EDITORIAL: Wrapping up 2020 at the Echo

This is the final edition of the Ely Echo for 2020. And like many, we’re glad to be putting this year behind us.
The Echo is one of a rare breed of newspapers that is still family owned, with a storefront and a hardworking staff that finds a way to pay the bills in an ever changing economy.
When the pandemic hit there were some worrisome nights not knowing what would happen when our stores were forced to close and people told to stay home. Would businesses continue to advertise? Would people still subscribe to their hometown newspaper?
Nine months later the answer to both questions is yes. Our thanks to the business owners who advertised throughout and to our subscribers who send us checks oftentimes with nice notes attached.
Like many businesses we did take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program which helped to alleviate lost revenues. Some sections of our business never recovered to pre-pandemic levels. But other areas did well.
With Eric Sherman getting the school photo contract our photo department had its best year ever even without spring sports, figure skating and dance photos. The snow globes and ornaments we sell where your photo can be inserted sold like hot cakes this month.
And our electronic subscriptions took a jump as well. Instead of viewing Facebook as the competition, we tried to leverage people’s interest by showing them something they would see in the Echo if they subscribed. And at $35 for an email subscription, they did.
We have always focused on Ely first and foremost. Whenever we’ve had someone offer to write a column or submit a story, it’s the first thing we look at - how does this relate to Ely?
We’ve enjoyed the new columns by Diana Mavetz Petrich, the book chapters by Ken Hupila and the monthly weather columns from Ely native Dave Anderson who always seems to weave in a story from his time growing up here.
This week we have a submission from Dan Amitrano from Northland Paranormal. You probably wouldn’t find this in a daily paper but then again, most daily papers aren’t as fun to read as the Ely Echo. Check out Dan’s column when you have a minute.
Next week Tom Coombe will take a complete look back at Ely’s news in 2020. There will be some things you may have forgotten and others you would like to. That and more in the first edition of 2021.
This edition is our 52nd of the year, we don’t take a week off, we’re here every week doing the best we can to tell the story of the community. People know they can give us a call or stop by our office at 15 East Chapman Street.
To everyone who buys the Echo off the newsstand, is a subscriber, an advertiser, a customer or just a friend we would like to say thank you for helping us to get through 2020.
Next week we will start the 50th year of publishing the Ely Echo newspaper. Reaching that milestone can be attributed to one thing:
Live long and prosper!