versus teaching that person to fish so they can feed themselves and their families for a lifetime.
Wheeler said the timing of the program is particularly helpful. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, BIPOC populations have been disproportionately affected, and are more likely to get sick and also die from the disease. Minorities have also been disproportionately hit with loss of jobs and income, she said.
Davis, the newspaper manager, says she hopes the program will help to broaden the reach for Park Hill-area BIPOC-owned businesses, and help them reach more customers. She also hopes it results in a call to action for others to mobilize in an effort to broaden support for local BIPOC-owned businesses.
The ad grant is designed for minority owned business in northeast Denver, with particular consideration to those in Park Hill or have ties to Park Hill. If you are interested in participating in the program — either as a sponsor or a recipient — contact Davis at email@example.com.