By Heather Ibbetson

Few could have anticipated the widespread effects that COVID-19 would have on businesses across the country. Minimized staffing and customers followed by lockdowns strained both large and small businesses alike. Many local businesses searched for new forms of media to spread the message that they were still open. Despite the nationwide economic challenges, one business decided to help reduce the sting of COVID-19. 

Stingray Radio, which operates over 100 radio stations across the country, introduced a Stimulus Plan that was accessible to businesses nationwide. All local Canadian businesses, regardless of sector, were eligible for the grant. After completing an online application, businesses could receive grants ranging from $1000 to $100,000. The Stimulus Plan initially allocated 15 million dollars to helping businesses. However, that number has now grown to over 20 million dollars.  Grants were delivered in the form of radio advertising and businesses can select regional and timing preferences. 

The impact of Stingray’s generosity has also been felt locally. Stingray Radio operates two radio stations in Fredericton, Up 93.1 and New Country 92.3. According to Paul Wentzell, General Manager of Stingray Radio in Fredericton, almost every business in the city that applied has received a grant. In total, 164 Fredericton businesses received the grant and have begun advertising on the local radio stations. 

With millions of listeners each day, advertisements on any one of Stingray’s radio stations can have a significant and positive impact on a business. As a result, Stingray Radio has a diverse assortment of customers, with local businesses comprising a significant portion of the customer base. 

“Local businesses are our backbone, so we really wanted to do something to help,” said Wentzell. 

Stingray’s stimulus plan had an additional benefit: there were no strings attached. Businesses with no prior affiliation with Stingray were equally considered and will have no obligation in the future to advertise on Stingray radio. In fact, many grant recipients had never advertised with Stingray prior to the stimulus plan. Non-profit and charitable organizations are also eligible for funding, which highlights Stingray’s commitment to both local businesses and communities. 

Paul stated that all local recipients have been very grateful. “We are glad to help out any local business during these challenging times…this has been a very positive experience” 

According to the official Stingray Stimulus Plan website, businesses can still apply for the grant but should be aware that grant resources and timing options are extremely limited. 

So, make sure to listen to Up 93.1 and New Country 92.3 and join Stingray in supporting our local Fredericton businesses! 

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