You’re not alone
If you’ve been following this newsletter lately, you already know about LION’s News Entrepreneur Academy courses on accounting basics and financial management, and this fancy financial planning spreadsheet that I think every news founder should use.
These resources can go a long way toward making finance less intimidating – but you might still feel like you want someone to sit down with you and make it all make sense.
The good news is that you’re not alone, and finding the help you need might just be a matter of knowing where to look. Here are a few ideas for where to get started based on my own digging here in Oregon, where I live:
1. Small business development centers. SBDCs are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration specifically to support entrepreneurs through mentorship programs, in-person and virtual classes, and other business services. SBDCs also exist practically everywhere, with 20 of them in Oregon alone. You can find one near you here.
2. Community organizations and nonprofits. I was surprised by how many local nonprofits I found that offer small business advising as part of their broader mission, including organizations like APANO that serve a specific cultural community and Mercy Corps Northwest that focus on supporting women and immigrant founders. It’s worth looking around to see what’s available in your area.
3. Small business incubators and accelerators. Another surprise: It’s not just the venture capital world that offers months-long startup programs to help new businesses launch and grow. The Portland Incubator Experiment, for example, has helped hundreds of the smallest small businesses get off the ground, including a digital publication focused on Latino engagement.
4. Chambers of commerce. I’d always thought of my my local chamber of commerce as a political lobbying group (spoiler: they kinda are), but I learned that they also offer free small business advising and scholarships for a yearlong course with the local SBDC. You can search for your community’s business chamber in this national directory.
5. Community development financial institutions. CDFIs are best known for providing business loans and grants in low-income communities, but some of them, like MESO, also offer small business education and advising. This search tool is a good way to find CDFIs that operate in your state.
Of course, LION membership is another way (perhaps the very best way 😉) to access personalized business support through programs like the LION-GNI Sustainability Audits, the GNI Startups Labs and our 1:1 revenue coaching.
You can learn more and apply for LION membership here, and follow this newsletter for updates on our 2023 programming.
– Ben DeJarnette, newsletter writer, and the LION team
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11 resources for independent publishers
LION is hiring for three positions as we continue to scale up our support of publishers in the U.S. and Canada:
Now here are 11 resources and upcoming opportunities for independent publishers:
1. Learn how to partner with a local college or university at one of eight training and organization sessions around the U.S. (March 27-August 6)
2. Make better sense of your newsletter metrics. ONA is hosting an idea swap for newsletter professionals about setting metrics and tracking success. (March 29)
3. Find a career opportunity with LION member LAist or another public media outlet at the Public Media Virtual Career Fair. (March 29)
4. Level up your leadership skills. The Maynard 200 Fellowship is a tuition-free professional development program for leaders, storytellers, frontline editors/managers, and media entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds. (Deadline: March 31)
5. Get funding for business journalism. The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism provides experienced journalists with grants up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce deeply reported enterprise and investigative business stories. (Deadline: March 31)
6. Make your work more efficient at this SCORE workshop on how to use Google Workspace tools as a small business. (April 4)
7. Prepare to apply for a small business loan at this one-hour workshop with a small business expert. (April 13)
8. Run a more efficient business with five strategies from expert presenters at this SCORE workshop. (April 25)
9. Contribute to industry research by completing this five-minute survey about your social media and audience strategies.
10. Build trust by publishing corrections. Trusting News has found that most readers don’t think journalists care about getting it right – but publishers can show they’re committed to accuracy by being clear and consistent with their corrections.
11. Get support implementing Google Analytics 4. The Google News Initiative is offering monthly webinars and individual office hours to help publishers migrate to GA4.
What we’re reading
Turning tides. Why the momentum in digital media is shifting “from the big and flashy to the smaller and sturdier.” (The Rebooting)
Good news. How a Black-owned news site is building an audience and growing revenue around positive content. (Better News)
Glocal news. How a national climate news site is building on its successful partnership with a local NPR affiliate. (Grist)
Staying power. How a podcast founder restructured his business to make it more sustainable and keep himself from burning out. (Los Angeles Times)
Growing pains. Why Morning Brew and its advertising-based revenue model face choppy waters while subscription businesses continue to grow. (Simon Owens’s Media Newsletter)
LIONs in the news
Poynter has announced the latest cohort for its Leadership Academy for Women in Media, and leaders from four LION member organizations are among this year’s class:
- Auditi Guha, Chittenden County Editor, VTDigger
- Pu Ying Huang, Photo Editor, Texas Tribune
- Zainab Shah, Director of Engagement and Audience, The City
- Lauren Kaljur, Audience Engagement Editor, Discourse Community Publishing
Congrats to these LION members and the rest of the cohort!
In other LION member news…
- East Lansing Info has begun its search for a new executive director as part of a transition that will allow founder Alice Dreger to spend more time on reporting.
- El Tímpano, Enlace Latino NC, and Conecta Arizona are featured in this report about how community-centered outlets empower and inform Latinos.
- Richland Source is hiring a reporter to contribute to its solution-focused coverage and community engagement in Mansfield, Ohio.
How to reach us
When you reply to this email, we all receive it and you’ll hear back from one of us. You can also email us directly at [email protected].