5 Reasons to Support Columbus Underground
Like most small businesses, Columbus Underground has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
We have cancelled and delayed multiple revenue-generating events, and many of our regular advertising clients — organizations and small businesses such as restaurants, bars, arts venues, and event promoters — are currently closed or restricted in their operations due either to state mandates or voluntary compliance for health and safety precautions.
For these reasons, we are asking our readers and fans for support so that our award-winning journalists and staff can continue to keep operations uninterrupted as we all wait out this challenging period together.
From when we first launched in 2001, we have never charged readers for access to our news, reviews, and event listings, and have no plans to put restrictive paywalls in place. We wouldn’t be asking for your support if we didn’t think we had good reasons — so here are a few:
1. Because We Support The Arts in Columbus
While our food and development coverage might have been the reason you first discovered Columbus Underground, we have also covered a wide variety of local visual and performing arts organizations and individual creators for over a decade.
Our ongoing Local Artist Spotlight series — currently penned by Taijuan Moorman — was recognized by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists (Ohio SPJ) as the #1 Arts/Entertainment series in the state in 2018.
Freelance writers like Jeff Regensberger and Richard Sanford have covered countless gallery installations, theatrical performances and special museum exhibitions that enrich the culture of our cities. Hope Madden and George Wolf share what is happening in our local movie theaters. You’ve probably caught up on more than one concert with photos from Matt Ellis.
Additionally, Columbus Underground works exclusively with local creators for events, festivals and special projects. Over a dozen artists are paid by Columbus Underground to create decor, photo backdrops, and merchandise designs for events like our annual Coffee Festival — while musicians, poets, and entertainers are paid to provide musical and visual experiences for guests.
Supporting our work allows us to continue to support local artists, both through news coverage and features, and with financial support for their creative output and services.
2. Because We Support Local Nonprofits
Over the past two decades, Columbus Underground has written about the work performed by hundreds of local nonprofit organizations. From hunger relief to homelessness support to early childhood education, nonprofit organizations do the work that most businesses cannot, and we take great pride in supporting their efforts.
Since 2014, Columbus Underground has used large-scale events as a way to raise money for local charities. A portion of ticket sales of many events — including the Urban Living Tour and the Best Bites food sampling series — have gone directly to charities including Local Matters, Faith Mission, Franklinton Farms, Neighborhood Services, and The Columbus Foundation’s Gifts of Kindness Fund.
Supporting our work allows us to continue to support local nonprofit organizations through both awareness and financial donations.
3. Because We Support Local Entrepreneurs
Every day, Columbus Underground features the work of local entrepreneurs. From new local restaurant creations to unique retail shopping experiences to industry startups.
In 2010, Columbus Underground launched The Metropreneur, a spin-off publication devoted completely to the entrepreneurial community. Through The Metropreneur, we share success stories, how-to guide information, community resources for starting new businesses and event listings that include classes and workshops. Additionally, The Metropreneur produces Aspire, an annual event celebrating social enterprises that incorporate a community-focused mission into their operations, and has supported Philanthropitch.
When new small businesses launch in Columbus, Columbus Underground is often their first piece of exposure to the community at large, and we’ve heard from countless entrepreneurs about the customers and support they’ve seen boosted by our editorial coverage.
Supporting our work allows us to continue to support local small businesses that are the backbone of our community.
4. Because We Create Unique Experiences
We take pride in the fact that the events that Columbus Underground produces — including The Columbus Coffee Festival, Urban Living Tour and Sweet Treats Dessert Festival — are unique experiences in our city. Our role as connectors and informers led us to the decision to create an experiential component to our operations over seven years ago, allowing those who read about new restaurants, new coffee roasters, and new developments to have engaging ways to experience those topics.
Our events help to fund our mission as journalists, connect interested customers with unique small businesses, provide a way for Columbus Underground to raise money for nonprofits, and allow us to pay performing artists and entertainers. It’s a win-win-win-win for everyone.
Supporting our work allows us to continue to create unique experiences in the city of Columbus.
5. Because High Quality Local Journalism is Important
Hopefully, you’re here because you care. You care about your community and your city and the things that speak to you most about life in Columbus. You’re here because you found one of our articles or events linked through a Google search or a social media post or shared from a friend. And hopefully during that process you discovered some new bit of information that either educated or entertained you in some way.
Our journalists are professionally-trained and award-winning writers and we couldn’t be more proud of our staff. They are passionate individuals dedicated to sharing their expertise on topics that they cover day in and day out. Our team has won numerous awards since 2014, including 11 awards in 2019 alone from the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Supporting our work allows us to continue to publish award-winning journalism for the citizens of Central Ohio to read for free.
Bonus: If you’d like to show your love for CU, check out our store.