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We’re In This Together: Dispatch makes some changes

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

The last month has been a roller coaster ride for our community. If there’s one thing we’ve all been reminded of, it’s that we’re in it together. We work together, we thrive together, we struggle together. The Molokai Dispatch feels those ups and downs too, and through it all, we’ll continue to bring you Molokai’s critical news each week.

As small businesses around us on island are closing, our staff is committed to continued service to keep our community informed. We’ve learned that other newspapers in Hawaii (and across the country) are having to do layoffs right now. But while there are many sources for statewide and national news, we are Molokai’s only print and online news source, and that’s a responsibility we take seriously.

We have, however, already seen the loss of several cornerstone advertisers because of their own business hardships, at least temporarily — a financial loss we feel very tangibly. The Molokai Dispatch has been transparent that our business model does not revolve around making a profit — two years ago, we made a grand total of $34, and last year we lost about $2,000. Historically it’s typical for us to barely break even. That means losing just one or two advertisers makes a big difference for us being able to continue printing a newspaper each week. As the current situation continues to become increasingly challenging for our community financially, we expect we may take some more cuts to our already-minimal budget.

So, in the coming weeks, we plan to make some operational changes to ensure we can remain in publication though the tough times.

You may notice our page numbers decreasing so we can save on printing costs. We will also reduce the number of papers we distribute each week — from 3,800 down to an anticipated 3,000. As many of our community businesses are currently closed and residents make limited trips for essentials, we will consolidate our distribution locations, giving more papers to essential businesses remaining open. As grocery stores temporarily change their shopping models to curbside pickup, you can ask their hero employees to include a copy of the paper with your food order.

During this time, The Molokai Dispatch and Copy Center office will remain closed and our staff will continue to work remotely, as we have been the past several weeks. We hope everyone will stay safe and healthy, and remember that we are all in this together; we all deserve nothing but support and aloha from each other — at a distance, of course.

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