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Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Proposed Pennsylvania Ad Tax Would Be a Dubious First in Nation

In Ad Tax, Competition, Rules&Regs on February 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Pennsylvania would make history if the Ad Tax — part of the Governor’s 74 count hit list on current, so-called “non-essential” goods and services — were to pass. And stay on the books. That’s because Florida, searching for “soft targets” to tax, actually passed such a measure several years ago. But the economic fallout was immediate and the devastation spilled beyond the imagination of the budget makers.

As a result, the Ad Tax was swiftly repealed. But in dire budgetary times, states succumb to collective amnesia or willfully ignore the critical Florida Ad Tax Lessons: Advertising has a demonstrable multiplier effect in the economy. Each dollar spent on advertising compounds activity across multiple direct and indirect tiers of the economy, in some cases ten-fold and more. The analysis is a Must Read.

The flip side of that complex equation is the chain reaction that follows decreased spending on Advertising: Lost Sales and Lost Jobs. And as we’ve learned from our Community Paper Publishers here in Pennsylvania, an Ad Tax will lead to steep reductions in Advertising from the Mom & Pop merchants already struggling on Main Street.


The Association of Free Community Papers Teams with Rotary International in Haiti Relief Efforts

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Gathered for their winter board meeting and also to complete the process to select their next Executive Director, the Board of Directors of the Association of Free Community Papers turned their attention to the needs of the Haitian community. The Board unanimously agreed to support the ongoing relief efforts of Rotary International District 7910 with $5,000 from its charitable fund.

“This is on top of, not instead of, our longstanding commitments to the March of Dimes,” said AFCP President, Orestes Baez. “The need in Haiti is staggering and immediate. I know many of our member publishers are offering support in their own ways, and we need to endorse those efforts at the national level. Support from the Association will help to keep our industry’s attention on our Haitian sisters and brothers after the camera crews pack their bags and coverage fades.”

“This is a perfect fit,” said Carol Toomey, AFCP’s Second Vice President and current District Governor of Rotary International District 7910. “We want to help the Haitian people when, where, and how they need it — not have money sit in a bank account. Those needs are constantly changing, and relief efforts have both short and long term challenges. Our District members had relationships with the ravaged community well before this cataclysmic event, and our friends on the ground are making real-time assessments. We’ve been able to convert dollars to vital material supplies stateside, and get them to the Hatian people at remarkable speeds. This hands-on network enables us to take incoming donations at District and translate them quickly into shelter, orthopedic supplies and even a device that sterilizes surgical tools and prevents infection,” Toomey said.

“Our members were there before this disaster, and AFCP’s generosity helps to ensure that we will remain throughout the rebuilding and beyond,” added Toomey. To date, the coordinated efforts of a multitude of partners helped to immediately shelter, feed and hydrate tens of thousands of displaced Hatian families in conjunction with ShelterBox and AquaBox. Medical needs have also been met with both the direct services of emergency teams and a warehouse of supplies. Doctors, nurses and other professionals arriving onsite have been met separately by air and container shipments of splints, casts, walkers, canes, crutches and other emergency medical supplies from District. “Going forward, continued support like AFCP’s remains essential for us to bolster the critical efforts of other longtime partners, including the Haitian Health Foundation, now serving the needs of throngs of refugees that fled Port au Prince for safety in the City of Jeremie,” Carol reminded.

AFCP selects new Executive Director, industry veteran Loren Colburn

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm

The Board of Directors of the Association of Free Community Papers, after a three-month selection process and in accordance with their by-laws, selected Loren Colburn, Publisher of the Scotsman Press, as the new Executive Director for the Association. The final presentations and the selection vote was completed during the Winter Board meeting in Florida. Colburn is past president of the Association and is currently the sitting Secretary-Treasurer. He replaces Craig McMullin, the long standing previous Executive Director, who tragically lost his life last year in an accident.

“We are very excited to have Loren Colburn in this key leadership position”, said Orestes Baez, current President of the Association of Free Community Papers. “Loren is the consummate professional and has the skill set and leadership strength to bring this organization through this most difficult chapter and up into new heights and direction. We thank all the candidates that gave us the opportunity to make this very important selection”.

Colburn emphasized several key items during his presentation to the Board. He mentioned improving the communication for the advertising network known as NANI as well as adding a banner ad network, a display ad network and an insert program. “Among the many priorities expressed by the Board over the past few years, focusing on expanding the revenue opportunities that helps AFCP provide more member benefits is a critical success factor for us going forward” said Colburn.

A strong community supporter, Colburn has served many boards in his community including the Syracuse Chapter of the March of Dimes. Colburn is a graduate of State University of New York and College of Cortland. He and his wife, Cindy, have three sons: Chris, Brian and Jeff. He will assume the role of executive director in six to eight weeks. Interim Executive Director Don Gimberline agreed to continue his role until Colburn assumes the leadership position.

The Association of Free Community Papers is the largest, national trade association of free community paper publishers.