Press Releases

WCNY celebrates local businesses across Central New York with new Impact Giveback Program

WCNY celebrates local businesses across Central New York with new Impact Giveback Program; promoting business resilience, recovery, revival

WCNY, Central New York’s community-owned flagship public broadcaster, is pleased to launch its Impact Giveback Program, celebrating local businesses across Central New York that have shown resilience while surviving the COVID-19 pandemic—and are preparing to come back strong.

In partnership with Ithaca College, WCNY invites businesses across the region to apply to the program, which will provide $800,000 in video production, digital marketing, WCNY TV and radio underwriting, print advertising, and more to support business efforts to revive and thrive in a post-pandemic economy.

“After a challenging year for many businesses, WCNY is pleased to provide its services to those who have shown resilience and a commitment to their communities,” said Mitch Gelman, WCNY President & CEO. “As a public broadcaster for 19 counties across the region, we hope this community-wide initiative will give businesses a lift as they transition into a post-pandemic world this summer and into the early fall.”

In the coming weeks, WCNY will select 60 local businesses or business districts from across the region, including the Oswego-Fulton, Auburn, Ithaca-Cortland, Greater Syracuse, Utica-Rome, and other areas between the Finger Lakes and Thousand Islands. The marketing and promotional services provided as part of the WCNY Impact Giveback Program are intended to jump-start recovery in individual businesses while stimulating the CNY economy in the months ahead.

To apply, visit Applications will be accepted until May 28.

“Ithaca College and WCNY share a community service mission. We are excited to participate in this innovative, wide-ranging, and community-focused program,” said Alka Bramhandkar, interim dean at the Ithaca College School of Business. “Through this collaboration with WCNY, Ithaca College will be able to expand its outreach footprint in Central New York, adding value on a grassroots level while providing deep and meaningful opportunities for our students.”

Impact Giveback Business and Marketing Services
The businesses selected will be featured in three, WCNY special televisions shows in which a local leader will take viewers on a tour of their area, meeting business owners and discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy while explaining how local businesses are fighting back.

On Air Spots
Profiles of individual businesses will air 10 times during the month they are featured on WCNY.

Digital Marketing
Each of the businesses selected will receive a digital marketing kit, including graphics that can be used on their websites and social media. The businesses will also be listed on the Impact Giveback Program website, and will receive recommendations on the best ways to deploy the digital assets.

Print Promotions
Businesses will be highlighted in WCNY’s CONNECT magazine.

Criteria to Apply:

  1. Applicants must have less than 75 employees.
  2. Applicants must demonstrate a consistent commitment to serving the local community.
  3. Applicants must have shown resilience in surviving the pandemic, with an eye toward coming back strong.
  4. Applicants must be located in one of these 19 counties: Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Ostego, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins, Wayne, Yates.
  5. Applicants must fall into one of these sectors: Dining, Arts & Culture, Hospitality, Retail, Local Services, Other

Match Qualification
Even if they are not selected as one of the 60 businesses in the program, all applicants will be eligible for a 50-percent match for underwriting on WCNY through the end of 2021 (some restrictions may apply).

The selection committee will include representatives of WCNY, the Ithaca College School of Business and local chambers of commerce.

About WCNY
WCNY was founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York. Today, it is a community-owned media company that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted email content, the WCNY CONNECT member magazine, and social media. Through online stream technology, WCNY has a global broadcast audience of viewers and listeners throughout the United States and 17 countries. WCNY operates five digital, pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations. Towers are located in Watertown and Utica, and WCNY’s radio programming extends into Canada. Classic FM is one of a few radio stations in the world dedicated to locally programmed classical music.

Educational services include the TV Classroom Network, workshops; a 10,000 square-foot building with dedicated Education Center; Read Out, a radio reading service for the visually impaired; Enterprise America for middle school students; and a media and marketing communications program for high school students.

About Ithaca College
Ithaca College began as a music conservatory in 1892, helping young musicians hone their talents into professional-caliber skills. In the decades since, IC has grown into a residential liberal arts college with five schools and over 100 degree programs. Our students gain knowledge and confidence through a continuous cycle of learning, trying, and doing—with access to professional labs, studios, equipment, and research opportunities.
As a mid-size, nationally-ranked college, college, IC offers students opportunities for personalized attention in every academic program and engagement in a wide variety of campus activities. Students join a welcoming community of 6,200 undergraduate and 470 graduate students that offers more than 200 student clubs and organizations.

◄ Back to News