EMail From Jim Allen, Owner, Publisher of the Countian:
For the first time in 17 years there will be no Countian Newspaper
issued this month.
This decision was very difficult and one I didn't want to make, but one
that has been forced upon us due to circumstances beyond our control.
We ARE NOT ceasing publication! This is only a temporary setback and we
plan to resume publication next month - or as soon as circumstances allow.
We hope that our long-term advertisers, specifically Jason Norton at
Baker Metal Works and Vince Johnson at Southern Pine Electric
Cooperative will have patience and understanding during this difficult time.
Jason, bless his heart, has supported our newspaper virtually from the
very beginning 17 years ago and we owe him a debt of gratitude beyond words.
Vince has also been with us for more than a decade and has personally
worked with us to keep the public informed concerning upgrades to our
area's electrical system, hurricane relief efforts, and youth programs
sponsored by Southern Pine.
How we got to this point; the state of Alabama has shut down all
non-essential businesses due to the corona virus pandemic. That means
potential advertisers for our newspaper are closed. That also means many
people are temporarily out of work and have been ordered to stay at home
until the threat of the virus has passed.
Several of our newspaper distribution points have either closed
completely or limited public access. In our case this includes banks,
restaurants, barber shops, government facilities, and public utilities.
Basically, due to the precautions imposed by the state of Alabama, we
have been unable to secure enough advertising to make our April issue
profitable - and approximately half of our distribution sites have
temporarily been closed to the public.
As most of you know our newspaper is a family business run by myself, my
wife, Debbie, and our teenage son, Riley.
Debbie and I are in the age category (over 50) and Riley has a mild
asthma condition which puts us all at risk of a bad outcome should we
become infected by the virus.
Add all of these factors together and the prudent decision is to suspend
publication until conditions improve. Hopefully we will be back up and
running next month.
To say suspending publication is putting us in dire financial
circumstances is an understatement. But we are not alone. No doubt many
of you are also facing a similar situation.
Our hope and prayer is that this unprecedented crisis to our nation will
be over soon.
Everyone stay safe, stay well, and stay home.