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From the Publisher: Seasonal Help

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A note from a Super Reader - COURTESY
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  • A note from a Super Reader

Outdoor classrooms, volunteer mask makers, virtual prom: Some positive local stories have emerged from this terrible year, and our cover package this week gathers and puts a bow on them.

The silver lining for Seven Days these past nine months has been the love we've received from more than 2,000 Super Readers. While ad revenue tanked and our employees risked their lives to report and distribute the news, those of you who appreciate this newspaper and our efforts came through and helped.

A note from a Super Reader - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • A note from a Super Reader

Concerned readers gave more than $35,000 between Saint Patrick's Day and the end of March, and roughly the same amount in the month of April. By the end of the year, we will have received almost $200,000 from individuals who value Seven Days and the role it plays in our community: revealing its richness, informing and connecting all of us.

So far, 761 donors have signed up to give us a fixed amount — from a few bucks to $100 — every month. Their combined contributions add up to revenue we can count on, to the tune of $2,000 a week. It really helps.

Prior to the pandemic, our only reliable measure of reader appreciation was the number of papers that disappeared from our racks each week. Because Seven Days is free, we never really knew who was picking it up, nor did we have customer relationships with any of them.

A note from a Super Reader - COURTESY
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  • A note from a Super Reader

Now we do. Our Super Readers are friends and strangers, liberals and conservatives, rural and urban dwellers, journalists from competing media outlets and politicians of all stripes. Many of them write encouraging notes that we share with our whole staff.

And there's reason for hope. Although Seven Days' ad revenue is down $1.5 million year-to-date from 2019, we saw sales steadily improve over the summer and fall. A federal Paycheck Protection Program loan in April and three subsequent state grants were perfectly timed. If we can get through the next three months, chances are the paper will pull through.

A note from a Super Reader - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • A note from a Super Reader

Putting out a newspaper is expensive. It takes a lot of reporters, editors, photographers and designers to make what you're reading. Just printing Seven Days costs about $10,000 a week. Shortcuts, such as fewer proofreaders or more syndicated content, lead to a lesser-quality product. Nobody wants that.

As we like to say: "Seven Days is free; making it isn't." Everything considered, each copy "costs" about $2.50 — half the price of a pumpkin spice latte.

Could you help us get through this winter by paying $10 a month until our lives return to normal?

In return, we promise to guide you through the darkness by continuing to provide essential, insightful and even uplifting journalism.

With appreciation,

Paula Routly