Community Impact Newspaper owners/founders John and Jennifer Garrett on April 23 announced contributions received during the first two weeks of a new reader-support program called “CI Patron.”

“I want to thank all of our supporters for the kind comments and support as we have rolled out our new Patron community,” John Garrett said. “We are so thankful for the generous support—over 400 people have committed to give over $40,000.”

CI announced that longtime employee Lauren Itz will run the program, with the hope of the reader-support program becoming a long-term strategy for readers to connect with the company in a more meaningful way.

Garrett announced that 100% of CI Patron contributions (after processing costs) will go directly to the locally based journalists who produce CI content. This initiative to fund our reporting helps achieve a broader three-year company goal to have industry-leading compensation for our journalists.

Garrett has plans to include early supporters in an exclusive new “CI Patron Founding Members Group” that connects these founding members to our journalistic efforts through polls, email updates, and CI Patron events. This includes our inaugural Community Impact Conversations event scheduled Tuesday, April 28, when we host five local business leaders to discuss how they are navigating this storm during coronavirus. Click here for more information about joining this Patron group. Although the participating business owners hail from primarily Austin-based businesses, their stories and their vulnerability will be valuable to any business leader or owner around the country.

The goals of the webinar include:

  • Help us all see that we are not alone in this battle

  • Provide practical, useful best practices in how these businesses are preparing to survive and thrive in the future

  • Offer Q&A to listeners on how we are handling Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Main Street Loans, employee retention issues, etc.

We see the Community Impact Patron Program as a long-term connection tool between our local journalism efforts and our local readers. We promise to use the funds to keep the great local journalism coming. The support means the world to our employees,” Garrett said.

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