Silicon Hills News Operating Expenses


Silicon Hills News was on track to have its best year ever. We had diversified our revenue streams and relied on events as the main money generator along with sponsors. Well, all of that came to halt on March 6th when the City of Austin canceled SXSW. (We know that was the right thing to do, and we applaud city leaders for taking that action.)

Like many small businesses focused on the tech industry, March is traditionally our busiest month of the year. All of a sudden, our business came to a screeching stop, and then other tech companies canceled events like Zoholics and then SHN canceled BigIdeasATX, a series highlighting the innovators in our 2020 Austin Tech Calendar. 

On top of that, SHN's servers hit their capacity right at the same time and that meant we had to invest $600 to move to a dedicated WordPress hosting service at the time when we could least afford it. But we invested the money and now our website is faster and now we're paying to install an SSL certificate on the site and do other improvements.

Meanwhile, we applied for grants from Facebook's Journalism Project and Google News Initiative and we were turned down for both. We also got turned down for a $15,000 McGraw Business Fellowship grant that we were a finalist for and we plan to apply again. Meanwhile, we are applying for other grants and funding opportunities. We are hopeful we will get some funding. But so far, we have not received any. If we do receive grant funding, we plan to hire a reporter and expand our coverage of Austin and San Antonio and overall Texas stories and produce a special publication.  (Update - with the funds raised I have commissioned several freelance stories -which will be appearing online in the next month or so. Stay tuned- I'll post links to them here once they have been published.)

But today we are simply working to survive. We are seeking funds to cover our podcast hosting fees $30 monthly, our web hosting fees $50 monthly, Internet $75, cell phone payments $95, Zoom subscription $15, and $269 in other operational expenses. (Update: With the funds raised, we will meet our expenses for the rest of the year - if we make our stretch goal of $5,500 we will spend part of that to redesign our website and give it a modern look and feel)

We are so grateful for your support. We have covered this Central Texas community for nearly 10 years and we have enjoyed writing your stories.

Update: Thank you to our generous backers - we reached our $500 goal within an hour of launching. We reached our second goal of $1,000 within 11 hours of launching and we've reached our latest goal of $1,500 within 19 hours of launching, now we're going to set an ambitious goal of $2,000. We reached that goal within a day of launching and we have set a new goal of $5,500 to provide for funding of several freelance articles (company profiles and trend feature stories) and a site redesign.) We would also like to get 100 backers.  Every dollar counts. Thank you so much for your support of local news and original reporting. #KeepAustinWeird #KeepSanAntonioWild


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Laura Lorek 
Wimberley, TX
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