Mail Metro Media has partnered the Federation of Small Businesses to give 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises access to a £3m free advertising fund during the coronavirus pandemic.
The scheme kicks off on Wednesday and allows SMEs to apply for £3,000 worth of advertising to run across the business' print and online channels: the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro and i, and will be further supported with online ads running across MailOnline and Metro.co.uk.
The Mail is among a string of media owners setting up initiatives to help small businesses. This morning, Ocean Outdoor said that it has allocated £14m of free out-of-home ad space to small businesses and retailers.
Martin Smith, Mail Metro Media’s executive director of direct sales, said: "Businesses are facing the toughest challenges imaginable and we are committed to supporting them as best we can. As a company, we match our words with action, which is why we are providing £3m of free advertising for hundreds of SMEs, who are so vital to this country’s economy."
Small businesses have been struggling since the government launched a lockdown across the UK on 23 March and this impact is likely to be felt for a long time.
FSB national chair Mike Cherry said: "The Covid-19 pandemic is going to have an impact on businesses for months, if not years, to come and they now face a difficult future as they try to navigate through these challenging, unprecedented times.
"They will now need to think outside the box to attract new customers and take on a more proactive approach when it comes to marketing products and services. However, there can be a cost associated with this, leaving many small businesses with nowhere to turn."