March is de facto one of my favorite months. Not because I love the weather, which is still unruly, or because outside looks any less bleak, but because even the air feels full of promise. We have made it over the hump; winter is in retreat.
This spring it feels like more than winter is on the run. We may have finally strong armed this pandemic into relative submission, be it through vaccinations or sheer determination. It was a year ago that our publisher, Tonja Randolph, had to make a difficult decision. We had a good March with a nice-sized magazine and were busy working on April. Then the shutdown happened and very quickly we realized that our advertisers would (rightfully) pull back their dollars, worried about what was to come.
Our dilemma was what to do: go ahead with an April magazine or scrap it? Push through the next few months or retract? Tonja decided to push through, despite low advertising dollars and small magazines from May onward. We didn’t really begin to feel like we had our bearings until September. But she made the decision that in such a time of unease and insecurity, the best gift we could give the community was to push on with the magazine, whether it was profitable or not.
So many businesses faced decisions similar to ours, with different responses and mixed results. In this issue, we feature several businesses that decided survival was paramount and found a path to make that a reality. It is so impressive to see how businesses became innovative to keep employees working and feed their families. Be inspired by their stories.
As we march into spring, we realize it is not to times similar to those we experienced before the pandemic. We are unlikely to see those days for another year or so. We are also in a paradox of cities navigating low retail sales tax, consumer insecurity, businesses that will continue to struggle and individuals who are living hand-to-mouth. Add to that a real estate market that continues to skyrocket while inventory is at an all-time low. This year will pose challenges for families and businesses, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is the direction to focus your gaze.
As I write this, it is actually mid-February, in the thick of that cold snap. The temp is -2 degrees, and the dog and husband are snug in bed. But I am already thinking past this. I am moving on to spring and crocuses and sitting on a patio somewhere without a propane heater keeping me warm. I am ready for March, and for new beginnings.
See you next month,