At a restaurant, a bar, a concert, a play—and we will be at them again—you have immediate human interaction. You order from the server or from the bartender; you applaud the musicians or the actors; you enjoy the people you’re with. The same at a store, especially a smaller, locally owned business, where the owner may be present. You give immediate feedback. They see what you like and what you don’t.
A newspaper is different in the sense that we’re in our offices getting it ready, and then we put it out there for you to pick up or read online. But we don’t see you do that. We’re working on the next paper when this one comes out, and unless you call us up or write us a letter or an email or stop us on the street, we’re never sure what you think about what’s in the paper. We’re sort of flying blind and hoping we’re connecting.
That’s why your outpouring of contributions during this present crisis has been so heartening for us—a solidly tangible sustenance that has come to our rescue when our financial situation is most precarious. You, our friends, our families, people we know, people we don’t, have rallied to support us with your hard-earned money, freely given in a time of need. At the tightest point so far, your dollars enabled us to meet our payroll, our greatest expense for the heart of Flagpole: its skilled, dedicated and conscientious staff.
Meanwhile, our advertisers have hung in there to the extent they are able, even while their own businesses are devastated—which means that we help steer customers to them, while their payments help us to be here for them.
Flagpole has applied and been accepted for the national government’s Payroll Protection Plan. We don’t know how long it will take, but when that money arrives, it will see us through two months of payrolls. In the meantime, we continue to face not only payroll, but also rent, printing, insurance, utilities, maintenance and all the other monetary demands impinging upon a business.
In short, your contributions are still a welcome and vital help in keeping Flagpole going. You help assure that this locally owned, locally staffed and locally written newspaper can continue to knit our community together with the news we need to know.
There’s one other thing. Your contributions have not only helped Flagpole survive, you have lifted our spirits and encouraged us to hold on and prevail against this crisis. Sealed off from your immediate reactions to our journalism, we have felt the immediacy of your financial support, while your voices have broken through to tell us directly, in notes that accompany your contributions, that you appreciate and need Flagpole.
Thank you for all these encouraging words. Here is just a small sample from the many messages of support:
“From someone who left Athens 10 years ago who fondly remembers and still appreciates Flagpole. Keep on keepin’ on.”
“I count on Flagpole to know what’s happening in Athens. Keep it coming!”
“I can’t imagine an Athens without Flagpole. You help keep this community vibrant, and I hope you continue to do so for many years to come.”
“We appreciate, value and need you!”
“Flagpole is Athens. Stay strong and keep up the good work, guys.”
“Keep on truckin’!”
“Thank you Pete & Alicia & Larry, Anita, Jessica M., Blake, Jessica S., Zaria, Chris, Cody, Hillary and Gordon for your past and continuing dedication and effort to inform and entertain our beloved community. We are grateful for your creative and smart weekly now more than ever.”
Thank you all for your help and encouragement. We will need more before this crisis is over and we can figure out how to keep Flagpole going. You have helped us renew our resolve, and we are relying on you to continue helping us weather this storm. To donate, go to flagpole.com or mail checks to Flagpole, P.O. Box 1027, Athens, GA 30603. And thank you!
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