It’s not often you get to write an editorial about yourself. But we’ll take this opportunity to do a bit of boasting.
As part of Meridian Credit Union’s small business contest, The Lake Report was recognized on Wednesday for two special projects we published during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The contest was meant to award businesses that demonstrated resilience and community spirit during the pandemic.
We were humbled to find out we were selected as one of the nine finalists for the awards. While we didn’t place in the Top 3, Meridian expanded the contest to award us a prize anyway, based on our work.
We were nominated for our 10-week “Shop Local” promotion, which featured free profiles of 40 NOTL businesses and for our 15-week “Pandemic Heroes” campaign, which highlighted NOTL individuals and groups who went above and beyond during the pandemic.
We didn’t do it for prizes or glory. That was never part of the equation.
We did it because we felt it was the right thing to do and was a creative way we could use the tools at our disposal to help this wonderful community — use our platform as a news publication to connect area businesses with the community and to draw attention to the good deeds of Pandemic Heroes who might otherwise be forgotten.
It was also a bit of paying back and paying it forward. Very early in the pandemic, as many small businesses were forced to close and therefore curb their advertising spending, The Lake Report was struggling financially.
Independent of us, chef Ryan Crawford, who has been a strong supporter and believer in what we do from the outset, organized a GoFundMe campaign to help our publication when it needed it most. We have since weathered that storm and continue to grow.
But in reality, this award is really for the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake – you – our readers and our advertisers. You let us in to your lives every week, to tell your stories and to keep you informed about what is happening in your community.
Without any and all of you, none of what we do would matter, nor would it be possible.
So, while this editorial is a bit of a humble brag, the truth is Meridian's award ultimately recognizes what a unique and special community Niagara-on-the-Lake is. This one's for you.