AS this edition of the Leader hits news stands we are all facing extraordinary times.
In coming weeks many businesses in Numurkah, and across the state, may be forced to close their doors - indefinitely.
The Leader, as a regional newspaper, is listed as an essential business and will not be among them.
With the new social distancing laws causing most sport and community events to be postponed or cancelled, the Leader, like the rest of the world, will look a bit different to what we are all used to for the next little while, but it will remain full of local content.
Like 125 years of Leader staff before us, we take our responsibility to keep local people informed of local news, events and personalities seriously, and that will never change.
Through two world wars, the Spanish flu, the depression, fire, flood and drought, the Leader has published uninterrupted, and we have no intention of breaking that record.
A time may yet come when, in the interests of safety, we deem it necessary to close our doors to the public, but our commitment to publishing the paper, even if it is literally from behind closed doors, will remain unchanged.
We have already enacted a number of measures designed to keep Leader staff and customers safe - including stringent cleaning practices and card-only payment - and from here on out, we will be conducting as much business as possible via telephone and email to avoid face to face contact.
We do have the capability of each working remotely, and we have discussed arrangements for that should it come to it.
However, as we say, these are extraordinary times.
Getting the paper out each week is very much a team effort, and we are a small team - should one of us fall ill and be unable to fulfil their role, there may yet come a time when, temporarily, Wednesday is not synonymous with the local paper.
As far as business goes, that is not our major concern though.
About the only thing we don’t do ourselves when it comes to producing the Leader is the actual printing.
We want to assure you, our readers, that should the outlet that prints the Leader have to temporarily close, we will continue to publish our online edition.
The online edition is the same as the paper copy and can be accessed by subscription via the Leader website.
We know that one of the reasons the Leader has remained strong, when so many other regional newspapers have closed down, is that we enjoy the support of a great local community.
As any small local business will tell you, that is the difference between life and death in a small town.
We implore you to continue to support Numurkah and district’s businesses in these troubled time so that when we come out the other end of this pandemic - which we will - they will still be here to contribute to our vibrant, supportive community.
If you are not sure how to go about that, give them a call - they will let you know.
In our case, supporting us is simple; buy the paper, read the paper, and if you’ve got a story, let us know. As always, we want to hear from you so you can keep hearing from us, and from each other.
Online subscriptions to the Leader cost just $5.95 per month, or $54.95 for 12 months, and can be arranged via our website numurkahleader.net.au, or by calling the Leader on 5862 1034.
If you are self-isolating and would like a hard copy of the paper delivered, this can be arranged through newsXpress Numurkah by calling them on 5862 1109