Extraordinary efforts for extraordinary times
What a difference a few months make.
When I was writing this letter for the last issue in late February, our magazine company, like many Treasure Coast businesses, was headed for another record year, with plans to expand our business and no end in sight.
And then the coronavirus pandemic hit, temporarily shutting many of the businesses along the Treasure Coast. Advertising is the lifeblood of our business, and because many of our advertisers were shut down or severely hampered, our advertising diminished as well.
Luckily, we have been able to keep our print publishing schedule for Indian River Magazine, Treasure Coast Business Magazine and Port St. Lucie Magazine. And, with some adjustments, we plan to continue doing so with the annual magazines that we produce late each year [Sunrise Theatre playbill, St. Lucie Travel Guide, Emerson Center program].
Social distancing and the stay-at-home order didn’t keep us from working. Instead, it enabled us to do some planning and provide additional services. For our most recent issue of Treasure Coast Business Magazine released last month, we worked with our partners at the Florida Small Business Development Center to produce a magazine that focused on helping businesses recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The online version can be seen at tcbusiness.com.
Beginning March 16, we switched the issuance of our weekly Treasure Coast Business e-newsletter from weekly to daily in order to keep readers better informed during this crisis and to provide information about changes local businesses were undergoing. The e-newsletter provided daily updates on coronavirus statistics for the Treasure Coast and the state as well as news from area businesses and nonprofits on changes to their operations during the pandemic.
To help restaurants, we created TreasureCoastRestaurants.com, listing restaurants in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties that offered carryout and/or delivery.
At Easter, while churches were forced to close their doors to the faithful, we created TreasureCoastChurches.com and compiled a list of churches providing digital live-streaming services during Holy Week.
For the nonprofits whose fundraising efforts were thwarted at the peak of the season, we created a website at TreasureCoastNonprofits.com to list their needs and where donations can be made. You can see a print version on Page 62.
Looking for uplifting stories in the community, we created the Hometown Heroes for our e-newsletter and social media highlighting the extraordinary deeds of people in these difficult times. You can see some of the people we’ve featured on Page 61.
We have even more digital initiatives planned and hope you will stay in touch with us through our e-newsletters — you can sign up at both tcbusiness.com and indianrivermagazine.com — throughout the summer until the fall print issue of Indian River Magazine arrives.
Special thanks to Michelle Burney, who executes many of our digital initiatives, to bookkeeper Casey Glenn for running our office solo during social distancing, to Maryann Ketcham for leading our Hometown Heroes effort and to photographer Joe Semkow for coming up with an inspirational cover photo that matches our cover story and reflects how many of us are feeling these days.
Thank you, our readers and subscribers, whose support and words of encouragement keep us going. And above all, thank you to the advertisers who make all of this possible.
People have asked how they can support us at this difficult time. To that we say, support our advertisers. Many are small locally owned businesses like us. Many of the ones you see in this issue are the same ones who helped bring us through the recession of 2008 and the tepid economic years beyond. By supporting them you are supporting us. Of course, if you are not a paid subscriber you can become one at indianriverstore.com.
These are extraordinarily challenging times, but together we’ll make it through. We will prevail.