March 25, 2020
Our Valued Readers,
We are always ‘working ahead’ in our world. Our newspapers are written, designed, printed and sent to the Post Office up to two weeks prior to you receiving it in your mailbox. With particularly fast-moving news like what is going on today with COVID-19, we are now pushing relevant, timely news articles to our website www.MyHyperlocalNews.com and our Facebook page Facebook.com/yourupperwestsider. Don’t worry, we are still printing and mailing; however, with so much happening so quickly, we want to be sure to keep you as informed and up to date as possible.
You may notice that this issue is significantly lighter in pages. Much of the content that we had prepared to share with you has changed – and is continuing to change on a daily, and even hourly basis. We have removed our ‘Things to Do’ events calendar. Our popular ‘Getaway’ section has been pulled, as families are being asked to not leave their homes. New businesses that were scheduled to open have had to push back their openings to later or undetermined dates. Charitable fundraisers, food festivals, local theaters and more have all cancelled events – all of which were stories we had planned to share with you.
Additionally, some bars and restaurants, gyms, retail stores and more have all been forced to temporarily shut their doors. All this to say, that we have lost a large portion of our advertisers virtually overnight. As a free publication (not subscription based), our ONLY source of income is advertising dollars. These dollars are used to pay our designers, writers, printing, postage and everything else that goes into bringing you local news each month.
As you may have heard, newspapers and magazines, both locally and across the country have been dramatically affected by COVID-19. Many have been forced to enact large pay cuts, lay off workers and worse yet, close their doors entirely. To call what’s happening in our industry a ‘crisis’ would be an understatement. Eculeus Group Publishing is locally owned and operated – we are not national, corporate, franchised or syndicated. We are one of the last hyper-local newspapers doing it all with a small but scrappy team of two incredible designers, a handful of Marketing Consultants and one writer. We have no intention of laying off our team and will do everything in our power to ensure that it never comes to that. As the Publishers, we feel a tremendous responsibility to continue to provide them a stable income, and a ‘home’ they can count on. We are a family here at Eculeus Group; from our staff, to our advertisers, to you – our readers.
We pledge to continue to fight to bring you hope and positive news that affects you where you live. You can get your up to the minute world disaster news from anywhere; phone, tablet, tv, radio, computer…even some of your refrigerators. To survive, you need more than that. You need a little ray of sunshine that reminds you that we will get through this. That is what we are here for.
If you have enjoyed reading our papers, there are two tremendous ways that you can help our efforts and keep us going:
1. Support our Advertisers
The advertisers that sprinkle our pages each month are small business owners, in many cases your neighbors, who are working to continue to serve you in socially responsible ways. If you feel that you could use their services, please reach out and make sure to let them know that you found them in Upper Westsider.
If you can afford to do so:
• Order takeout from locally owned restaurants
• Shop online from local stores offering delivery or curbside pickup
• Purchase gift cards to use at a later date
• Tip a little extra
There are even ways to support without spending a penny:
• Leave businesses a positive review online
• Recommend them on NextDoor or other in community groups
• Like and share their social media posts
2. SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS
Bringing you a quality publication each month takes long hours, dedication and a passion for supporting both the business owners and residents that make up our community. It also takes money. Each month we publish six newspapers, just like this one, that we direct mail to wonderfully unique communities throughout the north valley. With each issue, we touch 120,000+ homes and countless lives – at absolutely no cost to you, the reader. We will always be a free publication to the community; however, we are humbly asking for your support. We know many of you are worried about your own finances and we absolutely get it. We, like you and like many of the businesses we write about, are not immune to the dramatic downturn caused by this pandemic. However, if you believe in our mission and protecting independent media, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to our cause. You may do so at www.MyHyperlocalNews.com. Regardless, we truly appreciate you welcoming us into your home each month.
None of us were prepared for what came so quickly, and this is undoubtedly changing all of our lives in one way or another. This means that now, more than ever, we need to practice what we preach: COMMUNITY. We as neighbors need to pull together to support one another. It may be as simple as sharing the fruit from your backyard, checking on an elderly neighbor or donating to the charities that are on the front line of this.
You can bet that we will be here fighting to keep you informed now, and when all of this is over… because this city and everyone in it is worth it. Remember to be socially responsible and do your part to help stop the transmission of this virus. But most importantly, simply be kind to one another – we are all in this together. Take care of yourselves and your families.
With our sincerest gratitude,
Brian and Natasha Beal