Greetings Islanders and welcome back to our summer residents and guests. Some of you are coming home and others are just coming to visit, maybe for the first time. Either way, we are glad you are here.
Things have certainly changed in recent months in the Champlain Islands, across Vermont and throughout the United States. Who knew what impact the COVID-19 virus would have on our family, friends and businesses.
Our stores, recreational spots, restaurants and other businesses in the Grand Isle County region are all looking to bounce back. Some still have not been allowed to re-open.
At The Islander, we continue to have our share of struggles. Advertising, the life blood of any newspaper, had dried up. We are beginning to turn things around as businesses re-open and we continue cost cutting measures.
We recently kicked off a fund drive -- “The Friends of The Islander” -- to help save the newspaper. The Islander has been the number one source for news, advertising and community information for 46 years.
We greatly appreciate the financial support we have received from readers, fans, businesses and more. It is making a difference as we move forward.
As we reported earlier The Islander used layoffs (with the hope to re-hire valuable team members), pay cuts and reduced hours to stay afloat. We’ve cut costs and reduced expenses as best we could.
While The Islander will continue to print and also be alive on social media, we will be closing our office above Hero’s Welcome in North Hero as of June 30.
As more and more people are learning to work from home, we also have adjusted. We will be able to use the rent for other operational costs.
It was a very tough decision -- one I have struggled with over the past couple of months.
When I bought this paper several years ago, I searched for the perfect location. We have loved our spot overlooking Lake Champlain and being in the middle of a beehive with Hero’s Welcome, the Post Office, county courthouse and everything around us.
We have always enjoyed people stopping in with news tips, advertisement or just to chat. But in COVID-19 times those visits have stopped.
We still want to hear from you. You can reach us by calling 802-372-5600 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be glad to meet you at your business or at one of our fine Island establishments.
At some point we will have another Islander office. But it will be some time before our state and country is back to “normal” or close to it.
We hope for those that have not made a donation to the “Friends of the Islander” or are just hearing now about our fundraiser, that you will consider some amount this week.
You can do so by mailing a check to The Islander, 2355 US Route 2, North Hero, VT 05486 or on our website: theislandernewspaper.com
We thank you very much for your support. Your notes have meant so much to the team and me. We are incredibly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places with such amazing people. You, dear reader, are the fabric of our tightly woven community.