With December fast approaching, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the business owners in Filey and the Villages who have already agreed to contribute to our famous Christmas Message section that will appear in the next edition. Just as importantly, we would also like to ask any businesses still thinking about taking out space to deliver festive greetings and thanks to customers to contact us as soon as possible.
The revenue raised through these messages forms a significant portion of the Filey Bay Today grant fund which is distributed among local charities and community organisations every March. This year, the Christmas Messages are more important than ever before due to the disruption caused by Covid-19. The generosity of our advertisers and local businesses is key to maintaining vital services in the area. Without their engagement each year, we would have significantly less money to award to these local charities and organisations and this, in turn, will limit their ability to operate and deliver services.
To provide some context, after lockdown was introduced Filey Bay Today spent two months online only and so we were unable to raise any revenue. Accordingly, we extended both advertisers’ bookings and postal subscriptions by two months. We also had new advertisers lined up to fill in the available commercial space, but their businesses were forced to close in March, making it wholly unreasonable to ask them for payments for their adverts.
When we went back in to businesses, we started with only a few key outlets because we didn’t want to overwhelm people who were already having to adjust massively to open their businesses safely. Comparing like-for-like sales for the time of year, we were selling just over half of what we would normally have sold - and this trend has continued. We are still only on sale in a reduced number of outlets. However, online subscriptions are now available via www.fileybaytoday.co.uk and, on a more positive note, we are continuing to increase our readership numbers both online and through postal subscribers.
In terms of advertising revenue, we have missed out on £600 - £700 and in terms of reduced sales, £1,000 (profit) over the last seven months.
As mentioned, we have already seen good support from the businesses we have approached for our Christmas Messages this time around, but we appreciate it hasn’t been an easy year for lots of people. Filey Bay Today’s Christmas Messages operate on a donation basis and businesses can give whatever they feel comfortable with.
In terms of advertising, we have two ¼ pages available at a rate of £357 for a whole year.
Our revenue goes to support local good causes each year. Recently, this has included a grant of £2,500 a year to the Filey Town Service which has provided a lifeline for many of Filey’s older and less mobile residents during some difficult and unprecedented times. For the last three or four years, we have been in the fortunate position of being able to give them the same sum. Next time around, there is a risk that we may have to reduce the amount we can give away in terms of how much everyone gets. We will do our best to give what we can where we can but, as need is likely to be higher than ever, we welcome any support that our wonderful friends can provide.