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Special Measures for Journalism Funding Burning a Hole in Your Pocket?

Here Are a Few Ways to Spend It by March 31 and Maximize Your Return

Apply for membership with MagsBC

MagsBC magazine members can access the following programs and services to help them not only survive but thrive:

  • Internship subsidy program: this provides up to 80% in subsidies, plus stipends to help recruit interns in areas outside major metropolitan areas. We should hear back about funding for this program shortly, but it will likely be approved. Your 20% could then be allocated by March 31.
  • Magazine coach program: this assists with the cost of hiring one or more experts to help you with your business, whether workflow, digital marketing, grant writing or some other area you feel you need help with. You would pay $100 for each consult, which also gives you an opportunity to try before you buy, i.e. get to know a consultant and decide whether you’d like to hire them to do additional work for you in the time remaining.
  • Read BC magazines campaign: we’ve applied for funding to promote our member magazines. Planning would start in June 2021, and the campaign launched by January 2022.
  • Five or more free registrations to MagsBC professional development sessions per calendar year, depending on the type of membership and, if applicable, the size of your magazine, as well as discounts on other prodev.

In addition, your dues help MagsBC to apply for more funding for various programs and services. Joining MagsBC also helps us advocate for the BC magazine industry, which then may help you even more, in a virtuous cycle.

Make your website accessible

The BC government will be bringing in legislation within a few months requiring public and private organizations’ websites to be accessible to the print-impaired within the next few years.

If you have SMJ funding available, this may be a way for you to get ahead of the curve rather than 2 years later when you may struggle to find (or compete for) funding to meet these requirements.

You could not only hire an expert, web tech or company to make your website more accessible but also to train you and your staff on how to keep it that way. (See our YouTube video here for a few basic ways you could make your website more accessible if you only have a little funding left.)

An accessible website may also bring you more readers, as according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, 2.4 million Canadians aged 15 and over at that time (about 6.6%) have a print disability and can access very little online.

Work on your Aid To Publishers funding eligibility

If you publish a controlled-circulation magazine, hire someone to help bring up the numbers to at least 3,500 direct request copies and 50% request copies to be eligible for Aid To Publishers funding in a couple of years. Even if they only get you part-way there by March 31, it’s a start, and once you’re in, it’s much easier to stay there if you’ve got more funds.

Alternatively, work on getting or increasing subscriptions. Even if you’re mostly a controlled circulation magazine, increasing your paid copies to 3,500 per year (if you publish 10 issues a year, this means only 350+ subscriptions per issue) may make you eligible for funding within a couple of years if you meet the other criteria.

If you’re a digital magazine, spending more now on Canadian content–not only text, but images, video and audio (with some accompanying text), design, and translations–can net you more of the ATP pot later.

Note also that there are eligibility exceptions under ATP’s paid circulation/subscription magazines criteria for official language minority, Indigenous, ethnocultural and LGBTQ2+ magazines.

Hire an accountant or grant writer to help you apply for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant by March 31

This $300 million BC grant program offers up to $30,000 to businesses (including sole proprietors) plus a tourism-related business top-up (like tourism, restaurant and event magazines) of up to $15,000.

Your business must have had a 70% reduction in revenues in a 4-week period between March and April and a 30% reduction in another 4-week period between May and September; we expect many magazines that saw their advertisers cancel in droves will be able to meet this requirement handily.

This funding can be used for anything that you identify as needed for your recovery, including rent, overhead, etc., so it’s actually very flexible.

We’re working on a blog post right now to give you some tips on applying for this funding more easily and quickly.

Got any other great ideas for spending SMJ funding? Feel free to share with us and we’ll post it here.

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