Local businesses that benefit from events and the recreational opportunities here in central Vermont, are a big part of the Mountain Times. Our pages are typically chock-full of photos and news related to the ongoings throughout our region — many of which happen at Killington, Pico and Okemo Mountains this time of year.
However, due to the social distancing all of us are now practicing to limit the spread of the coronavirus, all ski resorts have closed, nearly all events have been canceled or postponed (when possible), all dine-in restaurants have been shut down as have schools and many many other businesses have closed or significantly reduced operations as a result of those closures.
Consequently, marketing and advertising dollars have been curtailed, too.
That advertising funded our journalism.
That is why, this past weekend, we started reaching out to our readers to support our work. We sent out a newsletter and have a “donate” button now on our website.
Thus, far we’ve heard from lots of readers who have been happy to help and have left gratifying messages of support. We want to say a sincere “thank you” to each and every supporter. Whether giving $5 or $200, your act of support is truly inspiring and fuels us to do our best work.
While most readers have welcomed the opportunity, some have expressed concern for the vitality of the Mountain Times and we want to address that, too. Giving readers the opportunity to donate is not an act of desperation — VPR and VTDigger rely on reader/listener support and underwriters exclusively and are very successful — and it’s a common practice at many other newspapers throughout the country. Others, like the Mountain Times, the Addison Independent and Seven Days, have recently added the option in response to the closing of so many businesses and the consequent loss of advertising dollars.
The Mountain Times will continue to print its weekly paper, post news online and on social media and send out newsletters as we always have to keep our community informed during these trying times. We will do so, however, with limited staff — a decision that was incredibly difficult to make, but one we felt was the smartest thing to do as stewards of the Mountain Times. Being proactive will ensure the overall success of the business over the long term and will hopefully allow us, when this pandemic ends and businesses reopen, to be back at full strength.
If you value the Mountain Times and can afford to help us weather this storm, please consider making a one-time contribution or a recurring monthly payment by clicking the “donate” button here or at the top of our website mountaintimes.info.
Additionally, if you have a photo or story to share, we welcome your contributions! The Mountain Times is a reflection of the community it covers and the more we hear from you, the better we can accurately tell our collective story.
While no one knows how long the pandemic will last, we know it will be temporary. We look forward to once again helping local businesses market their assets, to promote events and to welcoming visitors back to our community!
Polly and Jason Mikula, co-publishers