Take a deep bow. You successfully muddled through April 2020, and, I hope, in reasonably good condition.
In this column, I usually strike an optimistic tone. But there’s simply no denying the gravity, anxiety and even dread of the past couple of months. So here’s to a much better May ahead. Things have to begin to improve, right?
Since the crisis struck, many people have asked me about TheBurg. They want to know how we’re faring. First of all, thank you so much for all the kind words and wishes from the community. Your support is greatly appreciated.
In general, we’re doing well. But, like all small businesses, we’re concerned about the future and, as a news publication, even more so. This industry, as you may know, is in dire shape, now made only more critical by the general economic collapse.
To help get us through this time, we decided to launch—a little earlier than we had expected—our new membership program, Friends of TheBurg.
We started this program for several reasons: to integrate further into the community, to offer a framework for more events, to meet our biggest fans.
We also hoped for a new source of revenue, as, over the years, many people have asked how they could help support us, since all of our products and services are free to readers.
We never expected to make much money from the program, but we thought, best case, it might pay part of the salary of a new reporter. Then, we could serve this community even better.
That financial component has now become more critical. Starting in mid-March, as businesses closed and events cancelled, our ad revenue cratered, which is why we launched the program early.
So, if you can, I hope you’ll consider becoming a “Friend of TheBurg.” There are some nice benefits, as well, including a tote bag, free and discounted tickets and your name listed as a supporter in every issue of TheBurg magazine.
Please visit our website today and sign up. It’s very affordable!
Lastly, I make you this promise. When this crisis is finally over, when we successfully come out the other end, we plan to throw one fantastic party for our members and supporters. It will be a celebration of perseverance, endurance and community. We will all deserve it!
Lawrance Binda is co-publisher/editor-in-chief of TheBurg.