Every business has a story. The American Press is no exception, and the Tuesday Business Section – the section you’re reading right now – offers an in-depth format for telling it.

Usually these stories contain history, photos of products, services and people — the features that set one business apart from the next. American Press Shop Local stories can also be a reminder that shopping at local independent businesses impacts our economy.

Like many of those local businesses, the American Press is dealing with the rising cost of doing business and the challenges of online migration.

“Some of our readers still prefer to get the paper delivered to their door, sit down with a cup of coffee and read it cover to cover,” said Gordon Clark, American Press advertising director. “Their children and their grandchildren, on the other hand, may be swipers and scrollers who prefer a quick read and are adapt at using click-through links.”

The American Press is turning the challenge into the opportunity to go beyond providing in-depth news coverage, sponsored content and advertorials by adding targeted, interactive digital platforms for these products.

“We’re connecting local businesses to both those audiences,” said Clark. “I don’t know of other local print publications with our reach – 60,000 readers – who can do what we do for the price we do it.”

“Combining print, web and social media, we are able to offer cross-platform marketing that speaks to a variety of audiences,” said Digital Content Coordinator Heather Mulkey. That includes over 45,000 followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tens of thousands of daily page views across AmericanPress.com and American Press ePaper.”

The American Press has a history of adapting to the needs of readers, advertisers and market twists and turns.

“Next year will mark our 125th year in business,” said American Press Advertising Manager Karen Cole. “We’re the longest standing member of the Chamber of Commerce.”

In a day and age when newspaper giants are swallowing newspapers, laying off entire news staffs, curtailing delivery days and belching out canned content, the American Press is still independent, family-owned and operated.

It employs 71 people, many who work behind the scenes and are as key to its continued operation as the reporters and editors.

Sure, the American Press wants local businesses to use its digital and print products in its advertising mix. Helping businesses grow their businesses grows its business. But this article is also a reminder that the American Press purchases products and services from other local businesses. Its employees patronize local businesses.

“We’re more than the products you see,” said Healther Mulkey. “We’re your next door neighbor. We visit your store, get our hair cut at your shop, and visit your urgent care when our child’s fever spikes and we don’t know what to do.”

The Shearman Companies have invested heavily in the revitalization of downtown Lake Charles, starting in the 1970s.

“The American Press partners with hundreds of local nonprofits such as the homeless shelter for veterans, schools, universities, cultural programs, autism centers, counseling centers, hospitals and senior groups,” said Karen Cole. “Employees contribute to the United Way and I am proud to be a part of that.”

This week, the American Press joins the ranks of hundreds of local business owners who have shared their Shop Local stories.

Among them are the Verandah and S&M Family Outlet.

Pam VanDyke, Verandah Community Director, said, “When our story appears in the American Press, the phone starts ringing Tuesday morning. In fact, I have to arrange my schedule around it.”

“We’ve had great success with the American Press for over 60 years,” said Steve Stoma, S&M Family Outlet. “The Shop Local articles are a unique way to tell our story to the people of Southwest Louisiana.”

“Shop Local works for these businesses, and it will work for yours,” said Clark.

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