Last year saw Milwaukee Record bringing in record-breaking traffic numbers. Yesterday (July 27), Milwaukee Record‘s 2020 traffic figures managed to top the page views we had during all of 2019. At the risk of coming off as self-serving, we wanted to mark this occasion with an article for a few reasons.

The first of those reasons is to thank you for your continued support of Milwaukee Record. Whether you check in on occasion or you’ve made us a part of your daily ritual, we thank you for contributing to our publication’s continued growth and expanding reach. We couldn’t do this without you! The second reason is, frankly, to let you know where we stand as a business during this record-setting year.

As you might be able to guess, a noticeable amount of the page views we’ve garnered during the year’s first seven months are related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the impact the pandemic has incurred on local businesses, festivals, sports, and virtually all other factions of everyday life in and around Milwaukee. As our coverage of it has brought an unprecedented number of readers to Milwaukee Record, COVID-19 has also affected our business.

Milwaukee Record is an independent publication that’s almost entirely reliant on revenue from advertisers and events. With the vast majority of our ad supporters being bars, restaurants, and venues, a significant portion of our income stopped overnight in mid-March. As COVID cases in the country continue to climb, we’ve all but confirmed there will be no Milwaukee Record events—including film screenings, concerts, comedy shows, and more—the remainder of this year, and likely much longer. We can’t stress the appreciation we have for those advertisers who have stayed on through these past four-plus unthinkably difficult months. We can’t say how much it means that we’ve also had a few new ad partners come aboard of late. You’ve made a tough time easier.

Back in April, we were astounded by the generosity of all those who donated to our GoFundMe campaign. The amount we received allowed us some breathing room to help us get by as we focused on the site and we waited for things to hopefully get back to “normal.” That normalcy has yet to come, meaning previous ad partnerships have not been able to resume, in-person events are unable to occur, and—even while drastically cutting our salaries and limiting expenses—we simply aren’t bringing in enough income to be able to sustain a so-called “second wave” without some additional assistance.

While knowing far more have it far worse than we do right now (and encouraging you to help others in need), it would mean a great deal to us if you helped Milwaukee Record in some of the following ways:

• Donate to our GoFundMe campaign, which is still active!

• Subscribe to our Patreon account, which gets you exclusive articles and podcasts while also directly supporting us. Tiers start as low as $1 per month!

Buy Milwaukee Record merchandise! We have shirts and stickers in stock now, with more items planned for the coming months.

• Run ads with us! As noted, our traffic is better than ever, so if your business is in a financial position to run ads, you’ll absolutely get your money’s worth—especially when taking our Summer Special rates into account. If you’re interested in advertising, contact our Director of Advertising Josh Hoppert at jhoppert@milwaukeerecord.com to get the conversation going.

• Keep reading! Your continued readership will help bring in a few AdSense dollars, while also bolstering our numbers so potential ad partners are more likely to want to work with us if/when this ever ends.

If you’re reading this, thank you for making 2020—however difficult and uncertain—into a record-breaking year. Whether as a reader, a customer, or in a sponsorship/advertising capacity, we thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you. We can’t do it without you.

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