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It's time to put the local economy front and center

Local and national businesses cut back on advertising expenditures as a means of reducing expenses and looked for more inexpensive ways to market themselves without much success. We knew the value of the services we provide, the unmatched reach of our 70,000-plus total market saturation and each day we heard the concerns of many area businesses who were struggling to keep their doors open.

So do you sit back, keep a tight grip on your expenses and wait for someone or something to initiate spending in the market? Or you do reach a point where you say to yourself, "Are we doing everything possible to help ourselves and the business community to pull out of this economic funk?"

Enough was enough. We believe we have a role to play in getting our North Country economy back on track, and it was time to open up our tight grip on expenses and start re-investing in our publications to prove their worth to both the business community and the community at large.

No other medium reaches the entire population without some associated costs or limits to their distribution methods. Paid newspapers, TV, radio, Internet, smart phones/mobile all require an investment on your part or have limited reach. We needed to open our pages, broaden our scope of coverage, get the community excited about itself and invite others to join us by once again promoting their valuable services.

Until the region gets its collective cash flowing, we will not be able to address the employment issues here, and we will not be attractive to outside investors who want to locate their businesses here. Only a stimulated business economy within the North Country can trigger the return to growing employment and provide services to industrial businesses looking to our area.

We can't always look to our neighbors to the north in Canada or the state and federal governments to be the foundations of our community. We've learned from prior experiences that those can be short lived and when they falter, if our local economic base isn't strong, we can't be self sustaining. We need local residences spending money locally, and that will not happen when we outsource local employment nor will it happen when we shop outside the area we call home. The few dollars you might save are short sided if you expect a strong local economy.

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