That’s what friends are for

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We’re starting a new campaign in the Times this week: Proud Advertisers. Without the support of the local and area businesses that advertise in our paper, the North Grenville Times would not exist today and it would not be able to fulfill its dream. From the day we first began putting the Times together, back in 2012, and even before that, when we were just a monthly Newsletter, local businesses gave us the support we needed to do what we do: provide the people of this community a place where they can talk to each other, hear from each other, and share ideas, opinions, and points of view, even when they disagreed with each other. Perhaps, especially when they disagreed with each other.

Proud local businesses are the heart of all communities; without them the economy would slowly disappear and ghost towns would form in every rural area, outside the nearby cities. Can you imagine North Grenville without the businesses we have at our fingertips? It would be difficult to stay and have to drive 45 minutes each time you need an item. Can you imagine what it would be like without the support from our local businesses for sports teams and community events? They would be nonexistent as many local events rely heavily on business sponsorship! Local businesses bring communities together socially and economically. Shopping locally is a win-win for every-one involved! It keeps the economy vibrant and the community news being reported on a local level.

Local businesses often support community events and athletics by using a portion of their advertising budget to promote others and inform the community. It is important to support not only your local businesses, but also your local community newspaper. The newspaper is one of the businesses that supports local youth groups and community events. It is also the heart of any community as it keeps people connected and informed.

Local Matters! Together, we can boost our local economies by supporting the local businesses that support the local newspaper. That’s why we wanted to have this Proud Advertiser campaign in North Grenville. We are not a corporate paper, with deep pockets and a national corporate structure to back us up (or close us down). We are your neighbours and friends, a local business staffed by local people with local connections. We know how much we owe to our advertisers, and we want to encourage you to show your appreciation of them too.

According to research conducted by our national association of independent community newspapers, News Media Canada, Canadians trust ads they see in newspapers and on their affiliated websites more than the ads in any other medium, from social media to other internet websites to radio and TV. In a world drowning in increasingly dubious advertising messages on what seems like every surface, that trust in advertising is vital.

But there’s got to be more to it than just results. After all, local merchants can reach local customers with greater precision than anyone thought possible a few years ago through a few clicks of a mouse. Enough ads on less trustworthy sites can be bought cheaply enough to have a similar result to what we can do. The difference—the thing that a Google ad or a social media post can’t do—is in building up your community.

We’re partnering with News Media Canada to create a Proud Advertiser program to help highlight these community minded businesses that are supporting local news with their marketing dollars. Over the coming weeks, we will be thanking so many other businesses who have made this newspaper possible. There are so many of them, it will take time to profile them all. But thank you to all of you, you have stood by us when we were too “controversial”, when we were new, unknown and untried, when we, perhaps, roused some powerful opposition.

But you also knew that people read this paper, and would see your ads, and that was vital in your continuing support. You did what was right for your business, for your community, and, thankfully, for the Times.

So we are encouraging all our readers to take a look at the Proud Advertiser ad on this page and please consider paying the business you see there a visit this coming week. It may be a regular stop for you already; others we will be featuring in coming weeks may be places you’ve never visited before. Either way, when you do go to see them, please let them know what brought you in—their support for the local news you enjoy.

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