Our Essentially Local goal remains to connect the community and boost the benefits of keeping your business and activity local.
We have always done that through our printed magazine and online. You read a directory of local business and local events and activities but in addition, we do so much more. We give ideas and useful information and we provide a resource of local groups.
Behind the scenes we make checks to ensure our businesses are what they tell us they are. It is therefore very sad to tell you that with Essentially Local May-June edition – no choice but to cancel.
Over the last two weeks we have looked at all the options available to us to continue producing Essentially Local during this period of social isolation. We have decided to not produce the next edition, based on the following:
Advice from Federation of Small Business
On Monday we took advice from the Federation of Small Business. They told us it should be business as normal. That meant that if any one cancelled an agreement they would have pay as per our terms and conditions. We believe that the circumstances make this very difficult to apply.
Supporting our Advertisers – Small Business Owners
Only three of our advertisers were forced to cancel advertising agreements. However, most of the businesses who advertise with us are one-two person outfits who are unlikely to get an income or work over the next few months.
None of the Government Grants Available
Many of our businesses, including Essentially Local, will not be eligible for government grants, because like us they do not have rateable premises. This means no income and no grant. Advertising for business they will not be able to carry out is therefore not viable.
We understand that the virus can stay alive for up to 72 hours. It stays alive on surfaces as well as the carrier. In addition, it is clear that many people are carrying and therefore sharing the virus without symptoms.
Risks to Delivery Team and Readers
We do not and will not put our delivery team or readers in any form of risk. If a delivery person were to be carrying the virus and, through touching the magazine or post box, were to pass it on to anyone – vulnerable or not – we do not believe we would have acted in the best interests of our community.
Some of our Essentially Local delivery team live with people who fit the vulnerable category. We will not put those people at risk, no matter how small that is.
Sadly, organisers have cancelled the Castlethorpe Duck Race, music events and many celebrations. Many others during June are at risk of being cancelled. These events are vital sources of funds for the organisations – many are charitable, run by volunteers and have no other source of income.
Thank you for the many positive messages of support. For many businesses it is work as normal, for others, including us, fear has set in.
Very sadly, we know some will be forced to give up their business. We want to use this time to develop the many plans we have for the year.
We will be producing the July-August edition.
Only last couple of weeks we’ve spoken to several new advertisers who have told us how much they love our magazine because it does connect everyone and it is more than a directory of business.
I thank the person who sent us this message in response to our email. ‘Your reasoning is fully understood and you have to be applauded for your courage in dealing with this issue quickly and efficiently.‘
Right now, I know we have made the right decision but that doesn’t stop the tears rolling down my face. I believe so strongly in keeping things local – any many of my advertisers have got to know Suzanne and I personally. Why – because we use their services.
We really appreciate all your the messages. You have told us you’ll miss the magazine, that it’s the only really useful one. This means so much – we are achieving our goal.
Thank you everyone
Emma and Suzanne
About two weeks ago we had a complaint about the magazine, telling us it was junk and a waste of time like all the others. While others may accept that, I decided I needed to know more and what we could do to make it work for her. My passion for getting what I do right is so strong that I asked her to take some time to read it and tell me what else she would like to see in it.
It turned out the woman had never opened the magazine and made all sorts of assumptions. Although I’d love her to read it, it’s unlikely she will – in the middle of making complaints to other organisations too!
In the mean time please check out our