Dear loyal readers, advertisers and friends,

For the past 12 years, The County Journal has been delivered to every doorstep in our coverage area, free of charge to our readers. It’s free because it contains important information to which everyone should have equal access. We take great pride in providing a service we feel is essential to the continued growth of the communities we cover.

We regularly attend meetings and events in an effort to keep our readers informed of the important happenings of the day. As a locally owned and operated publication, we are deeply invested in the growth and success of the communities we cover. They are our hometowns, our readers and advertisers our neighbors and friends. We look forward to shining a light on all of the positive things taking place every day in our community. And, when need be, we are there to report the news that’s not always fun to read about, but nevertheless important to the overall health and vitality of our community.

For 12 years we have relied on paid advertising as our primary source of revenue. It’s a partnership that has served our customers and our readers well, but one that has presented continued challenges as our local economies have ebbed and flowed.

The small staff we employ remains committed to continuing to provide you with the news that affects our communities, and the advertisements and specials that help keep them running strong. With that commitment comes a request. For the first time in our history, we are asking our readers for their support by instituting a voluntary pay program. Voluntary pay has been utilized by free publications for decades. However, it has been something we’ve been reluctant to explore in the past.

Present circumstances, including the ever-increasing cost of newsprint and the need to keep up with rapidly changing technology, have left us with little choice but to present this opportunity for our community members to show their support for their favorite local publication. We have already seen the cost of printing increase by nearly 10 percent in the last year due to the increased cost of newsprint.

Of course, you will continue to receive The County Journal each week, whether you choose to participate in the program or not.

We know our communities are on the rise, and that voluntary pay is a short-term solution, but it is an important one to our operation. We will continue to explore avenues in which to increase our revenues and have already begun our push for an increased online presence. With your help, we can continue to be an invaluable asset in our local communities.

Payments can be sent to The County Journal, 241 S. Cochran Ave., Charlotte, MI 48813. Call (517) 543-1099 for more information.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Cindy Gaedert-Gearhart, 

Denise Ensley

Travis Silvas