There seems to be a bit of buzz and much discussion recently about the return of living in “Pandemic Conditions.” I truly don’t know what else to call it and as we all weathered through it (some better than others), it’s most definitely causing a lot of talk.
Rather than get caught up in speculation and create more worry for myself than I already have, I reflected recently on some of the positives I’ve learned of post-pandemic.
The main one and inspiration for this piece came by way of support of local small business. Sadly, some were unable to sustain the storm of the shutdown, yet many refer to it now as a time they were grateful for the community support.
As of late as I’ve interviewed local businesses, many which have been in business for many years, without fail they reference back to the pandemic and how the community managed to support their businesses in such a major way.
Listening to the business owners, it makes me proud of our communities as they recognized the importance of helping and supporting our community businesses in a critical time.
Discussing this with a friend, I couldn’t help but mention that as the small-town local paper, I sometimes feel as if we’re the forgotten step child when it comes to supporting local business.
The reality is, first and foremost we’re the media, fair to say few give it any thought beyond that. However, we too are a small, local business.
In the fall of 2020, the corporation that formerly owned our Central Valley Publications decided it was time to cut ties and sell the California Division. Fortunately for those of us still committed to the craft and happy to be able to continue to serve the communities we love, they first approached our Publisher with the offer to buy the division. As good fortune would have it, he and his wife made the commitment to become print media owners and thus was born 209 Multimedia.
Since their acquisition a few of our offices, including ours, have had address changes; aside from that there has been little to no change that the reader would be aware of.
Yet there is one important change which a friend prompted was worth a (public) mention – we absolutely are a locally owned small business – no different than all those we supported during the pandemic.
Reflecting on this post conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder how our communities were supporting us. Watching my social media feed and friends reminding us to “shop local,” I couldn’t help but feel; hey, don’t forget us.
So that’s my simple and hopefully informative request. Traveling through your communities and doing your part to help your neighbors and community members in business, please remember us too.
Be it through a newspaper subscription, a 209 Magazine subscription or placing an ad for your local business we once featured in our pages, we appreciate you. Not only are our local papers locally owned, our staff members are all local as well. We live in the communities which we serve, which is honestly pretty special.
We love what we do and are grateful to still be able to do it. Small town news is truly something special and so are the communities which we serve. Thank you.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.