SEVENTEEN YEARS..!

Another year for this publication!

Well, well, well… here we go again… my annual moment to say something in our publication, about our publication’s anniversary… this time… SEVENTEEN YEARS..!

First of all, I apologize for not being able to have this ready in last edition (February’s)… we are still short of staff, and we started this year, with 3 large projects, that are keeping us really busy.

And I am going to try my hardest, not to bring the possible repeated cliché of “hard work”, “obstacles”, “problems”, “perseverance”, bla-bla, bla-bla, etc. that I might have mentioned in past anniversaries; however, if there is any anniversary year where I could bring those cliché expressions again, trust me… this will be the one, since it is the year-after-and-during the Coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic was not really developed nor showing when we were celebrating the 16th anniversary last year, therefore, it is now when I am kind of forced to mention something (if not much) of how this Epidemy affected our publication, and influenced our business in general.

Towards the 2nd quarter of last year, we lost the number 2, 3 and 5 largest clients (and a few small ones), that considerably affected our income. We had to change printing company because the one we were using, had to close (like many other places had to close); we had to let go our distributors and paper carriers, and Marisol and I had to take over and do it ourselves; we had to change (adapt?) our distribution points, and replace drop ups that had closed (restaurants, libraries, stores, schools, etc.); and like many other businesses, we also have to change (adapt?) the way we communicate, do business meetings, negotiate sells, etc. We cancelled just about all the Festivals and Outdoor events we used to enjoy (and make money from) every year. We also had to leave our offices in Syracuse, and cancel a couple of big projects we were planning to apply with the newspaper, the Radio show, and our Social Media accounts.

And of course, we also had to do changes (adaptations?) in our personal lives. We practically cancelled all our regular gatherings with friends and family… no more birthdays celebrations, high-school sports, holidays in bars or nightclubs, no more domino games with “the clan”. Marisol and I had to also withdraw plans we had to travel, put aside our traditions we usually do every year, like going to the local beaches, bring kids from the Latino community to Waterparks, the New York State FAIR, Country Field Days, Concerts, etc.; we postponed our traditional annual trips to New York City and Baltimore; no more tailgate parties in Baseball and Syracuse Football games, and for the little we could do, we had to be very, very careful, and very, very protective, and very, very safe.

If I could attribute anything positive from this past year, is that Marisol and I became “grandparents”, of a healthy big boy that my oldest daughter brought to this new world in October; and, my youngest daughter graduated from college, even though public celebrations were not allowed back then. We also did lots of repairs in our house, got two new (used) vehicles, became experts in Online Video-Conferencing (especially Zoom ®), became experts in Business Grants and Funds, and we improved how to manage our time better and more effective. And similar to what we have seen with the rest of the world, from what we have read and watch in the news, and what we have learned from tragedies like this pandemic, we have also survived, and became stronger, and learn to adapt, and learn to help, and we are ready – more than ever in our lives – to come back to normality, and start enjoying even more, those things we cannot enjoy now.

So, with all this said… what are our plans for this 2021 year…?

Well… we are not 100% sure. We obviously will continue with the newspaper’s production (both in the traditional paper format and digital online); and, we will also continue with the Radio production (also both in the traditional FM Signal and digital online). We are working to grow and enhance our Social media presence, create other network accounts, and upgrade the newspaper’s and corporate’s websites. We have started a Podcast project that will combine audio from Radio interviews, with new videos interviews, and presented in both audio-only and video-with-audio (possibly a TV channel)… we’ll keep you all informed.

For now, we have to still work in our recovery from COVID, continue doing changes, and adapt to this “new normal” in both Business and Personal lives, evaluate what is needed in the business, evaluate what our clients need, evaluate what our – Latino – community needs, and work towards those needs, hoping not only to survive, but succeed, and become something that will be more encouraging, reassuring, and cheerful to write about, for our 18th year anniversary.

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