Businesses nationwide are in dire financial straits because of the coronavirus. Because cash-strapped businesses are spending less on advertising, that's hurting newspapers that rely on advertising revenue. In Michigan, "C&G Newspapers, a chain of 19 weeklies in Oakland and Macomb counties — where virus cases are growing rapidly — announced Saturday it is temporarily suspending print newspaper publication," reports Bridge, a nonprofit Michigan news publication.

The chain said it hopes to resume business with local advertisers soon and plans to resume print publication in two to four weeks. "The C&G announcement came hours after a Michigan Press Association bulletin described newspapers statewide as facing 'immense pressure' from lost advertising during the crisis," Bridge reports.

MPA encouraged newspapers to hang in there, and said the industry may seek government economic relief soon. The organization "said it had 'grave concerns' that disruption of newspaper delivery could threaten newspapers' long-term fight to maintain printed public notices from government bodies – an important source of revenue and transparent government," Bridge reports.

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog, commented on the notion of government relief for newspapers. "Over the weekend I got a call from an independent weekly newspaper that is facing another cut in pages due to the lack of ads, and wondering if it should solicit support from local governments to keep going," Cross said. "I said that is a slippery slope, but if the governments buy a reasonable amount of advertising to amplify valuable public-service messages, and the editorial department stays clear of the discussions, maintaining an arm’s-length relationship, I would find that acceptable on a temporary basis. And the newspaper should be transparent about it, telling readers that their tax dollars are being used to support it."