Business Spotlight – The Bloomfield Democrat

Owner: Karen Spurgeon

PO Box 19, 207-209 S. Madison Street, Bloomfield, IA 52537

641-664-2334 | | and Bloomfield Democrat Facebook page

Tell us a little bit of history about your business.

The Bloomfield Democrat, Davis County’s only newspaper, was founded in September of 1869. For many years, the newspaper published two issues per week — the Davis County Republican on Wednesdays and the Bloomfield Democrat on Fridays. After the drought and closing of the Exchange Bank in 1983, the local economy suffered and the decision was finally made by Publisher Gary Spurgeon to reduce publication to once a week. The Bloomfield Democrat survived the cutback. Spurgeon was a pioneer in newspaper web development. In the 1990s, the Bloomfield Democrat was the first Iowa newspaper to have its own website. In the early 2000s, Spurgeon found a way to publish an online edition about the same time the Cedar Rapids Gazette began publishing online — the first two newspapers to do so in the State of Iowa. The Democrat has also had a cable TV news channel since the 1980s. The Spurgeon family’s involvement in the Democrat expanded with the addition of Scott Spurgeon as editor in 1991. Karen Spurgeon came on board as office manager after retiring from her teaching career in 2004. She became publisher of Bloomfield Communications, Inc. following Gary Spurgeon’s death in 2013.

What are the services or products your business provides?

The Bloomfield Democrat’s mission is to provide Davis County citizens with the accurate, credible information they need to become active, engaged citizens in a viable, thriving community. The Democrat records the community’s history in the making while preserving citizens’ freedom of speech and right to know while holding government officials accountable. The Democrat covers local government and politics; public health and safety; agriculture and business; education, sports, and the arts; community and church news; and feature articles on the people who create the fabric of the community. The opinion section of the newspaper consists of editorials, guest columns and letters to the editor — all expressing a wide spectrum of opinions. Advertising promotes the businesses and organizations of the community and helps provide the revenue necessary to sustain a community news organization that keeps the public informed and binds the community together.

What is your favorite thing about having a business in our community?

The news industry is a fascinating job. As newspaper reporters, we get to delve into the stories of the people in the community and the actions taken by governmental bodies and various organizations. With that knowledge, we not only record history in the making, but publish opinion pieces promoting community development and improvements while also advocating for free speech and the public’s right to know.

What is one thing people may not know about you or your business?

The Bloomfield Democrat uses the skills of its design staff and writers to create and print brochures, booklets, pamphlets, and especially the annual tourism book. (This year’s tourism guide is entitled “Feel at home in…Davis County.”) The Democrat designs and prints business forms (single or two- or three-part carbonless forms), window and non-window return address envelopes (regular or self-sealing), posters, program books, post cards, return address labels, and much, much more…all for very reasonable prices. The Democrat also offers pre-inked stampers for return addresses, bank deposits, notary stamps, and more