First Things First: A Year? Time indeed does fly
It has been a year since Barb and I purchased the Kemper County Messenger. Is that crazy or what?
It has been a struggle at times for sure, but both of us agree that the response we have received from readers of the Messenger and the community as a whole has been encouraging. And encouragement most certainly has been needed.
On Oct. 8, 2021, the day after our first issue as owners of the paper, the person we had partnered with in this project unexpectedly pulled out. After prayer we decided to continue in the quest for as long as we could. By the end of December it looked like we had hit a wall we could not dig under, knock down, or climb over. But once again our prayers were answered. This time in the form of a handful of business leaders who stepped up, giving advice, direction, and support by purchasing advertising. That was a game changer.
Now, here we are nine months later and things do look a little brighter. Like all small businesses we are scrambling to keep our heads above water, but we aren’t sinking.
Let me share a few encouraging notes about the last 12 months:
— Since our first week as owners Barb and I have gone from mailing out 646 papers each week to 807. That’s a growth of nearly 30 percent.
— We have increased from less than 50 percent on our over-the-counter sales to an average of nearly 70.
— Several local businesses have taken a step of faith and become regular and LOYAL advertisers and have even encouraged others to take part. More than one of these business owners have told me they are convinced that people are seeing the advertising and it is making a difference in their business.
— Community leaders and businesses are stepping up to place their business card ads on our Devotional Page or elsewhere in the paper.
— Just last week we began our new Athlete of the Week feature. In just two weeks we are up to 17 sponsors who view this as a great way to show their support for the community by encouraging our local athletes, who are your children, grandchildren, and neighbors.
So yeah, it’s been a struggle at times. But every time somebody stops my wife and I and tells us how much they appreciate the paper and look forward to getting it each week it keeps us going one more day.
Every community needs a good newspaper that is worth picking up. We hope that’s exactly what you find in The Kemper County Messenger each week.