I am writing to reach out for your support in these difficult times.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Business in Vancouver has provided the province’s most trusted coverage of business and the economy. We are proud of this work as part of a three-decade commitment to the business community.
But the pandemic has ushered in a new era, quickly threatening our viability.
Our online audience has grown, but BIV depends on continuous advertising support. When our clients cancel or defer spending because they are uncertain or in peril, we instantly feel the impact. We have instituted staff layoffs and salary rollbacks and shuttered our increasingly important events business indefinitely.
We understand we are needed more than ever, so we have shifted newspaper deliveries from empty offices to subscribers’ homes to meet their needs. During this period we are providing free online access to the digital replica of the weekly paper on our website that is covering COVID-19 seven days a week. Our dedicated team in editorial, sales, production and circulation is working harder than anyone can recall.
But we need your help.
Government wage subsidy support has yet to arrive and assist us. Much-publicized direct government support of journalism, announced more than a year ago, has yet to surface. Those measures combined will not address our problems without a strong resurgence in lost advertising revenue.
I recognize and respect that we are not alone. There are many demands as you ensure your safety and that of your family. Many of our readers are in difficult economic straits and need to first look after themselves.
We have been told by our readers in recent weeks that we serve an invaluable role, but with some hesitation in our collective challenge, today I am asking those able in our community to provide direct support to ensure our local business journalism can continue during this crisis and beyond.
My first request: As our clients, bring back your advertising to reach other businesses and their decision-makers as you determine how to rebound from the pandemic. We have several discounted and bonused offers to meet your needs and capacities.
Second: Please support those who have supported us by making them your business choices at this time.
Third: As our readers, please consider providing a direct contribution through a new offer we have created to backstop our local journalism during this trying time. The funds will be used to sustain our publication.
Our offer includes an introductory six-month digital subscription at a heavily discounted rate when our online free digital replica of the newspaper ends this summer. As a supporter, you will have early access to tickets for our events and a new loyalty program of donor benefits we will soon unfurl. As part of this offer now, you can receive a discount-rate digital subscription to the Globe and Mail for national and international coverage.
You can cancel your monthly donation at any time. We want to emerge from this period better able to serve your needs, but we have a greater chance to do so if we can enlist your help. Our offer and its options are outlined here.
Above all else, please stay safe and well. The first stage of a marathon battle has taken a significant toll physically, mentally and economically. We are grateful you are turning to our journalism at Business in Vancouver as a vital source of information on COVID-19 and its impact on our community.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief