This week's participant in the Karma Cash project is our own Spring Valley Tribune.

The Spring Valley Tribune is part of Bluff Country Newspaper Group, a network of community newspapers in southeastern Minnesota. The Tribune focuses exclusively on Spring Valley and the surrounding area, including Wykoff. The Tribune is one of the oldest businesses in Spring Valley, having started 133 years ago. For the past 39 years, it has been owned by Phillips Publishing, Inc., of which David Phillips is now president.

Phillips explains that shopping local is an important choice he stresses to his family as well his 30-plus employees, 11 of whom work in Spring Valley.

"My family shops locally as much as possible and I emphasize this to my employees as well," he said. "This is very important to my business because it relies on other local businesses to remain successful. It is also important to the community because Spring Valley is a more vibrant community with a variety of small businesses"

Unlike other media that send people in from outside, the Tribune is based in Spring Valley and recycles money locally rather than pulling it out, noted Phillips.

"We also have a building on the main street that pays local taxes, requires local utilities, uses local services and employs local people that do the same. The businesses in the Spring Valley area have been supportive of our mission and we support those businesses in turn," Phillips said.

A truly local newspaper is also important, the publisher noted, because it focuses only on the locally community, helping to shape the community's identity and connecting local people to each other. The Tribune is the only medium that caters to local residents, yet the Bluff Country Reader, a regional publication, goes outside the area to provide a local market for businesses wanting to reach residents in other communities.

He gives back by being involved with numerous Spring Valley organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Spring Valley Area Community Foundation, the EDA and Vision 21. The spirit of service can also be seen through his staff, many of whom are involved in organizations throughout the community.

Local causes also see the benefit of an established local medium, as well, whether it is by giving them a public platform to voice their messages to the public or by giving donations directly to those in need.