Just checking in…that’s been the starting point for a good number of conversations with neighbours, friends and family over the past few weeks. It can be a soft opener for harder questions, a preclude to sharing uncomfortable information or opinions, or a channel for summoning the courage to ask for help. It’s a way of opening the door for communication, even when the conversations are hard.
It’s through these conversations with my staff, our readers and community businesses that I’ve made the decision to temporarily cease SPIN’s print publication starting with Issue 5, The Bike Issue, which would have been distributed on May 15. I believe this will be the first time in the publication’s history that an issue has been missed, which is a hard fact for me to sit with. Our printed newspaper is a ritual for many long time readers, but it’s become clear it isn’t the right place to be putting our limited resources at the moment. The dwindling number of advertisers, consistently shifting information and limited distribution points were all factors in the decision.
It’s hard not to feel like I’m letting the community down, however our digital voice has never been stronger. Our web traffic is up significantly, our newsletter subscribers are growing and important articles and information are readily available for free for anyone who needs them. While we’ve always published online, this will be the first time 100 per cent of our efforts will be focused there and we’re excited to see what we can do with that.
Like every other business owner in Sun Peaks I’m muddling through this period as best I can, cobbling together information from various official sources and trusted friends alongside my own experience and opinions on our unique place in the world. We’re currently in a holding pattern, waiting for loose information to solidify into a way forward. We’re used to shoulder seasons, but this one is a doozy.
Whatever announcements are made in the coming weeks and months, I’m certain we’re looking at a very different business landscape to what we’re used to and organizations of all sizes will have many more difficult decisions to make over the next year. While I’m extremely grateful the health impacts on our population have been minimal, smaller tourist based communities and economies have a challenging road ahead.
So thank you for standing beside us as we make this decision while knowing even more are on the horizon. The reader and community support we’ve received has strengthened our resolve to keep publishing in whatever format is viable to ensure your stories are told. Due to your reader contributions, we have the funds to ensure community journalism isn’t a casualty of COVID-19 in Sun Peaks. And thanks for checking in with us, and we’ll continue to do the same on our end.