Letter from the Publishers

in Voices by

Dear readers and advertisers,

To say the past few weeks have been difficult and confusing would be an understatement. We have seen the coronavirus pandemic evolve from an overseas phenomenon to something that has closed businesses in our community and caused Beaufortonians to shutter themselves in their homes. Our beloved Southern home, with its easy friendliness, has become a place of wary caution. A place where grim, determined people tramp through grocery stores searching for that last package of toilet paper or hand sanitizer necessary to complete their stockpile of provisions for the onslaught from the invisible pathogen. Businesses have closed along with most local government offices. Restaurants have adopted a take-out only policy with curbside service so patrons don’t have to cross the threshold. And the rumor mill is churning. How many locals have gotten sick, which group is selfishly ignoring the warnings from healthcare professionals and infectious disease specialists, etc. Most of all though, I think the people of Beaufort want a place where they can get reliable information about how this is affecting their home, neighbors and friends.

            The Island News is committed to providing local news throughout this crisis, as always, and will do so while making the health and safety of our staff our top priority. We’re also committed to continuing to provide this news for free. We feel blessed to be a part of the Beaufort community and fortunate to have been embraced by so many of you; we even deliver our weekly effort to thousands of locals’ homes at no charge. We believe this is what it means to be a true community newspaper. But, as such, we hope that we can rely on our community as well. To continue to provide an income for our small staff – about 10 of us produce and deliver six publications per month – and pay expenses from printing to rent, we must rely upon your patronage. If you’re a business owner trying to get new information to your customers and think we can help during thenew normal, please let us know. We also understand the realities of the digital community and what social media and the internet can provide, helping people connect even more in this new age. We’ve been updating our website – YourIslandNews.com – and social media sites multiple times daily to provide the latest information available, and will be adding more capabilities to our current digital presence in the near future.

            We’re a part of the Beaufort community. We see you on the street and in the grocery store. Like many of you, we’re a small business. Like you, we’re struggling to understand what’s happening now, and to behave in a way that honors and protects everyone around us. We know we will make it through to the other side – bruised maybe, but certainly not beaten. Thank you for letting us be part of your community, of ourcommunity. And thank you for letting us serve you. Recently, we’ve been signing off, “Clean hands, brave hearts!” It seems like an appropriate motto these days.

Jeff & Margaret Evans