Back in August I started on a journey that would bring me into a sphere of entrepreneurship that was totally ambiguous to my past experiences. When sharing with my out of town friends about purchasing a newspaper many of them asked hysterically, “Why are you buying a newspaper, don’t you know everything is going to digital?” My response has evolved from, “Because it was a great business opportunity,” to “It is something our community and many others like it desire,” and I truly believe that last statement. Much too often we are focused on the environment of everything except our own. People strive to have the luxuries of the rich and famous while losing the blessings of the community around them. Speedier modes of communication have aided that school of thought, but I believe the failing sense of community has blossomed because we have given into the school of thought that we need outer involvement for happiness instead of searching from within.
Maybe you remember, as I do, getting the Bay News in the mail, looking through to find information about the community, and the occasional coupon or deal at the local restaurant. Maybe you remember a time where a you could go out and discuss the local news of South Mobile instead of being focused on a bright white screen telling you information about the craziness that goes on around the world. The reason I bring these things to light is because of the passion this paper and previous papers like it were built on, and that is to connect our communities together as one. I share all the time in church about how we are the Body of Christ and each of us have a different role in it. In the same way, our community is one body and each of you reading this has a role in that body. It could simply be to visit a local restaurant establishment instead of going out of town, or dealing with a local for your pharmaceutical needs.
The reason I write this is because I believe as this paper grows it gives growth to many other opportunities. I have made some small upgrades to The Connection continually since taking over and it has been in pure faith of what I believe is to come. The first month of publication the upgrade was made from newsprint to white high-bright paper for most of the paper while still leaving the black-and-white ads on newsprint. From there I we increased from black-and-white ads on newsprint. From there I we increased from 11,000 papers going out to 15,000 to every home and business including 75+ drop off locations. From there, making every page full-color. The upgrades to the paper gave each of our advertisers better clarity in their ads and gave the reader a much cleaner read. The increase extended our mail out to parts of Grand Bay and Irvington that had not been reached in years by the paper. This month for the first time The Connection is extended to 16 pages of full color going to everyone in Grand Bay, St. Elmo, Irvington, Bayou la Batre, and Coden.
Not only are we taking steps of faith in our community, this month we are starting The Connection Spanish Fort. It will serve the community of Spanish Fort in the same way it served the community of South Mobile County. It will be sent to over 8000 homes and businesses there and have a number of drop off locations just like here. Ralph Rimmer and I have partnered to start this and he has done a great job of helping it get launched. If you know of someone that will be receiving it share with them how it can benefit their community. If you know of someone that would be interested in advertising in it send them our way. More than anything pray for our continued growth in connecting communities through The Connection.