A note to our readers and advertisers

Posted at 8:14 AM on Sep 1, 2017

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BY MIKE FUHRMAN

Thank you for helping us reach a major milestone this week!

Around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, one of our faithful readers clicked on an article about the Dalton Edwards biography we published and recorded our 1,000,000th page view of the year. (Learn more about A Warrior's Life: The Dalton Edwards Story at http://svlfreenews.com/lifestyles/book-chronicles-...)

For our little enterprise, that number is big in ways that are real and symbolic. It's a sign, like the other metrics we continually monitor, that readership of our website, email edition and Facebook page are all trending up. With four months left in this calendar year, we've already eclipsed all of last year's key performance measurements.

August was our best month ever from a readership standpoint. More than 39,000 unique visitors came to our website for news and information about what's happening in the communities we serve. Subscriptions for our free daily email edition are at an all-time high and growing every week. (Send an email to svlfreenews@gmail.com if you want to be added to our list.) Finally, we're approaching 6,000 followers on Facebook.

Whether you are a regular or occasional reader, thank you! You make the efforts of our small but dedicated team worth it.

When we began this venture in December of 2015, with a gallery of photos from the Statesville Christmas Parade that garnered a couple hundred clicks on Facebook, we weren't exactly sure what we were getting into. Our goals were simple: (1) Provide free local news and obituaries to our community, and affordable advertising for local businesses; (2) Promote community engagement; (3) Value the efforts of the journalists we work with; and (4) Invest in our schools and nonprofits.

We've tried to remain true to that vision. Here are a few the steps we've taken recently as part of that effort:

Student Recognition Programs: We've started student-recognition programs in three schools and hope to expand those during the current school year.

Financial Support for Nonprofits and Schools: In August, we've made financial contributions to the following nonprofits, schools and parks:
1. Power Cross
2. Girls on the Run of the Piedmont
3. SCAN of Iredell
4. Yokefellow Ministry of Greater Statesville
5. Fifth Street Ministries
6. Troutman ESC Park
7. North Iredell High Athletics
8. Statesville Professional Fire Fighters Association Fire Education Program

Political forums: On September 7-8, we are partnering with Elmwood Strong and the Statesville Professional Fire Fighters Association to hold candidates forums for this fall's Statesville city council and mayoral elections. These forums, which are open to the public, are scheduled for 6 p.m. on September 7 and 8 at the Unity Center.

While we're excited about what we've accomplished, we think it's just the beginning. Because we don't have shareholders, corporate overhead or a political agenda to hold us back or bind our hands, we can invest all of our energy in increasing the breadth and depth of our news coverage, and we're confident we will continue to grow our readership by expanding our digital offerings.

We're always looking for more readers and additional business partners who share our vision and want to be part of this effort. If you're a fan and know someone who is interested in getting free local news, tell them to check us out or encourage them to sign up for our email edition. Finally, please patronize our advertisers. From the small downtown shops to our large founding partners, these true community leaders make everything we do possible.

Thanks, again, for continuing to support our work and our community.

Mike Fuhrman is the editor of SVLfreenews.com. You can reach him by email at svlfreenews@gmail.com.

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