by Gazette Staff
HARDWICK – The Hardwick Gazette has been named the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Vermont Arts Council.
The grant is part of a program designed to help organizations and businesses that “continue to struggle financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to the program’s guidelines, the grant money can be used for “any regular operating expenses, including but not limited to payroll and benefits, utilities, rent, and insurance.”
The Gazette has been struggling financially for many years. COVID-19 made the situation much worse. At the outset of the pandemic, the Gazette lost 90 percent of its advertising revenues. These revenues have been slow to rebound.
Ray Small, editor and publisher of the Gazette, said: “The Vermont Arts Council grant is great news for the Gazette and the residents of the towns it covers. The Gazette is in the process of transitioning from a commercial enterprise to a nonprofit. The grant funds will help support this transition. It is my hope that some of the funds will allow us to implement our long-planned pilot program to bring back the print version of the Gazette.”
The economics of local newspapers in the U.S. have been under siege for many years. According to research by Northwestern University professor Penny Abernathy, nearly 3,000 local newspapers have closed since 2004. More than 360 U.S. newspapers closed between late 2019 and May 2022 alone.