Ontario Construction News: Four months of work and growth as publication achieves sustainability

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario Construction News celebrated its fourth month of daily publication on Sept. 2.

There wasn’t a wild party. We needed to work to prepare the next issues – because each day’s publication requires several stories, which need to be researched, written, proof-read, laid out and published within the daily cycle.

Nevertheless, the publication has reached the critical sustainability stage, where revenues and business from repeating clients is sufficient to pay operating costs and maintain the publication.

“We’ve been able to maintain the editorial quality and standards of a true digital daily newspaper, while delivering much lower costs and higher service to our advertising clients,” says publisher Mark Buckshon, who also has filled in as interim editor during the start-up.

“I was able to take a three week vacation overseas in August, with the help of freelance writers and our production and sales team,” he said. “Each day, I would check in by Internet from the hotel and could see the progress we were making.”

One of the cornerstones of the new publication’s success is its ability to publish mandatory Certificate of Substantial Performance (CSP) notices at a price approaching 50 per cent less than the competition – and deliver the Certificate of Publication quickly – often within three days of the publication request.

“This speads up the job close out and holdback release process, and judging from our client satisfaction surveys, the service speed (and price) are appealing to our advertisers,” he said.

Ontario Construction News can offer these savings because it complies with the highly specific regulatory requirements for a “daily construction newspaper” under Ontario Construction Act regulations.

The new Act renumbered certain critical forms – setting the CSP form as “Form 9” rather than “Form 6” — but the wording and publication requirements for this form are exactly the same as they were under the former Ontario Construction Lien Act.

“The difference is that the regulations allow the daily construction newspaper to be produced in a digital format,” said Buckshon. “This means we don’t have to pay for printing and postage – and so we can be viable as a business while still saving our clients thousands of dollars over the year in publishing the mandatory notices.”

What is the next stage for Ontario Construction News?

“We’re contracting for additional editorial resources to continue to improve our news coverage of Ontario’s construction industry,” he said.  “As well, we’re improving our internal systems and processes to speed up the publication.  We’re doing everything we can to turn around CSP notifications as fast as possible – while ensuring the notices are accurate and are properly published as required by the regulations.”

You can learn more and prepare your CSP notice advertisements by visiting https://ontarioconstructionnews.com/forms.

If you have story ideas or topics you would like to see covered in Ontario Construction News, you can email Buckshon at buckshon@ontarioconstructionnews.com.

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