Check out our new office on Chelten Ave!
As a digital operation, we never dreamed we’d open a brick-and-mortar location. But when the perfect square footage became available — with a prominent storefront on a busy stretch of Chelten – we couldn’t refuse. Now, could we afford it? That was really the question.
When you start a new business, the IRS assumes you’ll be taking a loss for the first several years. But the pressure is on – after 3 to 4 years, you need to show some sort of profit to prove your legitimacy. If not, the IRS re-classifies your business as a hobby, ouch! You still have to pay taxes, but can no longer deduct expenses. Also we imagine there’s a good deal of chagrin involved in the process, as well.
2019 has been our 5th year in operation, and a huge time of growth. We added Germantown editors and other team members providing information, support and creative direction. We trained interns, presented to college classes, even turned our social media over to Jefferson students for a while. We’ve hosted more than half a dozen Meet & Greets at Historic Germantown, and over-doubled our social media engagement.
But have we made money?
That’s the thing about our business model: we give away everything we create for free. Without ads from our sponsors, we literally couldn’t operate. It’s impossible to properly express how grateful we are for our advertisers, many who’ve been with us from the beginning. You kept us going. You saved us from depending on institutional grants that could’ve come with strings attached.
Instead, we’ve had the freedom to be playful — even fictional! — and to tweak the traditional news model with pepperings of social media. On top of all that, your support helped bring other businesses and organizations along, which further endorsed our efforts (and still does).
So much gratitude, also, to the many readers who’ve engaged with us and advocated for us with the neighborhood. We know it hasn’t always been easy. Thank you for understanding what we’re trying to do, and for being open to new ways to talk about what’s going on around us.
Thank you for coming out to our meetings and events, for graciously posing for our cameras — and also for your big hellos in the street! Thank you for sharing your photos and stories. Thank you for every click, like and comment. Thank you for patronizing the names advertised in these pages. Together, we’ve built a business – not a hobby. Now all we have to do is make it bigger and better…
The new office is a step in that direction. While we don’t have regular hours yet, we’ll be open sporadically as we figure out staff and scheduling. On the 2nd Thursday of every month, we’ll host a regular Open House for neighbors to come meet with our editors, maybe discuss story ideas or pick up flyers for events, resources, classes, etc.
November 14th: Kick off the Holidays with a special Happy Hour in our new digs! Free drinks, food & music with the Local peeps and editors. (6:30 – 8:30pm)
Meanwhile, please keep your eyes peeled for lights on at 245 West Chelten! If we’re home, stop in and say hello. PS we probably have snacks.
Sneak peek at the Local office in action…
Talk about great timing – our need for office furniture coincided with a massive renovation at StatIS IoT’s home base on Midvale. After several years of ridiculous growth, they re-configured their space (which, frankly, was already pretty incredible) into a sea of sleek workstations and gathering hubs. Their old cast-offs instantly, magically furnished our office the very week our sign went up. Thank you Ryan and Felicite!!
October 17th, we had our “soft” opening: the Local’s editors and a small group of friends & advisors gathered here for a frank & open “On the Table” talk about – what else? – local journalism. #OnthetablePHL is a city-wide initiative by the Philadelphia Foundation to encourage civic engagement with communal meals and conversation. So glad we did this! We got a lot of great feedback about the need for a local printed publication.
We’d like to offer a very personal and heart-felt thank you to the wonderful group of people who provided their thoughtful viewpoints. Looking forward to continuing these conversations as we learn to better engage, inform and celebrate our communities.
To apply for the Local’s editorial board, email firstname.lastname@example.org.