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Gray Stations Launch Free Directory for Local Businesses

Gray Television launched a campaign to promote local businesses that remain open during the coronavirus crisis.

The campaign is built around a free online directory of businesses that provides hours and other vital information for consumers.

About four dozen Gray stations have launched their own interactive directories in the past two weeks that feature about 4,500 businesses. The broadcaster expects to have over 10,000 businesses in the directory by the end of April.

Related: TV Station Marketers Are Up to the Coronavirus Challenge

Other stations have set up websites that identify open businesses. Local businesses can have individual web pages with interactive maps and links, including “we’re hiring” buttons.

A spot from WMC-TV in Memphis promoting the program, notes that “small business in the mid-south are facing a challenge like never before.” It said that WMC Action News 5 wants to help you reach your customers. . . .Best of all it won’t cost you a thing. This is a free service provided by you by WMC Action News 5 . . . We’ll get through this together.”

The campaign comes at a time when viewing is up at local stations, but advertising demand is down because of the restrictions surrounding the virus. Some stations are looking to persuade clients to continue to advertise to drum up business now to support their communities during the crisis.

Related: Virus Crisis Bringing Young Viewers to Local Broadcast

“The initial responses from participating businesses and from viewers have been tremendous,” remarked Bob Smith, Gray’s COO “We are thrilled to leverage our resources to help support our local communities not just with critical news and information but also with support for the businesses continuing to keep local communities functioning in these difficult times.” 

The business directories for all 93 markets can be found on Gray anticipates continued growth in the directories as additional markets launch and as all of its stations ramp up promotions. Gray intends to continue maintaining and promoting the local business directories for as long as they benefit the participating businesses.