SUBSCRIBE We are providing free community access to critical and urgent COVID-19 pandemic information relating to public health, safety and security. To access our full COVID-19 coverage, subscribe to our digital or print products for as little as 43 cents a day.

Never has the old adage “Think globally, act locally” been more true. As we all battle the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus, the effects are very much local. And we all need to think about addressing it in that way.

Our collective first responsibilities are to stay as healthy as possible, help our family, friends and neighbors stay healthy, help keep our co-workers and work environment safe, and do what we can to help those in need persevere through the pandemic and its economic effects.

Many in our community have the ability to work remotely — usually from home. And those folks are doing their part to stay physically remote in order to help slow the spread of the virus. Others must work at their physical workplace due to the nature of their work.

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While health care workers are on the front lines, caring for those who are sick, there are many other heroes in our midst. First responders, grocery store workers, delivery personnel, those working in production environments, among others, are our new heroes in this challenging world. We salute them and appreciate them.

Local newspapers (and the journalists who work here) are also front and center in the battle. As a member of those organizations identified by government at all levels as an “essential business,” our team at TH Media is working to report the latest news, get information from local leaders and businesses, and share all this via digital and print media around the clock. We are gratified by all the notes and calls of appreciation from the community. Thank you.

As most know, we’ve put the critical and urgent COVID-19 pandemic information relating to public health, safety and security on our website for free. And we introduced a free daily email with COVID-19 updates. While “free” is not a good long-term business model (nor is it reflective of its true value), we do this as one way we can contribute to slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

But we are always looking for additional ways to help the community in times of need, and we wanted to do something for our partners, the local business community, as well.

So today we are introducing our new Community Advertising Grant Program, providing up to $1 million in matching advertising funds across our entire Woodward Community Media division. This includes the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, weekly publications in the Eastern Iowa Media Group, shoppers in southwest Wisconsin counties, and Unified Newspaper Group in suburban Madison, Wis.

These matching fund grants are open to all locally-owned small businesses in the tri-state area community, ranging in value from $250 to $10,000. They can be applied to any Woodward Community Media publication during the months of April, May or June. It’s easy to apply. Simply go to https://woodwardcommunitymedia.com/grant, enter a few pieces of information, and you’ll be contacted within one to two business days with a response.

We’ve already gotten some great feedback on this program. Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce President Molly Grover said, “I want to thank TH Media for this generous and creative grant program. For over 150 years, this locally-owned and operated business has demonstrated the meaning of being ‘community-minded.’

"Today, when we are all faced with unprecedented challenges, supporting local businesses has never been more important.”

While we take steps to help the community by providing free access to critical health and safety information and matching local businesses dollar for dollar with this new Community Advertising Grant program, we hope you will support us (and encourage your friends and family to do the same) through your print and digital subscriptions.

We are all in this together. And our employee-owners are proud and happy to help our readers, our local small businesses and our community. We look forward to the day when we can put this behind us.

In the meantime, we’ve got your back.

Email Bob Woodward at Bob.Woodward@wcinet.com.